Rest In Peace: Joe Kadenge’s memorial service [Photos]

By Robert Abong'o: Wednesday, July 17th 2019 at 13:02 GMT +3 | Football
Family of the late Joe Kadenge at the Friends International Church, Nairobi for his memorial service (Photo: Ernest Ndunda)

Friends and family have converged at the Friends International Church, Nairobi to pay penultimate respect to the late Joe Kadenge.

Kadenge passed on at the Meridian Hospital in Nairobi on Sunday, July 7 after a lengthy battle with stroke.

Oscar Kadenge, his son, confirmed Kadenge passed on at the Meridian Hospital in Nairobi on Sunday, July 7 after a lengthy battle with a stroke.

The legend, who was popularly known with the slogan “Kadenge na mpira”, passed on aged 84.

Kadenge's coffin (Photo: Ernest Ndunda)

Regarded as the best footballer ever produced by Kenya, Kadenge played for Maragoli United and scored the fastest ever goal in the Kenyan Premier League. He also played for Abaluyha United and won the Kenya Premier League in 1966.

This was after he made a comeback to football after hanging his boots in 1965, guiding Harambee Stars to win the inaugural East and Central Africa Challenge Cup.

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In 1970, Kadenge stepped down as a player and went into coaching and was later appointed the national team’s head coach.

Friends and family hold Kadenge's picture inside the church (Photo: Ernest Ndunda)

Kadenge was named Harambee Stars coach in 2002 before suffering a stroke in 2006.

He boasts a sporting family as his sister Esther Kavaya and his younger brother John Anzra are all former sprinters and his sons Evans, Francis and Oscar have emulated his football career.

Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday was accompanied by Amani National Congress head Musalia Mudavadi to a fundraiser at All Saints Cathedral – purposed specifically to raise funds to help foot the bill of Kadenge’s burial.

Kadenge's coffin in a hearse (Photo: Ernest Ndunda)

During his speech, Raila revealed he engaged President Uhuru Kenyatta on renaming Nairobi’s City Stadium after the now-departed legend.

“Joe was a legend and that is why I proposed to President Kenyatta on the possibility of renaming City Stadium in his honour,” he said.

Deputy President William Ruto promised the government would stand and walk with Kadenge’s family during this trying time, acknowledging his efforts in putting Kenyan football on the world map.

“I am sure that is what Kadenge would have loved. He was not only a great sportsman, football legend but also brought up a family of sportsmen and mentored many. It was a touching moment for the family. Joe Kadenge and Jonathan Niva put Kenyan football on the world map,” said DP Ruto.

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