Kenya’s Football Dynasties

In the history of Kenya football there have been several combinations of brothers who have made a name for themselves at club and national team levels.

The Wanyama Dynasty

Perhaps the most famous brother combination today comprises Inter Milan midfielder Macdonald Mariga and his younger brother Victor Wanyama who plays for Glasgow Celtic. They are sons of legendary AFC Leopards midfielder Noah Wanyama. They are they first brotherly duo to both feature in the European Champions League. Victor has made quite a name for himself and after a stellar performance against Lionel Messi and Barcelona, he now has English Premier League teams chasing his signature. Their younger brother, Thomas Wanyama plays for Kenya premier league side, Sofapaka.

Victor Wanyama celebrates after scoring against Barcelona


The Oliech Dynasty

Equally famous are the Oliech brothers. Dennis Oliech is well known as the best striker Kenya has ever produced. He has been playing in French league for clubs like Nantes, Auxerre and now Ajaccio. Oliech has also featured in the European Champions League. His elder brother Steve Okumu was a superb striker playing for Kenya premier league side Gor Mahia in the late 1990s. He was amongst theĀ  league’s leading scorers. Andrew Oyombe is the second of the Oliech brothers. In the early millennium years he played in the Swedish league before returning to Kenya to play for Gor Mahia. He played for the national team during this period and was a dependable defensive midfielder. Kennedy Oliech, the 3rd Oliech brother also played for Gor Mahia around 2004-2005 and was a dependable scorer for the club.

Oliech and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Milan tussle for the ball during this Champions league match


The Origi Dynasty

Currently the best goalkeeper in Kenya is Arnold Origi who plays Lillestroem in the top Norwegian league. The superb shot stopper gained legendary status when he pulled off incredible save after incredible save to deny Uganda a win that would have seen them qualify for the Africa nations cup. His father is Austin Oduor Origi, the legendary Gor Mahia central defender who captained Gor Mahia when they won the Africa cup winners cup in 1987. Austin was also the national team skipper in the late 1980s. Mike Okoth Origi is Austin;s younger brother. In 1992 he became the first Kenyan player to sign with a top tier European side. After an impressive performance at the African nations cup, he was signed by top Belgian side KV Ostende. He played in the top Belgian league for 10 years. Mike’s son Divock Origi has played for the Belgian U17 and U19 national teams. He is currently attached to French side OSC Lille.

Anthony Origi is the 3rd of the Origi brothers, He played in the Kenya national league at fullback or central defender. He started at Mumias Sugar FC before joining Tusker. He was a key member of the Tusker teams that won the national league and the CECAFA cup in the 1990s. The fourth of the Origi brothers is Jared Origi. He made a name for himself playing for the upstart Utalii side that won the national league in 1997. He played for the national team and later left for the USA on a football scholarship.

There are six Origi’s in all who have made a name for themselves in football. Quite a dynasty.

The Kadenge Dynasty

Historically, the most famous footballing family are the Kadenges. The patron of the Kadenge dynasty is the legendary Joe Kadenge. In his era (the 1960s) he was easily the best footballer in Kenya. He was a classy dribbler who also had good breakaway speed. His younger sister Esther Kavaya represented Kenya in the sprints in the mid 1980s.

His first son Francis Kadenge was a right winger for AFC Leopards in the early 1980s during the glory years of that club when they won the CECAFA cup four times. Francis was gave many defenders nightmares with his sprinter speed. Two of his younger brothers also played in the league during this period. Evans Kadenge and Rodgers Kadenge played for Nzoia Sugar company. Evans now coaches Nzoia United,

The last of the Kadenge brothers is Oscar Kadenge. he was a free scoring striker. He was once the leading scorer in the Ugandan league before returning to Kenya to play for Tusker and later AFC Leopards.

The speedy Francis Kadenge


The Mwololo Dynasty

Peter “Pierre” Mwololo was the most famous of the Mwololo brothers. He was a stylish midfielder and the fulcrum of the midfield when Kenya qualified to play in the 1992 Africa Nations cup. During that tournament he impressed talent scouts in Belgium and was offered trials by a Belgian side. However he had already signed a contract with an Omani side. His older brother Gideon Mwololo was a free scoring centre forward who was the Kenya national league’s leading scorer in 1989 while playing for the now defunct Barclays Bank FC.He had a brief stint in the national team

Bramwell Mwololo, the second of the Mwololo brothers. He was a powerful and speedy striker who featured for Gor Mahia in the mid to late 1990s. His physical attributes also enabled him to star for the Kenya national rugby team. he is one of the few Kenyans who have excelled at two different sports. Andrew Mwololo was the fourth of the Mwololo brothers. He played for Barclays Bank in the late 80s.

The Obwaka dynasty

Enock Obwaka and William Obwaka were both right wingers who played for Gor Mahia during the early to mid 1980s. Enock was first on the scene and quickly earned a reputation with his ability to score frequently. William Obwaka became an instant celebrity when he scored two goals to lift Gor Mahia past arch rivals AFC Leopards in the 1985 CECAFA cup final.

The Musuku dynasty

Ben Musuku was a speedy winger for AFC Leopards during the early 1980s. he was one of the fastest players ever ti play in Kenya. He was mostly used as a second half substitute where his sprinter speed would be the bane of tiring defenders. His younger brother Dan Musuku was less speedy but more skilful for the ball and also played for AFC Leopards.

The Mulamba dynasty

Wilberforce Mulamba is perhaps the best attacking midfielder Kenya has ever produced. He was one of the pivotal players who enabled AFC Leopards to win the CECAFA cup four times in the early 1980s. His younger brother Moses Mulamba also played for AFC leopards joining in 1984.

The Khaduli dynasty

Ignatius Khaduli was a midfield linkman who joined Gor Mahia from Barclays bank in 1988. He was well known for having a powerful shot and having good shooting technique which enabled him to score many long range goals. His career was limited due to work commitments at Barclays Bank. His younger brother Wanyama Khaduli was well known goalkeeper known for his acrobatic saves and quick reflexes.

The Otieno Dynasty

The brothers Bernard Otieno Zico and Felix Otieno are amongst the most talented players ever to grace the fields of Kenya.

Bernard Otieno first took the football scene in Kenya by storm in 1988 turning out of Kenya Breweries (now known as Tusker). He wowed crowds with his speed and dexterity on the ball and with his goal scoring ability. Less than a year after playing in the league, he was called up to the national team.

Two years later, his younger brother Felix also took the national league while playing for Re-Union. Felix was just as talented as Bernard but his game differed markeldly. He was calmer on the ball and less speedy then Bernard but with immaculate ball control. A year later Felix was signed by Gor Mahia only for him to fall out with coach Len Julians. Talented as he was, Felix’s career did not flourish in large part due to his indiscipline.

The brothers Bernard (left) and Felix Otieno clash in a league match in 1991


Kenya Football Page

Author: shabik