The lush green Gusii highlands is known to produce personalities who have excelled in businesses and sports. It is a fact that a lot of Kisiis have been successful in the transport sector.
Even though it has not been documented, the Kisii region has also been a springboard for a number of great footballers.
The locality took great football strides in the ’80s after the inception of Shabana FC which went on to become a fierce side.
In this article, WoK reveals the football stars who were shaped and mentored in Kisii region.
Okoth is the father to prolific former Liverpool striker Divock Origi. He started of as a goalkeeper for Itiero High School where the school won the football title in 1987 after beating Kakamega High School in penalties.
One year later, Okoth joined Shabana Football Club. By then Shabana was a force to reckon with and was participating in the continental club championships. At Shabana, Okoth switched from the sticks into a prolific striker known to split apart the meanest of defences. As a result, he earned a call up to the national side Harambee Stars.
Because of his sharpness, he would play for Harambee Stars between 1990 and 2004. Mike Okoth was the first Kenyan to play professional football in Europe, playing for Belgian giants Genk.
Henry Motego has been trending recently after reports emerged that he was working at a construction site. The story led to outpouring of emotions given Motego is a renowned legend who once won the top scorer award in the ’80s.
Born and raised in Gucha, Motego began his career by playing for Shabana FC and helped the club gain promotion to the Kenyan Premier League.
In 1987, the prolific striker was the league’s top scorer with 21 goals ahead of AFC Leopards’ Francis Kadenge and Gor Mahia’s Peter Dawo. His escapades on the field saw Shabana FC finish third in the league behind Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards.
Motego also played for Harambee Stars in the World Cup qualifying matches and the African Cup of Nations. He retired from professional football in 2005 after which he was appointed assistant coach for Tusker.
He is the twin brother to retired professional footballer Titus Mulama. In early ’90s, Simeon Mulama was a gem to watch as he played for Kakamega School before he would transfer to Kisii School.
After secondary school education, Mulama played for AFC Leopards and Mathare United. He also featured for Ismailly SC in Egypt.
The late Henry Nyandoro was one of the best talents from Kisii region. He was an alumnus of Kisii School and went on to play for AFC Leopards between 1988 and 1990.
He then joined Shabana between 1990 and 1996. Nyandoro played in the midfield role. Sadly, he succumbed in 1998.
John ‘Mo’ Muiruri
Muiruri grew up in Nakuru but it was during his time at Kisii School that he nurtured his talent. After secondary school education in 1998, he joined then top tier club Utalii.
Muiruri earned at least 50 caps for Harambee Stars and also played for Tusker before making a move to Belgian side KAA Gent in 2001. He plied his trade with the Belgian giants for 4 seasons then moved to Germinal Beerschot. His hang his boots while playing for Norwegian side Moss FK.
After retirement, he took up coaching roles in Norway. He was in charge of Oppegard in the 2017/18 season and also oversaw the training of the academy kids for the side.