Yamba Ngai by Mbilia Bel (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction

The song Yamba Ngai was released in 1985. It was one among many songs composed by Tabu Ley and sung by Mbilia Bel.

Synopsis

A woman expresses her joy at getting married religiously. She discusses her emotions during the marital ceremony. She asks her partner to accept her faithfully in marriage. Having chosen her husband from among so many men, she promises her fidelity, dedication and obedience throughout their life together.

Song Video

Lyrics and Translation

 

Tabu Ley Website

 

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Ferguson Rotich with a commanding win in London

Ferguson Rotich was in sensational form on Saturday at the Mueller Anniversary games, a Diamond League meet. Rotich took command of the race in the final straight and unleashed his typical long striding finish that left the rest of the field unable to respond. Compatriot Wycliffe Kinyamal finished second, holding off Marcin Lewandoski of Poland.

Rotich now looks like Kenya’s best prospect for a medal in the 800m at the upcoming world championships. Emmanuel Korir, who dominated this event in 2018, finished a distant 8th and has lost form. Nijel Amos who last week ran the fastest 800m since 2012, fell down in the first lap.

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK POINTS
1 Ferguson Cheruiyot ROTICH KEN 1:43.14 8
2 Wyclife KINYAMAL KEN 1:43.48 7
3 Marcin LEWANDOWSKI POL 1:43.74 6
4 Cornelius TUWEI KEN 1:43.90 5
5 Wesley VÁZQUEZ PUR 1:44.42 4
6 Jamie WEBB GBR 1:44.52 3
7 Adam KSZCZOT POL 1:44.61 2
8 Emmanuel Kipkurui KORIR KEN 1:44.75 1
9 Kyle LANGFORD GBR 1:44.97
10 Elliot GILES GBR 1:45.03
11 Andreas KRAMER SWE 1:45.10
Harun ABDA USA DNF
Nijel AMOS BOT DNF

 

Other Results

In the men’s 5000m, Nicholas Kimeli finished third in 13:05.48 behind Hagos Gebrehiwet of Ethiopia and new sensation Jakob Ingebritsen of Norway. Rhonex Kipruto, a 10,000m specialist, finished sixth in this race.

Winny Chebet, who won the gold medal at the IAAF Intercontinental cup in 2018, finished second in the women’s 1500m, with a time of 3:59.93. The winner was home favourite Laura Muir.

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Kenya at the 2019 Africa Nations cup

Qualification

Kenya’s qualification campaign started on a sour note when they lost 2-1 to Sierra Leone in Freetown. Kenya were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Brian Mandela was sent off for a rash challenge. Sierra Leone had taken a 2-0 lead in part due to a controversial penalty before Michael Olunga reduced the deficit with a brilliant free-kick. Still Kenya fans were livid because they thought the loss was due to the inexperience of coach Stanley Okumbi. The perception that Okumbi was selected because at the time he also coached Kariobangi Sharks, the team owned by FKF Chairman Nick Mwendwa. Even the team sponsors Sportpesa chimed in suggesting that Mwendwa was too inexperienced.

Okumbi would later be replaced by Belgian coach Paul Put who quit after only a few months citing lack of adequate support from FKF and the government. He in turn was replaced by Frenchman Sebastian Migne. As luck would have it, Sierra Leone was disqualified giving Kenya a huge advantage over Ethiopia since the latter had actually beaten Ethiopia.

Kenya capitalized on this advantage forcing a scoreless draw away to Ethiopia before beating them 3-0 at Kasarani with goals from Olunga, Eric Johana and a Victor Wanyama penalty. Kenya would then score an upset 1-0 win over Ghana at Kasarani thanks to an own goal. By this time Kenya was certain of qualification. They lost their last match away to Ghana 1-0 due to a late goal.

With qualification in the bag, coach Migne named an interim squad of 28 that would attend training in France. Controversy surrounded the selection as fans wondered why Jesse Were and Anthony Akumu who were doing very well in the Zambian league were left out.


Kenya trained in France prior to the tournament

While in Europe, Kenya played a friendly against Madagascar whom they beat 1-0 and another against DR Congo which ended 1-1. After the training period in France, five players were dropped from that squad when the final team was named. Among those dropped was Brian Mandela who picked up an injury in France.

Final Squad

No. Pos. Player Caps Club
1 GK Farouk Shikalo 0  Bandari
2 DF Joseph Okumu 1  Real Monarchs
3 DF Aboud Omar 33  Sepsi Sfântu Gheorghe
4 DF Joash Onyango 5  Gor Mahia
5 DF Musa Mohammed 35  Nkana
6 DF Bernard Ochieng 2  Vihiga United
7 MF Ayub Masika 16  Beijing Renhe
8 MF Johanna Omolo 21  Cercle Brugge
9 FW John Avire 0  Sofapaka
10 MF Eric Johanna 23  Brommapojkarna
11 MF Francis Kahata 32  Gor Mahia
12 MF Victor Wanyama (captain) 53  Tottenham Hotspur
13 DF Eric Ouma 18  Vasalund
14 FW Michael Olunga 31  Kashiwa Reysol
15 DF David Owino 52  ZESCO United
16 MF Paul Were 32   AFC Leopards
17 MF Ismael Athuman 9  Las Palmas Atlético
18 GK Patrick Matasi 19  Saint George
19 MF Ovella Ochieng 15  Vasalund
20 DF Philemon Otieno 6  Gor Mahia
21 MF Dennis Odhiambo 27  Sofapaka
22 FW Masoud Juma 6  Al-Nasr
23 GK John Oyemba 0  Kariobangi Sharks

 

Match 1: Algeria 2 – Kenya 0

First a penalty slotted home by Qatari league top scorer Baghdad Bounedjah in the 37th minute. Then Manchester City midfielder Riyad Mahrez scored from a cross in the 42nd minute. And it looked like Kenya was in trouble.

Kenya’s defence was at sixes and sevens in the first half. They had acute difficulty dealing with the long balls followed by diagonal runs that the Algerian side utilized. Often the diagonal ball left the attacker wide open with no defender in site, only for the Algerian attacker to miscue his first touch.

Kenya clearly suffered stage fright in the first half and if not for some timely tackles from the defence, matters would have been worse. They would have perhaps benefited from playing a team that has a similar style to Algeria and in front of a hostile crowd.

Francis Kahata had an off day. Whereas he is very good on the ball, his inability to shore up the defense left a huge gap on the left flank which Algeria exploited resulting in the penalty. To shore up the left flank, coach Sebastian Migne replaced Kahata with Eric Ouma Marcelo.

