Meet Kenya's most educated footballers

Innocent Mutiso

Juggling football and academics is tricky for most footballers.

However, a few players in the Kenya Premier League (KPL) have beaten the odds to join the likes of Man City’s Frank Lampard, former Man United custodian Edwin van der Sar, Brazil’s Socrates and Welsh former footballer Barry Horne in the world of academia.

Football has for a long time been regarded as a career for academically-challenged individuals, but times have changed as the game now has smart guys like Paul Kiongera (now at Simba SC),  the 2013 Best Midfielder Brian Osumba of Tusker and Michael Olunga who turns out for Thika United just to mention a few.

These players are following in the footsteps of Dr JJ Masiga, Dr William Obwaka and Dr Dan Shikanda by perfectly balancing studies and the demanding soccer career.

Name: Bernard Mang’oli

Age: 24

Current club: AFC Leopards

Previous clubs:  JMJ Academy

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Community Development), fourth-year student.

College/University: Kenyatta University.

Primary/Secondary:  Nzoia Primary/St Mary’s Kibabi High

“Education is a fall back plan to my football career.”

 

Name: Paul Mungai Kiongera

Age: 22

Current club: Simba SC

Previous clubs:  KCB

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Sociology).

College/University: Kenyatta University

Primary/Secondary:  ACK Webuye/Friends School Kamusinga

“Your success depends on your work lan. I always attend evening classes, but forfeit training whenever I have morning classes.”

Name: Victor Ashinga

Age: 22

Current club: Nairobi City Stars

Previous clubs:  Friendship International Sports Academy (FISA)

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Science (Sports Science), third-year student

College/University: Kenyatta University

Primary/Secondary:  Amito Junior Primary/Our Lady of Fatima Secondary

“Mixing football with studying is not as challenging as it is made out to be. It’s all about passion for what you do. I believe in myself and as long as I work smart, nothing is impossible.”

 

Name: Eric Masika

Age: 28

Current club: Unattached

Previous clubs: Gor Mahia, Tusker Youth, Sacramento and AFC Leopards

Position: Defender

Academic qualifications:  Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Banking), third-year student

College: Catholic University of Eastern Africa

Primary/Secondary:  Garden Primary/Sunshine Secondary

“It’s not been easy to balance classes with training, but I am trying. It boils down to what you love and time management.”

 

Name: Allan Wetende Wanga

Age: 28

Current club: Al Merreikh

Previous clubs: Tusker, Petro Atlético, Sofapaka, HAGL and AFC Leopards

Position: Striker

Academic qualifications: Diploma in Business Administration

College/University: Kisumu Polytechnic

Primary/Secondary:  Shauri Moyo Primary/St Paul’s Secondary

“Commitment and discipline is key if you want balance books and soccer.”

 

Name: Israel Emuge

Age: 30

Current club: Gor Mahia

Previous clubs: Express, KCC and Kira Young

Position: Defender

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Public Administration and Management

College/University: Nkumba University, Uganda

Primary/Secondary:  Uganda Matrys Primary/Jinja College

“It calls for sacrifice and dedication to juggle football and academics.”

 

Name: Dennis Ngaira Mukaisi

Age: 24

Current club: Kakamega Homeboyz

Previous clubs: Lirhembe Arsenal, AFC Leopards

Position: Striker

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Education (Arts)

College: Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology

Primary/Secondary:  Musingu Primary/Mukumu Boys

“The school schedule at St Francis Xavier Shipalo, where I teach,  gives me time to attend training sessions.”

 

Name: Brian Osumba

Age: 23

Current club: Tusker

Previous clubs: Gor Mahia, Mahakama and KCB

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Economics,  CPA (Level Four)

College: University of Nairobi and Strathmore University

Primary/Secondary: St Peters Mumias Primary/Kanga High

“Proper planning and dedication is needed to succeed in both. 

