The world of football is incredibly competitive and difficult to break into. There is also the odd case of brother and sister football players and Kenya is not an exception. We take a look at some of the finest as compiled by Charles Thuku and Alfayo Onyango
1. Joe Kadenge and Timothy Madonye
Legendary striker Kadenge is still celebrated to date following his tremendous contribution to Kenyan football with his goals and trophies. His central midfield playing brother Madoyo was also instrumental in Kenya’s squad that won multiple Cecafa trophies.
At club level, AFC Leopards was the club in which they bowed out in classy fashion, leaving a legacy worth revisiting.
2. Simeon and Titus Mulama
Remembered for their starring roles as exceptional flankers for the national team in the early 2000s, the two Huruma-raised bothers made their mark in the local football scene when they featured for Mathare United after honing their skills at the popular Mathare Youth Sports Academy (MYSA).
3. William and Enock Obwaka
Gor Mahia’s heroics in African football are tied to the 80s and these two played prime roles as forwards. They both played for AFC Leopards before William Obwaka traded Ingwe for Gor Mahia.
In the 1985 Cecafa Club final held in Sudan between the two arch-rivals, he was on the scoresheet and this led to his house in Mumias being torched by angry Leopards supporters who felt betrayed. The two strikers also represented Kenya internationally.
4. Mike Okoth and Anthony Origi
Representing Kenya Breweries (now Tusker FC) in the late 80s and early 90s, the lethal striker (Mike pictured) and his central midfield sibling (Anthony) forged a great partnership to steer the club forward. They would feature in Africa Cup of Nations for Kenya in 1988 and 1992 held in Morocco and Algeria respectively.
5. Maurice Khayota and Festus Khayota
In the early 80s at a time when Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards were catching their stride to dominate local and continental football, K’Ogalo’s bogey team happened to be Nzoia Sugar. Festus, a solid central defender, and Maurice, a deadly striker, formed the core of the Nzoia side that almost denied Gor crucial points to run away with the league.
6. Bernard Masiga and Joe (JJ) Masiga
Featuring in the late 70s and early 80s, the Kangemi raised stars wore the blue and white stripes of AFC Leopards, leading Ingwe into a glorious era when they swept three Cecafa Club Challenge Cups from 1981-1984.
JJ scored Harambee Stars’ lone goal in a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe in the final of the 1983 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup for Kenya to win the trophy for good, having won previous editions in Dar-es-Salaam and Kampala.
7. Ken Oliech and Andrew Oyombe
They are the siblings of former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech and both served Gor Mahia at some point in their careers. Amongst the two, it was Andrew, a defender, who was the most experienced and successful on the pitch, having been in the national team squad that featured at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia. Ken (pictured) was also a marvel to watch on the pitch and after hanging his boots, he vied for the FKF presidential seat but lost.
8. Wilberforce and Moses Mulamba
Wilberforce (pictured) played in the No.10 position while Moses was a utility player at No.6 at AFC Leopards in the mid 80s. Wilberforce, who has since relocated to Germany, was so ruthless in the attacking line that he was nicknamed “Maradona” after the legendary Argentina marksman Diego Maradona. He played a pivotal role when Leopards beat Mufulira Wanderers of Zambia and Asante Kotoko of Ghana before the team fell to Leventis in the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1985.
9. Sharon Adhiambo and Vivianne Akinyi
The two ventured into football at a tender age and surprisingly, their on-pitch performance is affected whenever one is not around. Both had stints with Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) before joining Soccer Queens in the FKF Women’s Premier League. The Sega Girls High School alumnae also feature for the national team Harambee Starlets with Akinyi (pictured) playing as a goalkeeper.
10. Kennedy Ayong and Kevin Ato
The two full-backs played for Mathare United after honing their skills at the popular MYSA and were part of the title-winning side of Francis Kimanzi 10 years ago before moving to Tusker FC. Ayong (left back pictured right) earned one cap for Harambee Stars while Ato (left-back) was called but never played for the national team.