Algeria also applied the tactic of running at Kenyan defenders then tumbling at the slightest touch. Kenyans did not help themselves as they fell into this trap with a series of rash challenges. One such rash challenge resulted in a yellow card for Philemon Otieno. The second rash challenge from Dennis Odhiambo resulted in the penalty. Why Odhiambo would engage in a sliding tackle inside the box, knowing that the Algerians were falling at the slightest touch left many fans befuddled. Some wondered aloud why former Gor Mahia midfield ace Anthony Akumu was left out. Matters were not helped by the fact that Wanyama does not shore up the defensive midfield position as he once did.


Johana Omollo “Tosh” showed a lot of composure under pressure

Kenya’s performance in the second half was much better. Ouma not only solidified the left flank, he also made numerous forays upfront. The introduction of Johana Omollo created better coordination in midfield and Harambee stars were better able to keep the ball.

Still Michael Olunga never had a shot on goal. He was completely starved of the ball. Often Harambee stars tried to find him with a long ball. But he was often isolated with no team-mate in site to receive a head on pass.

Line-Up

Patrick Matasi, 20. Philemon Otieno, 3. Abud Omar, 2. Joseph Okumu, 5. Musa Mohamed, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 12. Victor Wanyama, 11. Francis Kahata, 7. Ayub Timbe, 10. Eric Johanna, 14. Michael Olunga

Substitutes

Faruk Shikalo, 23. John Oyemba, 13. Eric Ouma, 15. David Owino, 6. Bernard Ochieng, 17. Ismael Gonzalez, 19. Ovella Ochieng, 8. Johanna Omollo, 16. Paul Were, 9. John Avire, 22. Masud Juma

Match 2: Kenya 3 Tanzania 2

Tanzania took the lead against the run of play. From a lightning quick counter attack, Mbwana Samatta found himself wide open on the left flank. Of all the players to leave wide open, this ought to have been the last one since he has an impressive goal-scoring record for TP Mazembe and now plays in the Belgian top tier. But Calabar was nowehere to be seen and neither was any other defender. Sammatta’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Matasi right into the path of Msuva who duly netted.


Olunga scored with a spectacular scissors kick

Kenya battled back gamely. The equalizer came via Michael Olunga who scored with a spectacular scissors kick from a goalmouth melee. Kenya had barely finished celebrating when Samatta found himself wide open again on the left flank. This time he made a clever run and latched onto a through pass, leaving Calabar in his wake. His first attempt was stopped. But he made good on his second attempt. Tanzania went into half time leading 2-1.

Kahata had a quiet game but he did not put a foot wrong and was precise with his passes. But he was replaced by John Avire before halftime as coach Migne who made a tactical change as he looked for urgency. To sharpen the attack, coach Migne also replaced Abud Omar. And John Avire of Sofapaka. impressed with his work rate.

Kenya once again battled back. From a set play, Belgium based Johana Omollo, a product of Ofafa Jericho high school, sneaked behind the Tanzania defence to head the ball home.

Kenya then appeared to take their foot off the accelerator. To add some urgency, coach Migne brought on Eric Omondi Johana. He did not have an impressive game. But his one moment of brilliance created the third goal. His mazy run down the right flank ended with a pass to Olunga who turned around and scored with a low drive past the outstretched Tanzania goalkeeper.

Joseph Okumu was once again Kenya’s most impressive defender. Omollo was solid and did not put a foot wrong. Wanyama was okay but had far too many errant passes. Often he tried to make decisive passes into the box when more patience was called for. He had a fine header saved by the goalkeeper in the second half.

Masika once again looked very lively on the flanks. However he wasted a lot of runs by giving the ball away. On the opposite flank, Ouma Santos impressed with his industry. He almost scored with a volley from close range in the 14th minute but was denied by the keeper.

Line-Ups

18. Patrick Matasi, 15. David Owino, 3. Abud Omar, 2. Joseph Okumu, 5. Musa Mohamed, 12. Victor Wanyama, 8. Johanna Omollo, 11. Francis Kahata 7. Ayub Timbe, 13. Eric Ouma, 14. Michael Olunga

Substitutes
1. Faruk Shikalo, 23. John Oyemba, 4. Joash Onyango, 20. Philemon Otieno, 6. Bernard Ochieng, 21. Dennis Odhiambo, 17. Ismael Gonzalez, 10. Eric Johanna, 19. Ovella Ochieng, 16. Paul Were, 9. John Avire, 22. Masud Juma

Match 3 Senegal 3 – Kenya 0


Abud Omar in action against Senegal

For a long period in the first half, it seemed Kenya was going to match Senegal as they strung together a series of passes, though they still did not manage a shot on goal in the first half. Johana Omollo in particular was useful when it came to connecting passing movements due to his ability to hold onto the ball under pressure.

Kenya defended stoutly in the first half. But they also have goalkeeper Matasi to thank. He made a number of daring saves including a penalty from Sadio Mane.

But Kenya soon ran out of steam. Started to give the ball away cheaply and unable to withstand the Senegal pressure, they started to boot the ball foreward to lone striker Olunga. This was futile because Olunga was always surrounded by two world class central defenders with no other attacker in sight.

Ayub Masika was to support Olunga. He tried to make incisive runs using his speed. Whereas he can outrun people in the Chinese league, he found the speedy Senegalese to be a different kettle of fish.

Wanyama was average. Dennis Odhiambo had Kenya’s first shot on goal in the 76th minute. when he latched onto a rebound. His goalbound shot was parried by the goalkeeper.

Senegal’s first goal came in the 63rd minute. From a left wing cross, Matasi misstimed his jump and missed the ball which sailed to an unmarked Ismaila Sarr. He made no mistake with a volley.

Sadio Mane would make up for his missed penalty by scoring in the 71st minute when he beat Musa Mohamed to a lose ball after Muhamed flailed on his attempted to clear the ball.

A rash challenge from Philemon Otieno gifted Senegal a penalty which Mande converted for the third goal

Line-Ups

Kenya: Patrick Matasi, Philemon Otieno, Abud Omar, Joseph Okumu, Musa Mohamed, Dennis Odhiambo, Victor Wanyama, Johanna Omollo, Ayub Timbe, Eric Ouma, Michael Olunga.

Senegal: Mendy, Ciss, Kalidou, Gassama, Gueye, Kouyate, Saivey, Ndiaye, Niang, Mane, Sarr.

