Mwalimu Peter Orero is a man who has seen Kenya’s sports take massive strides and is arguably the most successful secondary school coach. The Kibra MP has been involved in several sports disciplines: football, basketball, rugby and netball.
In football, If Orero was to pick a team from the players he mentored, it would be a rampage for any other Kenyan opponent. After all it would have the most decorated Kenyan players: Dennis Oliech, MacDonald Mariga, Jamal ‘Malo’ Mohammed, Michael Olunga, Geoffrey Kokoyo, Francis Ocholla and Andrew Oyombe.
According to Orero, his determination, passion and zeal for sports is something that is inbuilt. This is an inherent attribute that would see him wake up as early as 4 a.m to train with his players.
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“Sports is a culture and for me it’s an inbuilt culture which I express in terms of performance,” he says.
Success at Kamukunji High School: Mariga & Oliech
Orero was posted to Nairobi by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in order to assemble a football team for the commission. As he cut his teeth in the world of sports, he simply possessed a midas touch and helped the TSC side achieve new accomplishments.
“When I was posted to Nairobi, the then Deputy Secretary for TSC realized my talent and entrusted me to start a team for TSC,” he reveals.
In 1990, Orero began tutoring at Kamukunji High School. While at the helm of the school football team, the side was a force to reckon with. They made it to the nationals in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. They were crowned the Kenyan champions thrice.
Among the players that graced the golden era of Kamukunji were MacDonald Mariga (most valuable player twice), Dennis Oliech and Jamal Mohammed. According to Orero, he was the one who helped in transferring Oliech from Kakamega High School to Kamukunji.
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Orero left Kamukunji and joined Upper Hill as a Deputy Principal in 2002. He led the school to the football finals in Nairobi and took over the mantle as the coach of the Kenyan U20 KSSSA side.
In 2005, he joined Lang’ata High School and led the side to the netball finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Mercy Wanyama, the younger sister to Mariga was part of the team and she would later earn the national team call-up as well as a professional contract in Spain. The school also performed well in football and won the national crown once. Notable players who were under the tutelage of Orero during his tenure at Lang’ata are Kevin Omondi and Musa Mohammed.
Upper Hill: Michael Olunga
Orero then returned to Upper Hill as a principal. Here he led the school to the Nairobi basketball semifinals, finals and ultimately national champions in the first three years. Under Orero’s captaincy, the school established a talent centre and received a sponsorship from UNICEF for the basketball side.
Orero takes pride in bringing high-flying Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga to Upper Hill. Initially, Olunga was a student at Aquinas but he convinced him to join his school.
“I’m the one who brought him to Upper Hill. He was at Aquinas but the mother had stopped working. I normally had a tournament at home and when I saw him, I told him to get into my bus,” he reveals.
Orero then joined Dagoretti High School in 2017 leading them to the national championships in football. The school is still one of the best football sides in Kenya.