Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Kenyan Sporting Families: Now you know where the pedigree comes from

Tikolos, Dunfords, Sudis,  Ilakos, among many others are household names in the Kenyan sporting scene . Yes as you may noticed, most of them had plurals because there is more than one member of the family that has made their cut in different sporting discipline or more than one member makes the cut in a particular sport.
Take for example the Tikolos; a few weeks ago we saw the end of an era when the last of the cricket playing brothers from the Tikolo family, Steve retired from the sport after gracing it for more than 15 years having won many hearts in the country and across the seas. His other famous brothers who also one time held the position of Chief Executive at Cricket Kenya Tom and also former player David.
Other famous siblings in cricket include the Sujis (Martin and Tony), Obuyas (Kennedy, Collins and David) Ngoches ( James and Shem) and the Odumbes (Maurice and Edward).
The Obuyas - Image from

The Ilakos you ask? Well there was a time Kenya played for the African zone of the Davis Cup in tennis. One of the players playing for Kenya was Philip Ilako (nowadays he’s MD of some mid-level bank I guess). The other playing Ilako was James.
Dunfords, who doesn’t know the exploits of these brothers in the pools of the African Swimming Championships, All-Africa Games, Commonwealth and also the Olympics (albeit briefly). Jason is the trailblazer with David spoiling for a place on the podium slowly but surely. Their other less famous brother Robert plays rugby in the UK where’s attending college.
From Left - David & Jason Dunford with a lady & gent fan - Image courtesy of it

Rugby has many household names but the current ones taking the lion’s share are Humphrey Kayange and Collins Injera while their younger brother Michael has some uphill task trying to make at least the national team like the two elder ones. Their father is also a former rugby player back in the day.
We have Daniel Rudisha one of the gold medallists in the 4x400m Munich Olympic Games whose son David Lekuta Rudisha did one better breaking the world record and literally scorching the tracks last season in the IAAF circuit to emerge as World Athlete of the Year as well as Kenya’s Sportman of the Year.
The family that is hogging much of the media’s attention now is the Wanyamas. The matriarch one Noah Wanyama started it all playing with AFC Leopards and also the national team Harambee Stars. His sons have followed suit with Sylvester –Sony Sugar, Thomas – Sofapaka FC , with Victor Mugabe making history as Kenya’s first football player in the Scottish League signing with Celtic FC and of course the most famous of the Wanyama’s MacDonald Mariga Wanyama Inter Milan’s FC defensive midfielder. Their sister Mercy Ayitso has also recently obtained a scholarship in the California Baptist University which plays in the NCAA women's basketball league.
As has happened in other sporting fields, these families have led the way in winning accolades for their clubs, countries and securing honour and a place in history. For all you seeking a firm place in sport and have a sibling or two in one or another game, you have it written and trendsetters to learn from.
Collins Injera & Humphrey Kayange perform a celebratory dance after a try

As a country, we also have to learn to honour our sporting heroes something we have not always done all too well. Their place to some of us sporting enthusiasts is forever etched in our minds and firmly in the history of our country.

1 comment:

Andruid said...

Lovin' the piece. Nice work!