 

Overall Player Ratings

 

Player Comments Ratings
Johana Omollo Stabilized the midfield as soon as he came on. Played a key role in keeping possession and connecting plays with his composure on the ball 7/10
Michael Olunga Made the most of the opportunities that came to him. Fought gamely despite being isolated for the 1st and 3rd games 7/10
Eric Ouma Solidified the left side defensively. Sent numerous useful crosses. Was quick off his mark to close down defenders. Had some wayward shots which should have been crosses 6/10
Joseph Okumu Showed a lot of composure despite his youth and inexperience. Made several timely tackles 6/10
Patrick Matasi Made several crucial saves including a penalty from Mane. Mistimed his attempts at gathering crosses 5/10
John Avire Was a tireless workhorse when given an opportunity and a useful partner for Olunga. 5/10
Eric Johana His brilliant run resulted in Olunga’s winning goal against Tanzania. Did not show much else besides that 5/10
Ayub Masika Worked tirelessly on either flank and often fell back to defend. But wasted a lot of runs by giving the ball away. 5/10
Bernard Ochieng Solidified the right flank defensively when he came on as a substitute 5/10
Victor Wanyama Battled for possession in midfield but gave the ball away too often via poor passes into the box when more patience was needed 4/10
Dennis Odhiambo Had a good attempt on goal against Senegal. Gave away a needless penalty against Algeria 4/10
Musa Mohamed There is no shame in being beaten by Mane. It was his only error of the tournament. But he did not do much else defensively 4/10
Francis Kahata Was composed and did not misplace any passes. But was unable to contend with the speed and intensity of this tournament 4/10
Philemon Otieno Was solid at times but was overwhelmed by the situation, resulting in two rash tackles that cost dearly 4/10
Abud Omar Was unable to stop the marauding wingers of Algeria and Senegal. Did not contribute offensively 3/10
David Owino Lost track of Mbwana Samatta, resulting in both Tanzania’s goals. This was not the Calabar who earned his nickname by bottling Victor Moses 3/10

 


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Now that Kenya is out, we must address our football problems


Olunga, Omollo, Masika, Abud and Ouma celebrate the second equalizer against Tanzania, Kenya’s only bright moment at AFCON 2019

For the umpteenth time Kenya has been ignominiously bundled out of the Africa cup of nations while offering very little resistance to Africa’s elite sides. Its a repeat of the same song that played when Kenya played at AFCON in 1988, 1992 and 2004. Each time Kenya failed, no action was taken to address our mediocrity thus guaranteeing a poor performance at the next tournament.

The only time Kenya gave a respectable performance was in 1972. That squad with players like Jonathan Niva, Allan Thigo, Peter Ouma “Pele”, Nicodemus Arudhi, Ouma “Chege” gave a good account of themselves, scoring in every game, forcing two draws and also losing narrowly to hosts Cameroon by a score of 2-1. They drew 1-1 with the Mali team that ended up reaching the tournament final and had the top-scorer of the tournament in Fantamady Keita.

The other appearances have been a litany of timid displays, defensive errors and poor tactical approach. In 2019 against Algeria in the opening game, Kenya did not manage a shot on goal. And though they improved in the second half, they still did not worry the Algerian goalkeeper. The same script played out against Senegal where Kenya had one good stretch of about 20 minutes in the first half. But still did not create any decent chances. In the end they managed one shot on goal.

Why are Kenya below par?

Lack of technique and ball control

Kenya players easily lose the ball under pressure. We have very few players capable of carrying the ball from deep in defence and finding an open player who can then maintain possession and move the ball forward with an accurate pass. The net result of this is that Kenya players will most often blast the ball forward when pressured thus giving the possession away. Algeria realized this flaw in Kenya’s armor and they pressured Kenya’s defenders every time Kenya had the ball. Against Senegal, Kenya had only 34% of possession compared to 66% for Senegal.

When a team lacks technically astute players, a coach is forced to adopt a defensive formation, thus limiting any possibility that the team will create scoring chances. This is exactly what happened as coach Migne opted to deploy only one striker with the midfielders playing very deep.

Poor Tactical approach

Starting in defence, Kenya conceded goals due to poor tactical approach. Against Algeria, the second goal happened because Riyadh Mahrez of all people was left wide open. Against Tanzania also, both goals happened when Mbwana Samatta was left wide open. Why is Kenya leaving the most dangerous player open? Kenya also conceded two needless penalties. Both were a result of careless sliding tackles in the penalty box.

There are numerous other reasons why Kenya failed but lets focus on what needs to be done.

Youth Development

The only way to address our issues with poor ball control and poor tactical approach is to start teaching these skills at a young age and reinforce them throughout a player’s teen years.

Centres of development must be established in several counties all over Kenya. The centres should be based in schools. Talented players should be sent to these schools on bursaries. Coaches who specialize in youth development should be deployed at these school. This means there must be coordination between the ministry of education and the ministry of sports.  Nairobi county should have at least 3 or 4 such centres of excellence.

The coaches who are responsible for developing the youth must be qualified for this task. This means regularly attending courses.

Michael Olunga is a product of the centre of excellence at Upper Hill school. We need more such centres so that we don’t have to depend on a single striker.

In fact youth development needs to start at a much younger age. FKF chairman Nick Mwendwa has established a national U15 team. But having only one youth team is insufficient. There should be U15 and U13 teams in counties all over Kenya. Indeed the ages between 6 and 10 are the most crucial in developing football skills. If proper skills are infused at that age, a player has a much higher chance of succeeding.

More football fields

Football fields in Kenya are dissappearing at an alarming rate. Many are being grabbed by greedy developers. Even schools are losing their fields to well connected people. If the youth don’t have open spaces to sharpen their skills, then Kenya as a football nation is doomed. This trend needs to be reversed.

As noted in a previous article, Kibera with a population of about 500,000, has only two full size football fields and neither one has even a blade of grass. It comes as no surprise therefore that Kibera produces every few footballers.


Players who learn how to play on such poor surfaces will inevitably have poor ball control

Many have harped on the governments election promise to build 5 world class stadia. But even more important is to build basic football fields in neighbourhoods and towns all over Kenya where the youth can hone their skills. If players learn how to play on bumpy fields with no grass, there is little chance that they will learn proper ball control techniques.

Support for football academies.

Football academies are a crucial element in tapping talents at the grassroots. But many are either folding or have become moribund. JMJ football academy which produced Wanyama, Ayub Timbe and Johana Omolo appears to have ceased operations.


Omollo “Tosh”, Masika and Wanyama were beneficiaries of JMJ football academy and went on to have great careers in Europe.

 

Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) which was for many years a source for discovering and developing talent appears on its last legs. FISA which produced players like Oboya, Kevin Omondi and Musa Mohamed also appears to be moribund.

Both FKF and the government should find ways to support these nascent football academies for example by providing equipment, providing training for coaches and perhaps even providing football fields for these academies.

Support for local clubs

Kenya’s top clubs have very poor facilities. Many train at secondary schools. Gor Mahia train at Camp Toyoyo. This is a stark contrast to top clubs which have training facilities that have numerous football fields. Both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards were given land by the then president Daniel arap Moi. But the officials dilly dallied and the land was grabbed. This issue needs to be revisited by the present government.

Lets discuss Johana Omollo “Tosh”


A young Tosh after he first went to Belgium

One of the few bright spots for Kenya at AFCON 2019 was Johana Omollo “Tosh”. When he came on against Algeria, he immediately raised the levels of Kenya’s play. He is one of the few Kenya players who is capable of holding the ball under pressure, maintaining possesion and delivering accurate passes.

