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Taking sports to the online field

After high school, Dennis Machio had the option of playing for Kenya Premier League teams, but he decided to pursue creative arts and film studies. The founder of Michezo Africa may not have ended playing in the field, but is still in the game

Sylvia Wakhisi @PeopleDailyKe

Has the field of creative arts always been your passion?

Yes. I decided to pursue it as a career. I did a degree in Creative Arts and Film studies at Moi University and thereafter, did a postgraduate diploma in Television and Film studies at Mohammed Amin Foundation in Nairobi under an Aljazeera TV Network Scholarship.

I have a wealth of experience in production, storytelling and performing arts and a deep understanding of the Kenyan sports, culture, art, music and the video production industry.

Talking of sports, you were quite a soccer player back then. Tell us of your experience.

During my secondary school years at Friends School Kamusinga, I remember our team of 1999 was the best soccer team and we went all the way to the Provincial semi-finals, a fete yet to be achieved since then. I was the goalkeeper.

It was then that I was twice selected into the national U-17 soccer team then coached by Manfred Steves. After Kamusinga, Mumias Sugar, Utalii FC and Nzoia Sugar FC all wanted to sign me up. I opted for Nzoia Sugar FC.

Unfortunately, at that time, Kenyan soccer was soiled with a lot of messy politics, hence there was no hope in playing. Premier League had a lot of pressure, extreme training sessions, exciting adrenaline and intense competition amongst ourselves.

Everyone was fighting for a place in the starting team. Unfortunately, I joined Moi University main campus far away from any option of playing for a club near me. The only option was campus soccer and that was just, but the end of my soccer career. Today, I play just for fun and to keep fit.

What inspired you to start Michezo Afrika?

This was as a result of years of engagement with the grassroots sports structures. My brother, Walter Machio and I took a lot of time interacting and creating rapport with many coaches at the grassroots, community teams and organisations thereby realising the many glaring gaps within our sporting system.

In 2006, we searched for a name that would put us on the map of Africa, hence the name ‘Michezo Afrika’ easily translated to ‘Sports Africa’ in English. An in 2009, Michezo Africa, an online sports agency was started. We had a slow three years. We saw a vacuum in grassroots sport development and decided to venture into that area.

You wear many hats, company director, producer and editor of Michezo Africa. How do you balance all these?

I am a strong believer in the spirit of teamwork and partnerships. But most important is when you do what you love, everything happens in a seamless manner. But I must admit that online business is difficult. It needs patience, resilience and a lot of self-discipline.

What drives you?

There is one thing I learnt from my parents—success is not about how rich you are or how much money you have, but the best success in life is facilitating, supporting and seeing transformation in the life of someone else if not others.

Single or taken

Wow! I thought we are talking only about me, but you just couldn’t go away with this question. Let us just say I prefer to keep my private life private, but since you have insisted let me just clarify. I’m neither married nor dating.

To me, each day is a golden opportunity to learn something new that will help me become a better person and maybe, a well-prepared future husband. I believe the rest will take care of itself at the right time.

How do you unwind?

Evening runs are good for my tired body, reading books is a perfect way to open up the mind, but show me any good African Live Band performance and I will stick there for hours!

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