 

Name: Kennedy Agogo Otieno

Age: 23

Current club: Thika United

Previous clubs: Posta Rangers, Sony Sugar

Position: Striker

Academic qualifications: Diploma in Human Resource Management

College/University: Excel Institute of Professionals/Thika Technical Training Institute

Primary/Secondary:  Kirindo Primary/ Agoro Oyombe Secondary

“It’s difficult to study and play football, but being a good time manager, I have excelled in both.”

 

Name: Edwin Manono Ombasa

Age: 22

Current club: Mathare United

Previous clubs: Posta Rangers, KRA, Shabana, Tusker

Position: Striker/Midfielder

Academic qualifications: BA Broadcast Production (TV Production), third-year student

College/University: University of Nairobi

Primary/Secondary:  Gudka Primary/Kisii High

“I train in the morning and then prepare myself for evening classes that begin at 5pm.”

 

Name: Brian Masiolo

Age: 27

Current club: Unattached

Previous clubs: AFC Leopards, Western Stima and Red Berets

Position: Striker

Academic qualifications: Diploma in Education

College/University: Kaimosi Teachers Training College

Primary/Secondary:  Kaimosi Demonstration Primary/Mbale High

“For you to be a successful footballer, you must be educated.”

 

Name: Wycliffe Opondo

Age: 25

Current club: Thika United

Previous clubs: Chemelil Sugar and Gor Mahia

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Diploma in Business Administration- Second Year

College/University: Hemland College

Primary/Secondary:  Jamhuri Primary/Kairi Secondary

“Education is the key to life, and it calls for a lot of sacrifice.”

 

Name: Michael Ogada Olunga

Age:  20

Current club: Thika United

Previous clubs: Liberty Professionals Academy and Tusker

Position: Striker

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering (Geospatial Engineering), first-year student

College/University: Technical University of Kenya

Primary/Secondary: Baba Dogo Primary/Upper Hill Secondary

“When in class, education is my first priority. At the end of the day, it’s your papers that matter most.”

 

Name: Obadiah Erasto Ndege

Age: 23

Current club: Posta Rangers

Previous clubs: KRA, Tusker and AFC Leopards

Position: Striker

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Science in Meteorology

College/University: University of Nairobi

Primary/Secondary:  NYS Primary/Solai Boys

“God’s grace motivates me to play the game I love.”

 

Name: Jacob Kelli

Age: 24

Current club: AFC Leopards

Previous clubs: Sofapaka, Mathare United and KCB

Position: Striker

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce (Finance), second-year student

College/University: Kenya College of Accountancy

Primary/Secondary: Lukenya Academy/Utumishi Boys

“Football has a lifespan, and you must be prepared for another life after your career on the pitch ends. That’s only possible through education. This society needs intelligent people and educated individuals earn a lot of respect and recognition. But due to the demanding nature of the game, I’ve been forced to take study leaves at times.”

 

Name: Dan Makori

Age: 27

Current club: Western Stima

Previous clubs: Migori Youth, Gor Mahia and KCB

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Education (Physical Education)

College/University: Moi University

Primary/Secondary: Ngege Primary/Kokuro Secondary

“If you are learned, people will respect you even after you retire from soccer.”

 

Name: Felly Mulumba

Age: 28

Current club: Sofapaka

Previous clubs: Posta Rangers, Chemin op, DCMP, S Daklo and S Dragon

Position: Defender

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Theology

College/University: Saint Louis University

Primary/Secondary: SNCC/ St Kelekele Secondary School

“Education is important. I know I am covered even when my football career ends.”

Name: Geoffrey Kataka

Age: 26

Current club: Posta Rangers

Previous clubs: AFC Leopards, Nairobi Stima, Mahakama and KRA

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Bachelor of Education (Arts)

College/University: University of Nairobi

Primary/Secondary: Butunyi Primary/St Antony Esikalame

“All you need is to plan yourself to succeed.”

 

Name: Innocent Mutiso

Age: 23

Current club: Gor Mahia

Previous clubs: Mathare United

Position: Midfielder

Academic qualifications: Form Six

Primary/Secondary: Ndururuno Primary/Laiser Hill Secondary

“I am a day scholar and so it’s quite easy for me to manage my schedule.” 


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