“Tosh” started out playing for  MYSA U14. He then joined Ofafa Jericho school which at the time was a football powerhouse. While at Ofafa Jericho, he also played for Dandora Youth in the 2008 Super 8 tournament. He played alongside Jerry Santos who was the captain and Innocent Mutiso.

While in form 3 as a 17 year old, he was given an opportunity to go play in Belgium. It was here that his football fortunes changed. His superb ball control, tactical awareness and field vision are a result of having played in Belgium since his teens.

If more Kenyan players were exposed to the kind of technical and tactical training that “Tosh” received, we would have far more technically and tactically astute players which would give a coach like Migne  more options

Summary

Everyone wants quick solutions. Some people reading this article will even point to Madagascar’s performance against Nigeria as evidence that we don’t need any long term solutions. But what they forget is that every team is capable of scoring a big upset every now and then. Kenya has also scored upset victories before. But we have never sustained such performances over the long term. For Kenya to become a consistent performer, the country needs to put in place structures that other countries have put in.


CS Amina Mohamed has been far more proactive than her predecessor. We hope she can push the reforms needed for Kenya to get out of mediocrity

Sports Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed struck the right tone when she said that more infrastructure needs to be put in place and this is a long journey not a sprint. We can only hope that unlike 1988, 1992 and 2004, Kenya will learn from this and put in long term plans.

Funding

CS Amina Mohamed should put the national sports lottery to use in creating and sustaining youth development centres. Further to that, she should negotiate with sponsors like Sportpesa and Safaricom to provide financial support for these centres for example by paying youth coaches.

 


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Ida by Franco and TPOK Jazz (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction

The song “Ida” was the first song on Face B of the 30th anniversary album of TPOK Jazz. Released in 1986, the album was dubbled “30 ans du success”. The album featured three melancholic songs all discussing the difficulties of love and marriage from the perspectives of both men and women.

Franco does most of the dialogue. The backup vocals are provided by Malage de Lugendo who was knew to the band at the time. Empopo Loway is prominently featured on saxophone.

Synopsis

A man travels to Europe in order to sort out personal issues before he gets married. While in Europe he spends every penny he has sending his fiance gifts. But his fiance deserts him and marries someone else. He laments her ungratefulness as well as the broken promises.

Song Video

Translation











 

Franco and TPOK Jazz Website

 

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Jeruto upsets Chepkoech, sets meet record

Norah Jeruto caused the biggest upset of the 2019 Oslo Bislett games, a Diamond League meet. She beat the erstwhile invincible Beatrice Chepkoech in a closely contested 3000m Steeplechase race. Chepkoech had gone a whole year without losing at this event and had been winning by convincing margins.

When Chepkoech took command 1300 metres into the race, it looked like she was once again going to run away with the race. But a determined Jeruto shadowed closely. She continued to follow Chepkech, finally making her move in the final straight. Chepkoech had no answer.

Hyvin Kiyeng rounded up the podium in 9:07.56. World champion Emma Coburn was fourth in 9:08.42. Celliphine Chespol, who was Chepkoech’s main challenger last season, and who has run sub 9:00, was 5th. Kenyans occupied 5 of the top 6 positions. The Kenyan men may be struggling in this event but the women are certainly dominant. European champion and 2015 wrld championships bronzde medalist, Gesa Felicitas Krause of Germany was 8th.

 

Race Results

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Points
1 Norah Jeruto  KEN 9:03.71 8
2 Beatrice Chepkoech  KEN 9:04.30 7
3 Hyvin Kiyeng  KEN 9:07.56 6
4 Emma Coburn  USA 9:08.42 5
5 Daisy Jepkemei  KEN 9:10.54 4
6 Celliphine Chepteek Chespol  KEN 9:15.04 3
7 Peruth Chemutai  UGA 9:16.72 2
8 Gesa Felicitas Krause  GER 9:20.31 1
9 Maruša Mišmaš  SLO 9:20.97
10 Winfred Mutile Yavi  BRN 9:21.36
11 Anna Emilie Møller  DEN 9:24.21
12 Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal  NOR 9:28.99
13 Mel Lawrence USA 9:29.81
14 Rosie Clarke  GBR 9:31.68
15 Viktória Wagner-Gyürkés  HUN 9:34.56
Fancy Cherono  KEN DNF
Caroline Tuigong  KEN DNF
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NBA Africa tournament: Plenty of pitfalls for Kenya and Africa


Michael Jordan was in attendance at the launch of NBA Africa League

 

On 16th February 2019, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the top basketball league in the world, announced that it was going to partner with FIBA, the global basketball body, to create the first trans-continental professional basketball league in Africa.

Former US president, Barrack Obama is among those who mooted the idea and he has taken a keen interest. “Through sport, if you put in effort, you will be rewarded,” Obama said.

Basketball legend, Michael Jordan was at the launch of the 12 team league. Though he did not speak, he is also said to have taken a keen interest in advancing the sport of basketball in Africa.

NBA and FIBA will provide financial support, training for players, coaches and referees and some infrastructure for the new league.

The announcement has been met excitement by many hoop fans and cautious optimism by some fans including yours truly.

Structure of the league

The NBA announced that club teams from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia were expected to be among those taking part. Indeed the Kenya Basketball league confirmed that Kenya would be represented by a club team.

“In Kenya,the top 4 Men’s teams in the 2018 regular season,will then play a round Robin mini play-offs from 18th February to 3rd March 2020 at a neutral venue to determine who gets the coveted 1 slot to represent the country in the professional Basketball League.

Additionally,the winning team must be registered as per the sports act,must have the players signed on professional or semi-professional contracts and must demonstrate financial ability to honour salaried contracts and all other financial obligations of a Professionally run Basketball Club.”

The above is according to the social media pages of the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF)

This arrangement is fraught with numerous pitfalls that could prove disastrous for Kenya but could also lead to the premature demise of the league. Let us examine some of the minefields that lay in wait for NBA-Africa which if not cleared, could lead to multiple explosions that could doom the league or at least doom Kenya’s chances of keeping its place in this tournament.

NBA is a business first

Unlike FIBA, the NBA is above all things a business. FIBA has been organizing club tournaments in Africa for decades and is primarily interested in long term growth of the sport. The NBA on the other hand is here to grow its brand. The league will primarily used a vehicle by the NBA to promote its core business. Indeed the NBA president Adam Silver sees Africa as a huge untapped market.

Africa has a huge economic engine. here are more than 400 companies in Africa that generate more than $1 billion annually, but that sport there has not seen the same growth

This means the NBA aims to do more business in Africa. Sell more of its jerseys. Sell more TV rights. Gain sponsorships and generally grow its brand. The NBA is not in Africa only to do favours. The NBA has investors. Each NBA owner has a vested interest in the growth of the NBA brand. So each of the selected countries including Kenya must deliver on this front. If Kenya does not deliver, their slot might be given to another country, perhaps even “gasp” Uganda !

