STILL A LEGEND: My two cents in defence of Dennis Oliech

I have intentionally avoided the ongoing debate about the current economic status of once high flying football legend Dennis Oliech but let me say a word or two.

To begin with, I don’t know how rich or poor Oliech is at the moment but word has it, ndaikaire wega kimuhuko.

Well, here is my two cents:

1. Dennis is a true legend. At the height of his football career, he flew the Kenyan flag high even in corners of the globe some online charlatans will never set foot in their lifetime. And even that time he was making a fortune abroad, he would still eat the humble pie, abandon his millions and come play (and even captain) Harambee Stars where his meagre allowances were rarely paid. At some point, he actually rejected an offer to change his citizenship for that of Qatar in a multimillion deal. Just for the love of our motherland. Now, if this is not the epitome of patriotism, perhaps I don’t know what patriotism actually is.

2. Every great man has a low moment when nothing seems to work. When things come crumbling around themselves. But that does not mean the end. Rather, it is a time to sit down, reflect, re-strategize and make new moves. Oliech should not be broken. Instead, let him derive fresh energy from all the hate doing rounds and mend up things. My grandpa always tells me that “guteresha ni kwa njamba” (Only great people make mistakes but are never shaken by them).

3. Oliech’s story reminds me of something I usually tell people. You should never become a victim of the craze to accumulate wealth that has caught up with the youths of today. Instead, focus on establishing a legacy. Wealth and money are all vanity. But a legacy will outlive you. That is why our future generations will remember Oliech, long after he is gone, not because of the millions he made but because of the mark he left in our football.

4. Let online noisemakers leave Oliech alone. He earned his money. How he chose to spend it is none of your business. Pia wewe tafuta yako utumie vyenye unataka. And if you cannot respect Oliech, then at least respect the sacrifices he made for our country.

Finally, to Dennis Oliech, take heart bro. Ignore the noise. I choose to be optimistic that, just like the proverbial Phoenix, from the ashes you shall arise.