We are always blown away by the colossal sums footballers earn in European leagues. But while those in Europe are enjoying the fruits of good organisation and lucrative TV deals, the situation is still dire here in Kenya. However, there are still those making some big bucks locally, at least by our standards, as compiled by James Magayi
1. Dennis Oliech (Gor Mahia)
The Menace, as he is fondly known, signed for Gor Mahia as a free agent late 2018, having been in retirement for slightly more than two years. The former Al Arabi, Nantes, Ajaccio and Mathare United hit man instantly sprung to the top of the food chain with the Sh350,000 K’Ogalo offered for his services.
He has shown glimpses of his former prolific self but still has some way to go before he hits top form. Oliech has so far scored five goals for the 17-time champions and is set to lead the lines in the CAF Confederations Cup quarter-finals against Morocco’s RS Berkane with lead striker Jacques Tuyisenge suspended.
2. Mousa Omar (Sofapaka)
Burundian defender Omar joined Sofapaka from relative obscurity but gained near instant limelight for his solid play and hefty pay package of Sh350,000 per month. Eyebrows were raised when Omar’s remuneration came to light but with club president known to be a shrewd businessman, there is wide speculation that the defender will be offloaded to a foreign club at a big price. Omar’s gung-ho defending as well as guile has helped Sofapaka challenge the league leaders and are currently leading the table.
3. Jacques Tuyisenge (Gor Mahia)
That Gor Mahia boast of the most highly-paid players in the SportPesa Premier League is justified with a hefty monthly wage bill of Sh6 million. Rwandan striker Jacques Tuyisenge ranks as the third most paid player in the league with Sh250,000 every month.
Since the exit of compatriot Meddie Kagere, Tuyisenge has risen to be K’Ogalo’s lead striker and moved to consolidate his niche with a 10th goal in CAF club championships to become the second highest scorer for Gor at that level behind legendary Peter Dawo who plundered 14.
4. Wayi Yeka (AFC Leopards)
AFC Leopards roped in the Congolese striker from Tanzanian club Alliance Sports Club to replace Ezekiel Odera who had fallen out with the then coach Nickola Kavazovic. The move cost Ingwe Sh150,000 every month, making the goal-shy striker among the five earners in the country. He recently broke his duck with a shot that needed a very big deflection to get into the net.
5. Shafik Batambuze (Gor Mahia)
The Uganda Cranes left-back joined Gor Mahia from Tanzanian club Singida to replace compatriot Godfrey Walusimbi who had left six months prior. The defender, with a penchant for providing assists, signed at K’Ogalo on a monthly salary of Sh150,000 and has helped the team reach CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals.
6. Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia)
Gor Mahia captain Shakava has seen his remuneration improve over the years and now earns Sh150,000 monthly. Shakava bid his time when he arrived at K’Ogalo but has thrived since the departure of Musa Mohamed and David Owino to the Zambian Premier League. At Gor, Shakava commands the dressing room and his relatively ‘big’ salary is only behind Dennis Oliech and Jacques Tuyisenge’s.
7. Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia)
Kahata tried but failed to force a move out of K’Ogalo last season. His Sh150,000 a month contract will run out in July and the midfield artist is likely to seek greener pastures. The diminutive player joined Gor four years ago but stayed in the shadows until 2018 when he burst into the first team with numerous assists and goals to his name. His performance and that of Gor on the continental scene attracted instant interest from Carthage clubs like USM Alger and Constantine but K’Ogalo held on to their prized asset.
8. Whyvonne Isuza (AFC Leopards)
Arguably one of the most gifted attacking midfielders in the country with an admirable work ethic, Isuza is AFC Leopards’ top earner at Sh150,000 per month. He joined the club from Mathare United two seasons ago and was instantly recognised as great creative force with an eye for goal. He has been the only player from AFC Leopards to feature in the national team rooster in recent times.
9. Peter Manyika (KCB FC)
Tanzanian international goalkeeper got a soft landing at KCB from Singida United when the club offloaded all their top earners. He joined a KCB team that won promotion and wanted an experienced squad to keep them in the top-flight. Coach John Kamau then went on a buying spree and brought in 13 players. Manyika arrived on Sh150,000 and was expected to be an instant hit but the Tanzanian found the going tough, soaking in numerous goals in his early days.
10. Eric Ndayishimiye (AFC Leopards)
The Rwandan goalkeeper is among the top earners in the game after penning a two-year deal with AFC Leopards last year. Nipped from Rwanda giants Rayon Sport, following a bitter fallout, Ndayishimiye arrived on a Sh150,000 monthly salary. Alongside KCB’s Manyika and Boniface Oluoch of Gor Mahia, Nadyishimiye is among the best goalkeepers in the region.