And if the league as a whole does not deliver appropriate returns after a few years, the NBA will end the venture or in American parlance: “The NBA could pull the plug on the whole project”.

Which brings us to why Kenya was chosen.

Why was Kenya chosen?

Kenya was not chosen because we are a basketball powerhouse. Far from it. Not only is Kenya not a continental powerhouse, but it is no longer even a regional powerhouse as Rwanda and Uganda have since surpassed Kenya in the last decade or so.

Kenya was not chosen because of Barrack Obama’s roots are in Alego, Siaya county. Nor was Kenya chosen because of some untapped potential that other countries don’t have.


President Barrack Obama with NBA Africa CEO Amadou Gallo, Toronto Raptors General manager Masai Ujiri, his wife Ramatu Ujiri and NBA player Bismarck Biyombo at the official opening of , Sauti Kuu sports centre

 

The only logical reason to explain why Kenya was chosen is because there is a huge market for the NBA in Kenya Basketball is very popular in Kenya. But many basketball fans don’t follow the local scene. They religiously follow the American scene especially the NBA and sometimes even NCAA. And Kenya’s purchasing power is significant when compared to its neighbours.

Kenya is not guaranteed a slot in the tournament

Unlike FIBA tournaments where Kenya is guaranteed a place in the qualifiers, Kenya will not be guaranteed a place in this tournament if it does not meet its end of the bargain in terms of professionalism, financial accountability, economic returns and competitiveness.

Even in the USA, cities have lost their NBA franchises. The Kansas Kings, New Orleans Jazz, Seattle Supersonics etc, are all examples of teams that left their respective cities when owners decided that they could make more money elsewhere. So if Kenya does not deliver its end of the bargain, this opportunity could be given to another country. Again NBA unlike FIBA are not focused on promoting the game. They are here to enhance their brand. And Kenya must deliver in that regard or lose their place in this tournament.

So what could go wrong?

The club system

As the KBF announced, Kenya will be represented by the winner of a round robin tournament. Which means one of Kenya’s institutional teams is likely to be Kenya’s representatives. This is likely to be Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) or Equity Bank or Ulinzi Warriors or Strathmore University or another institutional team.

Will fans pay for tickets to watch these teams?

Sadly none of these teams have much of a following. A large crowd is likely to show up for the first game due to the novelty of the event. But once the novelty fades, you will see paltry crowds. This is especially true at Kasarani which is still quite a distance to travel for many fans. And like typical Kenyans, they will expect entrance to be free.


Can a team like KPA consistently draw large enough crowds to Kasarani indoor gym?

 

The NBA will not continue to pour money into the league indefinitely. The NBA expects the league to become self-sustaining at some point. This means the league must generate revenue through ticket sales, sale of TV rights, jersey sales, sponsorships and other revenue streams that can make the league self sustaining.

Lets say our military team Ulinzi becomes Kenya’s representatives, it’s a given that they will not draw large enough paying crowds over a long period, and will not generate enough fan fervor to garner TV deals or significant sponsorships. In fact fans of other teams might boycott Ulinzi games if they thought they won unfairly. And nobody will purchase Ulinzi Stars merchandize.

So what is a better solution?

The Franchise Model

Rather than select an existing club, NBA Africa should consider creating an NBA style franchise in each selected city. The team should have a name that is representative of the entire city. For the purposes of this article we can call this team “Nairobi City Stars”.

This will be touted as a team that represents the City of Nairobi, not just the military or Equity Bank or some other institution. Fans are more likely to root for a team that represents them.

A match pitting Nairobi against say Lagos or Kigali will draw fan fervor that will pack Kasarani indoor gym with paying fans  to the rafters. There will be twitter battles between Nairobians and Lagosians. The fan fervor will compel Kwese TV, Multi-Choice or some other TV company to pay for television rights. Fans are more likely to buy merchandize if the merchandize says “Nairobi City Stars”. It’s a given that nobody will buy an Ulinzi or a Equity Bank jersey.

The business community will be eager to associate with the team and its fan base as will political bigwigs like  governor Sonko, senators and MPs. All this is only feasible if the franchise model is used. Even Kenyan basketball fans who typically ignore local basketball and only watch the NBA, will become intrigued by a franchise team that represents the city of Nairobi and not just an institution.

Competitiveness

In order for a team to maintain fan interest, attendance and TV viewership, it must be competitive. Nobody will go to watch a team that loses every game or worse still loses every game by 50 points.

Kenyan club teams are not competitive at the continental level. Gone are the days of the 1980s when local champions like Posta and KPA went toe to toe with Africa’s best. This author followed with excitement as the KPA team led by Lawi Odera’s 33 points beat the Egyptian champions Al Ahly at Nyayo gym in 1993. No such thing happens nowadays.


Lawi Odera in his heyday

 

Kenyan men’s teams don’t even qualify for the FIBA Africa club tournament anymore. In the most recent qualifier in 2017, Kenya champions, KPA lost to City Oilers of Uganda, who went on to give a good account of themselves at the continental event, winning matches against Kano Pillars of Nigeria, ASB of DR Congo and GS Petroliers of Algeria.

To find the last time Kenya was at the premier African club event, you have to go back at least a decade to 2009, 2006 and 2002 when Kenya was represented by KCB Lions, KPA and Cooperative bank. In 2002 for example, the KPA team lost their opener to 1º de Agosto of Angola by a whopping 65 points (107-42). Dennis Opiyo led the Kenyans with 16 points. There were other lopsided losses including a 103-55 loss to Inter Club of Congo. Indeed KPA lost all their matches by 20 points or more.

KPA were the most undersized team. Dennis Opiyo at 6’6” was the tallest player. The losses were therefore not surprising.

The point being made here is twofold:
1. Kenya must put its best foot forward in order to be competitive. If they are not competitive, fans will lose interest and stop attending games. Even in Angola where the top clubs draw large crowds, fans might not show up to watch Petro de Luanda or 1º de Agosto beat KPA by 60 points. Fans want to see competitive, tension filled matches. Poor attendance will not bode well for the league. So NBA Africa might pull the franchise from Kenya and give to Uganda or some other country that might field a competitive team.
2. To put our best foot forward, the best players available must play regardless of which team they play for. So if Griffin Ligare for example is the league MVP, he must be in the NBA Africa squad even if he plays for the worst team in the league.

Those of us who were rugby fans in the 1980s remember that the Dubai sevens was not contested by national teams in those days. It was contested by a clubs. But rather than send a club, Kenya sent a touring team known as Watembezi RFC that comprised players from various clubs like JJ Masiga, Beth Omollo, Max Muniafu and Jimmy Owino among others. That team did really well winning the Silver Khanjar Cup in 1982 and 1983. Had Kenya sent one team like Mwamba RFC, they would not have done well.

