By Dickens Luvanda
McDonald Mariga is a household name in Kenyan and his entry into politics has further generated new interest in one of the highest footballers the country has ever produced. The retired footballer was born on April 4, 1987 in Nairobi. He plied his trade at Tusker F.C. between 2003-2004, Kenya Pipeline between 2004-2005 before joining Enköpings between 2005-2006. The midfielder went on to join Inter Milan, a first for a Kenyan player.
Mariga’s father, Noah Wanyama, a left-winger, played for A.F.C. Leopards and Harambee Stars.
His younger brother Victor Wanyama is also a professional football player, currently playing for Premier League side Tottenham. His other brothers Thomas and Sylvester are also footballers in the Kenyan Premier League.
Their younger sister Mercy was the captain of the Lang’ata High School basketball team, and previously played football and netball.
As a midfielder, Mariga debuted the Kenyan national team in 2006 and joined Internazionale in 2010 after spending three seasons with Parma from 2014-2015 scoring 4 goals.
In 2010-2014, Mariga played for Inter Milan scoring 1 goal. He began playing for Italian club Latin in 2016.
McDonald Mariga Net Worth
Professional soccer players like Mariga receive good money but salaries depend on different characteristics including the player’s location skills.
At the high level, players in the U.K. and some European countries can make $50 million or more.
In South America, admirable footballers make $1-2 million annually, and in countries where soccer is not as popular, such as the US and China, players earn a few hundred thousand dollars per year. The worst paying leagues can pay as little as $50,000 per year.
McDonald Mariga’s estimated net worth is $1.5 million as at 2018. He made kes6 million per week playing for the top flight clubs.
In September 2019, Mariga made a debut in Kenya’s politics after announcing plans to contest for a parliamentary seat in a by-election in Kibra constituency, Nairobi.
He was nominated by the Jubilee Party as the flag bearer in the by-election. He was however, invalidated by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission after his name was missing in the 2017 voters register.
The by-election was occasioned by the death of former MP Ken Okoth, who died on July 26, 2019, after a long battle with Colon cancer.
Contribution To Football Growth In Kenya
His contribution to the national team Harambee Stars has been subject to debate. Some have accused him of feigning injuries to avoid playing for the national team. On the other hand, Dennis Oliech used his own earning to support the national team.