Ingwe, where art thou?

By Bethuel Oduo: Friday, January 18th 2019 at 10:48 GMT +3 | Football
AFC Leopards players confront referee in a past match [Courtesy]

If you see a club official getting caught up in uncalled for scuffles during a match, he is either frustrated, undisciplined or both. For Timothy, I may think he was at the height of frustration. Instead of ‘sponsoring’ goons to do his bidding, he decided to go the ‘Do it Yourself’ way. It is alleged that he led from the front. It worked for him but not according to the law.

Anyway, who would not get angry if the club you so dearly love, the one you grew up dreaming of playing for or leading to greater heights, is on its deathbed? The club you knew was ‘invincible’ and unbwogable is now dying in your hands. Ingwe is sick, but let Lilumbi vent his anger mundu khu mundu and vent his frustrations at anything and anybody that according to him wants to kill and crush his beloved team.

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So far, AFC Leopards have been missing in action, especially where the creme de la creme of Kenyan soccer is paraded. Although the club has gradually self-destructed, organisers of various knockout competitions like the forthcoming SportPesa Super Cup still treat them with utmost respect. Ingwe reaps from its past glory to the extent of finding themselves on the list of clubs going to Tanzania for the epic tournament.

As this happens, club elections are looming in the shadows and are scheduled for June 2019. What I know is, that is when the SportPesa league ends, with Harambee Stars expected in Egypt for Afcon 2019. But what I do not know is who will be their coach by that time. Ingwe and Harambee Stars share the record when it comes to firing coaches. Surely hawacheki na watu - no win, no job!

AFC Leopards' players confront Elvis Ronack (right) of Nzoia Sugar as Referee George Mwai prepares to award him with a red card during KPL match at Kenya Stadium Machakos County on Sunday Jan 6, 2019 [Courtesy]

As AFC Leopards look forward to the Dar-es-Salaam competition, I am sure wherever their former stars like Mahmoud Abbas, Mickey Weche, Josephat Murila, Mike Amwayi, Ben Musuku, Dan Musuku, Peter Lichungu and JJ Masiga are, they must be blaming these pre-millennials for letting down their team.

Elections are coming. What should Ingwe do to avoid imminent death? This is no idle question. It is very easy for a great club to die. Just ask Re-union and Shabana FC. This time round, if AFC Leopards fans and officials are not careful, they may yet again elect pretenders to lead this great club.

In the forthcoming elections, Ingwe should borrow a leaf from their arch-rivals Gor Mahia and just look for three key officials. These are the patron, chairman and chief executive. In Gor Mahia, these positions are occupied by Hon Raila Odinga ‘Baba’, Ambrose Rachier and Lodvick Aduda. Baba plays a big role in the club due to his ability to sometimes prevail over matters when things are elephant. In addition, he attends several matches, both local and international. He also occasionally follows the club’s progress. Look what he just did for the club by picking up the bills related to the recruitment of Dennis Oliech.

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Ambrose Rachier is a formidable chairman who has held K’Ogalo in one piece for quite some time now. It is whispered that he has his own old money which he wouldn’t mind spending on the club during hard times. Rachier makes the difference between having a ‘Sonko’ as chairman or having a ‘Chairman Msoto’ who never made old currency back in the day.

Lodvick Aduda to me has no equal when it comes to understanding how soccer administration works. He knows the Fifa rules in and out and can even read them backwards. He is an old, wily fox who knows all the hare paths in the savanna. Ask K’Ogalo fans. They appreciate he is the brains behind tapping talent from Uganda and Rwanda. He understands all the nooks and cranny of football administration locally and internationally. By the way, he was on a first name basis with wazito like Sepp Blatter and Isaya Hayatou. Aduda knows the corridors of CAF and FIFA the way he knows the streets of Rabuor, his home town in Kisumu County. When Uncle Sam Nyamweya was the embodiment of the Kenyan football vehicle, Lodvick Aduda was its ‘Engine and Gearbox.’ I can assure you, without ‘Baba’, Rachier and Aduda, there would be no Gor Mahia FC as it is now.

AFC Leopards should start identifying their own ‘Baba,’ their own Rachier and their own Aduda. They can then give the remaining positions to any of those brokers who keep on introducing backstreet mzungus for the club to hire. In any case, I wonder why Ingwe fans are fond of electing officials who don’t even know where ‘The Crying Stone of Ilesi’ is. Guys who do not know where to go for misango when things are elephant for the club like now! If your chairman is someone who is not even aware of the location of your traditional communal ‘research centres’ does he deserve that position? The answer is no!

Ingwe fans have a right to push their officials to give them a team that shall be unbeaten in Bukhungu. I know they may be embarrassed and wondering how they let Governor Oparanya work so hard to erect such a magnificent facility in Ingwe’s heartland only to let a small mickey mouse club, Homeboyz FC, to tawala there. So it is true, paka akitoka panya hutawala. Actually, they should now invoke and practice the true meaning of ‘Oluluyia’ and bring the fans back to their matches.

Related Topics: AFC Leopards Ingwe
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