The point being made here is that again Kenya is best served by a franchise team that represents all of Nairobi and that has the best players available, not just Ulinzi or KPA.

Kenyan sports officials are incompetent and corrupt

Another peril of allowing one of the local teams to play in this league is that these teams are usually not well run and neither is local basketball. Most Kenyan sports officials are either grossly incompetent or just plain corrupt. Of course there are a few exceptions. But Kenya basketball has suffered a lot with official incompetence which is why Kenya has been surpassed by the likes of Rwanda and Uganda.


Rwanda has raised their basketball standards above Kenya in the last 15 years

 

And corruption in Kenya is such that many officials will be eagerly waiting to dip their hands into whatever finances the NBA, FIBA and the sponsors will provide. Committees will be formed with a board of directors who will pay themselves salaries before any of the players are paid and without any clear responsibilities. This is what happened with the National Olympic Committee of Kenya. During the 2016 Olympics, NOCK members pocketed millions of Kenya shillings while Kenyan athletes went without uniforms in Rio and eventually ended up staying in a bad hotel in a dangerous neighbourhood.

Officials of clubs like Ulinzi and Equity Bank are not much better. Very few have the qualifications needed to run a professional team. Even a military team like Ulinzi Warriors is not immune to corruption. Years ago, a Kenyan boxer called James Demosh Omondi won an opportunity to be a sparring partner for a famous boxer who was contending for the world heavyweight title. Demosh was a member of the armed forces. The deal fell through because a senior army officer was demanding a cut of the earnings.

Note: Kenya’s once high flying rugby team which has been on the IRB circuit for 15 years, was on the verge of relegation  in June of 2019. The reason Kenya rugby is in the doldrums is because of gross incompetence and greed among officials. Players were not being paid salaries even when the sponsors provided the money. As a result, the top players went on strike.

Ayumba Ayodi, a prominent Kenyan journalist noted that when Kenya rugby had sponsorship from companies like Sportpesa, the KRFU board of directors were demanding to be paid salaries that are higher than the players. This situation is comical and insane. But don’t be surprised if basketball officials pull the same stunt when they see all the sponsorship money that the NBA will bring with it.

The saving grace for Kenya rugby fans is that if Kenya were to be relegated, they can still play their way back to the IRB circuit in two years. However in basketball, if Kenya loses their place in NBA Africa to another country due to incompetence or corruption from officials, they may never get the opportunity back. Just ask Seattle Supersonics fans. They lost their NBA franchise 10 years ago and there is no sign that they will get their team back because the number of NBA teams is limited.

So what is the solution?

Hire qualified people on performance contracts

To alleviate this issue of incompetence and corrupt officials, NBA Africa must appoint competent officials including a CEO to run the Nairobi franchise. This CEO must be on a performance contract. His or her pay must be based on measurable goals like accountability,  ticket sales, jersey sales and so forth.

Other officials could include a general manager who is responsible for scouting, selecting and recruiting players. His pay should be based on team performance. Coaches, trainers, physios and so forth, all on performance contracts. There are former basketball players in Kenya who can fit the bill. Roles within the franchise must be clearly defined so everyone knows why each person is being paid and what they must deliver.

To put it plainly, NBA Africa will need to directly recruit the people who run the Nairobi franchise. Left to Kenyan officials, you will surely see the same incompetence and corruption that has plagued Kenya basketball for the last three decades.


Getting fans to pay for tickets is a key measuring stick for the potential CEO

Playing Unit

As was pointed out earlier, the Kenyan clubs that played in the Africa club cup in the years between 2002 and 2009 lost many of their games by as much as 60 points. They lacked the size and firepower of other teams. This may necessitate recruiting players from other countries. The best case scenario would be to have 8 or 9 players from Kenya and 3 or 4 foreigners who bring something special to the team in terms of size or shooting or just experience that other players can learn from.

Given the evidence from the FIBA Africa league, one can assume that other teams will bolster their squads with players from other countries including the United States. So if a team like Ulinzi or Strathmore Blades goes to NBA Africa with local players only, they can count on losing every game heavily as Kenyan teams did in 2002, 2006 and 2009.

Summary

The NBA Africa league is a grand opportunity for Kenya and other teams. If Africa as a whole does not deliver a compelling tournament, the NBA could soon pull the plug. If Kenya performs poorly or displays gross incompetence, their opportunity will quickly go to another nation waiting in the wings. As currently constituted, there is a significant chance that both scenarios will happen.

On the other hand, if NBA Africa takes an active role in overseeing the Kenyan franchise, success is guaranteed. In fact Kenya’s potential is so high that if NBA Africa is to expand, they may consider giving Kenya a second franchise. At that point, NBA Africa can make the case to governor Joho of Mombasa that it is worthwhile to build an indoor arena in Mombasa.

NBA Africa has announced that the final structure of the tournament has not been decided so there is still time to come up with a plan that will lead to success.

 


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Rhonex, Tirop and Cheruiyot brilliant in Stockolm

The trio of Kenyans: Rhonex Kipruto, Agnes Tirop and Timothy Cheruiyot were in sensational form as they beat strong fields to win at the 2019 Bauhaus Galan Diamond League meet in Stockholm Sweden.

Rhonex Kipruto gives Kenya hope in the 10,000m

It has been 18 years since a Kenyan won the 10,000m at the world athletics championships. The last Kenyan to win this event is Charles Kamathi who shocked Gebreselassie in 2001. But fast rising Rhonex Kipruto who was only two years old when Kamathi won that shock gold medal, had a brilliant run in Stockholm that gave Kenyan fans reasons to have optimism. He blew away a very strong field that included 2016 Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo of the USA and Olympic bronze medalist Hagos Gebrhiwet.

Kipruto gave a masterful display, setting a torrid pace. By the halfway mark of the race, he was already 50 metres ahead of most of the field. The only runner who tried to keep up the pace was Gebrhiwet. The Ethiopian stayed on Kipruto’s shoulder until there were 3 laps to go. At that point Kipruto shifted gears again, increasing the pace and Gebrhiwet started to gnash his teeth, showing that he was struggling. The gap between the two started to increase. By the end of the race, Kipruto was almost 50 metres ahead of Gebrhiwet and had overlapped almost everyone else. He won in 26:50.16 which is the fastest time in the world since 2017

With his brilliant display, the 19 year old Kipruto appears a strong candidate to win the 10,000m at the 2019 world championships. His main challenger will be the Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei who earlier this year, won the world cross country championships.

