Gor Mahia defender Joash Onyango was feted as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in a colourful ceremony at National Museums of Kenya on Monday night.
Onyango bagged Sh1 million to become the first defender to win the award since its the awards' inception. He also becomes the third Gor Mahia player after George ‘Blackbery’ Odhiambo and Meddie Kagere, who have since left the club.
The Gor Mahia defender had a great season leading his club to win their record 18th Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title and also helped them qualify to the quarter-finals of CAF Confederations Cup.
His performance earned him a call up to Harambee Stars where he played a crucial role leading the national team to the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt after a 15-year absence.
Speaking during the awards, a delighted Onyango paid glowing tribute to his team mates and former Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne.
“First of all, I want to thank God for being able to reach this milestone. Secondly, I am grateful to the players for helping me to achieve this. It has always been my dream to win this award.
“Lastly, my gratitude goes to Sebastian Migne for believing in me and giving me a chance,” he said.
Onyango beat former team mate Francis Kahata, who has since joined Tanzanian side Simba and Ulinzi Stars striker Enosh Ochieng to emerge to win the award.
The Gor Mahia defender also won best defender award where he battled Kelvin Wesonga formerly of Sony Sugar and Bandari’s Brian Otieno, who came second and third respectively.
Francis Kahata won the Midfielder of the Year Award ahead of Hassan Abdalla (Bandari) and Wycliff Nyakeya, who was formerly at Mathare United but is now in Egypt.
Farouk Shikalo won the Best Goalkeeper award. The former Bandari goalkeeper had just jetted into the country early in the day from his Tanzanian club Yanga.
Speaking during the awards ceremony, Sports Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia said the ministry will consider sponsoring the awards.
Kaberia said the Government will ensured the renovation of stadia are completed. He was responding to Kenyan Premier League concerns over the poor state of stadia.
“We have come up with a strategy to ensure that the stalled facilities are completed on time,” he said without giving a timeline.
Kaberia also warned that sports personalities caught up in doping will be banned from representing the country even after serving ban.
List of winners
Joash Onyango (Most Valuable Player)
Francis Kahata (Defender of the year)
Faroukh Shikalo (Goalkeeper of the year)