Kakamega High, Kenya’s top football school

Kakamega high in the dynasty years (1979, 1981, 1983)

The dynastic side that won the national schools title in 1981. And because this was the O-level and A Level era, some of them also played in 1983

The dynasty that is Kakamega high school started in 1979 when they won the national school’s title for the first time ever. The tournament was held at Thika municipal stadium. Kenya goalkeeping legend Washington Muhanji was in the Green commandos squad of 1979 and interestingly he was not the first choice keeper. But Peter Lichungu, the midfielder who would later play a pivotal role for AFC Leopards was. Kakamega would go on to win the title 5 times in a row, retaining the title in 1980 ,1981, 1982 and 1983. The national schools final of 1981 was one of the most epic encounters in the history of Kenya school’s football. That year Kakamega boasted a squad almost all of whom would eventually play for top Kenyan league sides. The likes of Mike Amwayi, Peter Lichungu, Patrick Shilasi, Dan Musuku, Peter Owade Zimbo would later play for the glorious AFC Leopards sides that won the CECAFA club cup 5 times. George Nyangi played for Gor Mahia while Ronald Watsiera later played for Kenya Breweries (now Tusker). They played against a Kisumu boys side that had in its ranks future Gor Mahia midfielder John Okello “Zangi” and future Kisumu Posta keeper, the flambuoyant “Spinks” Mbidha. Kakamega would go on to win on penalties much to the chagrin of the home crowd. In 1983, the Green commandos were literally unstoppable. At the national school games held in Nairobi, they won the tournament, scoring 16 goals and conceding none.

Green Commandos Galaxy of players

Musingu & Iterio briefly Interrupts Kakamega Green Commandos dominance

After winning the national five times, their dominance was finally brought to a brief stop by arch rivals and neighbours Musingu secondary which at the time had future AFC Leopards midfielder Keffa Tasso as well as Mike “Computer” Wambani who would later join the green commandos and a Gor Mahia trialist Arthur Onyango. Musingu would lock Kakamega high out again in 1985 but this time the national title went to Homa Bay high school.  Kakamega recovered to win the title again in 1986. The dominance of Kakamega based sides was interrupted in 1987 with the emergence of Iterio secondary from Gusii which boasted a line-up half of which was playing for national league side Shabana. Kakamega had beaten Iterio in the 1986 final. At the time Kakamega baosted a star sided line-up with national league players like Mike “Computer” Wambani who joined from Musingu, But the Gusii based sice, boasting future national team players like Mike Okoth in goal and Henry Motego, walked away with their one and only national title. And they did it at Bukhungu stadium, the home of the Green commandos

Kakamega high recovers in 1989 and 1990

The superb team that won the national school’s title in 1989

Kakamega high would win regain the title they lost to Iterio in 1989. The side Kakamega fielded in 1989 is one of the strongest school teams ever fielded in Kenya. From that team, keeper Mike Kisaghi played for Maziwa FC before joining Gor Mahia. Midfielder Hezron Osuka was a true pass-master. He captained the Kenya schools team that toured Zambia in 1988. He later joined Gor Mahia. Another midfielder Tony Lwanga became one of the best playmakers in Kenya during the 1990s. Striker Joash Okongo established himself as one of the best strikers in the national league. He played for KTM before Joining Gor Mahia in 1992. Mike Wambani was one of the most talented players in the league. He played for Motcom and would have gone far in football, but his career was hampered by knee injuries. Isaac Kwoba, Sylvanus Bulinda and Reginald Asibwa also became stalwart players in the national league.

Chris Makokha, the brains behind the Green commandos

During the years between 1980 and 1990, Kakamega high school won the national title an incredible seven times ! The brains behind the success was coach Chris Makokha who was most responsible for scouting and recruiting players then grooming them into national calibre players. His training even included video sessions, a rarity in school football. Makokha is no doubt the  the best grassroots and youth coach Kenya has ever produced. In addition to coaching the green commandos, he also coached Motcom (sometimes known as MoW) in the national league and also ran a youth team in Kakamega town.

Kakamega High school in the 1990s

Kakamega Green commandos in the millenium years

The Kakamega Green commandos side that won the national title in 2014

 Video of Kakamega high vs Kisumu day: National finals 2014

Go to Kenya Football Page

Author: shabik

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