Race Video

Results

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 Rhonex Kipruto  KEN 26:50.16
2 Hagos Gebrhiwet  ETH 27:01.02
3 Aron Kifle  ERI 27:27.68
4 Mogos Tuemay  ETH 27:34.36
5 Paul Chelimo  USA 27:43.89
6 Julien Wanders  SUI 27:44.36
7 Amos Kurgat  KEN 27:48.15
8 Kirubel Erassa  USA 27:52.75
9 Ali Kaya  TUR 27:53.39
10 Timothy Toroitich  UGA 28:06.87
11 Awet Habte  ERI 28:11.12
12 Charles Muneria  KEN 28:13.91
13 Soufiane Bouchikhi  BEL 28:20.97
14 Shadrack Kipchirchir  USA 28:21.26
15 Leonard Korir  USA 28:23.00
16 Juan Antonio Pérez  ESP 28:27.14
17 Peter Kiprotich  KEN 28:32.78
18 Amanal Petros  GER 28:42.59
19 Aras Kaya  TUR 28:49.21
20 Vincent Kipsang Rono  KEN 29:01.82
21 Robel Fsiha  SWE 29:15.45
22 Juan Luis Barrios  MEX 29:26.99
Gevin Kerich  KEN DNF
Isaac Kipsang  KEN DNF
Kelvin Kiptum  KEN DNF
Jemal Yimer Mekonnen  ETH DNF
Napoleon Solomon  SWE DNF

Agnes Tirop beats a strong field in the women’s 5000m

The biggest shock of the day came in the women’s 5000m. Agnes Tirop who in 2015, won the women’s senior cross country championship when only 19 years of age, is finally fulfilling her promise on the track. It was a very close race with the leading runners reaching the bell at the same time. Canadian Gabriela Stafford took the lead with 200 metres to go and appeared poised to snatch a shock victory. But Tirop responded, unleashing a strong kick at the final bend, passing Stafford. The shock of the day was Hellen Obiri who finished in 12th position. Obiri has been in superb form this season.

Race Video

Results

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Points
1 Agnes Jebet Tirop  KEN 14:50.82 8
2 Fantu Worku  ETH 14:51.31 7
3 Lilian Kasait Rengeruk  KEN 14:51.34 6
4 Gabriela DeBues-Stafford  CAN 14:51.59 5
5 Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui  KEN 14:52.05 4
6 Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi  KEN 14:52.11 3
7 Eilish McColgan  GBR 14:52.40 2
8 Melissa Courtney  GBR 14:53.82 1
9 Yasemin Can  TUR 14:53.92
10 Gloriah Kite  KEN 14:56.50
11 Alina Reh  GER 15:04.10
12 Hellen Obiri  KEN 15:07.70
13 Anna Emilie Møller  DEN 15:22.69
Loice Chemnung  KEN DNF
Mary Kuria  KEN DNF
Liv Westphal  FRA DNF

Cheruiyot dismisses a strong field

Timothy Cheruiyot, who dominated the men’s 1500m in 2018, is once again showing the sensational form he displayed last season. Cheruiyot won the 1500m in Stockholm at a canter, finishing two seconds ahead of his closest challenger, Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti. Elijah Manangoi who won the opening Diamond League meet of 2019, inexplicably finished in 10th position, a good 13 seconds behind Cheruiyot.

Race Video

Results

POS ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK Points
1 Timothy Cheruiyot  KEN 3:35.79 8
2 Ayanleh Souleiman  DJI 3:37.30 7
3 Jakob Ingebrigtsen  NOR 3:37.30 6
4 Bethwell Birgen  KEN 3:39.18 5
5 Samuel Tefera  ETH 3:40.19 4
6 Charles Cheboi Simotwo  KEN 3:40.65 3
7 Aman Wote  ETH 3:42.68 2
8 George Meitamei Manangoi  KEN 3:43.83 1
9 Henrik Ingebrigtsen  NOR 3:45.46
10 Elijah Motonei Manangoi  KEN 3:48.83
11 Elmar Engholm  SWE 3:50.12
Brahim Kaazouzi  MAR DNF
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Kenya at the 2019 London sevens


Vincent Onyala scores against Samoa, in Kenya’s only win at the 2019 London sevens

Group Stage

Fiji 24 Kenya 17
Tries: BS Mwale 2′ & 8′ , JO Oluoch 10′
Conv: J Olindi 9′

Kenya 21 Samoa 20
Tries: V Onyala 6′ & 7′ & 13′
Conv: J Olindi 6′ & 7′ & 13′

France 31 Kenya 17
Tries: BS Mwale 1′ & 8′, JO Ojee 3′
Conv: J Olindi 2′

Challenge Trophy Quarter-Finals

Scotland 29 Kenya 21
Tries: Amonde 3′ & 6′, JO Oluoch 10′

13th Place Semi Final

Japan 26 Kenya 17
Tries: BS Mwale 5′ & 9′, JO Oluoch 8′

 

Squad

Andrew Amonde
Cyprian Kuto
Jacob Ojee
Bush Mwale
Nelson Oyoo
Charles Omondi
Jeff Oluoch
Johnstone Olindi
Vincent Onyala
Brian Wandera
Daniel Sikuta
Daniel Taabu

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Prehistoric herbivore fossils found in Kenya

Prodeinotherium

Prodeinotherium was a genus of Proboscidean that existed during the late Miocene. It belongs to the Family Deinotheridae which is made of Proboscideans with downward facing tusks. The species found in Kenya is Prodeinotherium hobleyi which was the first species of Prodeinotherium, and it migrated into Asia and Europe before evolving into Prodeinotherium pentapotamiae (in Asia) and then Prodeinotherium bavaricum (In Europe)

Image courtesy of Alchetron

All Deinotheridae were large, at 2.5m to 2.8m tall and weighing 3 to 4 tonnes.All had downward curving tusks. Prodeinotherium hobleyi was found on the Wayondo formation on Rusinga island.

Archaeobelodon

Archaeobelodon was a genus of Proboscidean belonging to the Family Gomphotheriidae. It is an ancestor of Platybelodon and Amebelodon


Courtesy of atozanimals.net

The only known species is Archaeobelodon Filholi. Its remains have been found on the Wayondo formation on Rusinga island.

Afrochoerodon

Afrochoerodon was a genus of proboscidean that existed during the Miocene. It belongs to the family Gomphotheriidae

The species whose remains were found in Kenya is Afrochoerodon Kisumuensis. It was found on the Muruyur formation (Tugen Hills, Baringo county) and on the Maboko formation on Maboko island in Kisumu county.

Choerolophodon

Choerolophodon is a genus of proboscidean that existed during the Miocene. It belongs to the family Gomphotheriidae

The species whose remains were found in Kenya is Choerolophodon Kisumuensis. It was found on Maboko formation on Maboko island in Kisumu county.

Eozygodon

Eozygodon was a genus of proboscidean belonging to the family Mammutidae. The species found in Kenya is Eozygodon morotoensia. Its remains were found in Koru, Kisumu county.

Kenyapotamus

Kenyapotamus is considered to be a possible ancestor to modern Hippopotamus. A number of different species have been found in Kenya including Kenyapotamus  Coryndae which was found in the Nakali formation (Turkana county) and Kenyapotamus  Ternani, which was found at Fort Ternan in Kericho county

Brachyodus

Brachyodus was a genus of hippo like herbivore. It belongs to the family Anthracotheriidae. Modern Hippos may have evolved from Anthracotheres. The species found in Kenya is Brachyodus  equatorialis. Its remains were found in Koru, Kisumu county.

Hyoboops

Hyoboops was a genus of herbivore belong to the Anthracotheriidae family. The species found in Kenya is Hyoboops Africanus.  Its remains have been found on the Kulu formation on Rusinga island.

Nguruwe Kijivium

Nguruwe Kijivium was a pg like herbivore belonging to the Order Suidae. Its remains were found in Koru, Kisumu county and on Rusinga island.

Chalicotherium

Chalicotherium was a genus of ungulates that belongs to the family Chalicotherioidea and order Perissodactyla. It existed during the Oligocene, Pliocene and Miocene periods. It was odd looking with clawed forelimbs and much longer and more powerful hind limbs.It had the body of a sloth and the head of horse. It was a massive animal, standing 2.6 metres at the shoulder. Chalicotherium used its hind legs to support its weight while feeding. The forelegs were used for feeding. To protect its claws, Chalicotherium walked on its knuckles.

 

Courtesy Arch Survival

The species that was found in Kenya is Chalicotherium  Rusingense. Its fossil remains were found on the Kulu formation of Rusinga island and on Mfangano Island.

Rusingaceros

Rusingaceros is known as the oldest known modern Rhinocerous that existed during the Miocene. It consists of only one species: Rusingaceros  Leakeyi, that was previously known as Dicerorhinus Leakeyi.  It belongs to the family Rhinocerotidae and order Perissodactyla. Its fossil remains have been found on Rusinga island as well as Maboko Island.

Aceratherium

Aceratherium was a Genus of hornless Rhinoceros that existed during the Miocene period. It belongs to the Subfamily Aceratheriinae and family Rhinocerotidae. The species that was found in Kenya is Aceratherium Acutirostratum. It has been found on Rusinga Island, Maboko Island and at Karungu in Migori county.

Chilotheridium

Chilotheridium was a genus of Rhinocerotid that existed in the Upper Miocene. It belongs to the family Rhinocerotidae and order Perissodactyla. The species found in Kenya is Chilotheridium pattersoni, Its fossil remains have been found on the Wayondo formation on Rusinga island as well as Namurungule and Nakali Formations, northern Kenya

Megalotragus

Megalotragus was a genus of very large extinct African alcelaphines. It existed during the Pliocene to early Holocene It resembled modern hartebeests, but much larger reaching a shoulder height of 1.4 m (4.6 ft). The genus consists of three species of which Megalotragus priscus survived until the early Holocene

Paradiceros

Paradiceros was genus belonging to the subfamily Dicerorhininae of the family Rhinocerotidae. The species found in Kenya is Paradiceros mukirii . Its remains were found in Uyoma, Siaya county.

Rusingoryx

Rusingoryx is a genus of bovid that existed during the Pleistocene. The only known species is Rusingoryx atopocranion. As the name suggests, its remains were found in Rusinga Island. Its is closely related to wilderbeest.  It is noted for its pointed nose with a large nasal dome, that was used for vocalization.

Megalohyrax

Megalohyrax is a genus belonging to the family Pliohyracidae and order Hyracoidea. It existed in the lower Oligocene (30 million years ago). The species found in Kenya is Megalohyrax Championi. Its remains have been found in Karungu, Migori County.

Kenyasus

Kenyasus is a genus that existed in the Miocene. It belongs to the family Suidae which includes Pigs, Hogs, Warthogs and other similar animals. The remains of at least three Species have been found in Kenya: Kenyasus kirimunensis which was found at Kipsaraman, Kenyasus namaquensis and Kenyasus Rusingensis which was found on Rusinga island.

Listriodon

Listriodon is a genus that existed in the Miocene. It belongs to the family Suidae which includes Pigs, Hogs, Warthogs and other similar animals. It is characterized by curved upper canines similar to those of a warthog. Its remains have been found at Fort Ternan

Dorcatherium

Dorcatherium is a genus that existed during the Miocene. It belongs to the family Tranguilidae (Chevrotain or Mouse Deer). Fossil remains of this Genus are numerous and have been found all over Europe and Africa. The species whose remains were found in Kenya is Dorcatherium Chappuisi, Dorcatherium piggoti and Dorcatherium Parvum.

Diamantohyus

Diamantohyus is an genus that existed in the Miocene period. It belongs to the family Sanitheriidae. The remains of two species have been found in Kenya: Diamantohyus africanus and Diamantohyus Leuderitzi, which were both found at Karungu in Migori County,

Libycochoerus

Libycochoerus was a genus of long legged pig like animals belonging to the Suidae family which comprises Pigs, Boars and other Pig like animals. The species found in Kenya include Libycochoerus Jeannelli whose fossil remains were found on the Wayondo formation on Rusinga Island, Libycochoerus massai from the Tugen hills

Orycteropus

Orycteropus was a genus of the order Tubulidentata which includes modern Aardvarks. It existed during the late miocene. The species found in Kenya is Orycteropus Africanus.  Its remains have been found in the Wayondo formation on Rusinga Island.

Propalaeoryx

Propalaeoryx was a genus of herbivore that existed during the Miocene. It is closely related to Giraffids. The species found in Kenya are Propalaeoryx Climacoceras, Propalaeoryx Prolibytherium and Propalaeoryx Nyanzae. Remains have been found at Fort Ternam and on Rusinga island. Climacoceras had long horns and two prongs.

Canthumeryx

Canthumeryx was a genus of Giraffid. It is considered an ancestor of modern giraffes. It shows evidence of the beginnings of the evolution of the long neck. Its remains were found on the Wayondo formation.

Samotherium

Samotherium was a genus of herbivore that belonged to the family Giraffidae. Like modern giraffes, it had two ossicones on its head. It appears to be transitioning towards having a long neck. It existed during the Miocene. The species found in Kenya  is Samotherium  Primaevus. Its remains have been found in Uyoma, Siaya county.

Protragocerus

Protragocerus is a genus of antelope that existed during the Miocene. It belongs to the the tribe Boselaphini, subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. The species found in Kenya is Protragocerus  Labidotus. It was found in Uyoma, Siaya county.

Caprotragoides

Caprotragoides was a genus belonging to the tribe Caprini, subfamily Caprinae and family Bovidae. It existed in the Miocene period. The species found in Kenya is Caprotragoides Gentryi.

Walangania

Walangania is a genus of herbivore that existed during the Miocene. Its exact classification is not known. There is no consensus on whether it belongs to the Order Bovidae (Cattle-like) or the Order Cervidae (Deer). The species found in Kenya is Walangania Africanus. Its remains were found on the Kulu formation on Rusinga island.


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