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Thursday, May 26, 2022

5 Families Dominating Kenya’s Sports Industry

  • It’s a rare occurrence to have a set of either brothers/ sisters controlling the sports industry- however, the narrative has been shattered with a number of families emerging in the scene and leaving an indelible mark that would be felt for years. 

    From the likes of the Wanyama family, Kundu sisters to the Obiero brothers, these families have entertained fans over the years with talent that has spanned across generations. 

    kenyagist.com takes a look at these family dynasties that have dominated the sports scene. 

    Former Captain Victor Wanyama in action for the Harambee Stars against Ghana in 2019
    Harambee Stars

    The Wanyama Family

    The name Wanyama rings a bell to most people due to current CF Montreal footballer, Victor Wanyama, who has earned accolades in his tenure – particularly during his time at Tottenham FC. 

    But to the avid sports fans, the name dates back to Victor’s parents, Noah Wanyama and Mildred Wanyama, who played football and netball respectively. 

    Noah played for the national team, Harambee Stars and AFC Leopards, as a midfielder. His mother, Mildred, was a notable netballer during her heydays. 

    In addition, Victor’s brothers, Thomas Wanyama and Sylvester Wanyama (half-brother) are remarkable footballers who played for the Kenya Premier League.

    Victor’s elder brother, McDonald Mariga is another star who continued the family’s legacy, playing for top clubs such as Inter Milan as a midfielder. 

    Not to be left behind, their sister, Mercy Wanyama, became the first Kenyan to sign a contract in the Spanish basketball League after she joined Aviles in March 2019. 

    Kundu Family

    Another family that has redefined the sports scene is the Kundus. The sisters, comprising Agrippina Kundu and Annette Kundu, excelled in different sports at the national and international levels. 

    Agrippina plied her trade as a top volleyballer- representing the country at the national level, Malkia Strikers. She was instrumental in the team winning a ticket to represent Africa at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

    Her sister, on the other hand, is a renowned Harambee Starlets football player. She aided her team to clinch their first Cecafa Championship title in the neighbouring country, Tanzania. 
    Maiyo Family

    Philip Maiyo burst into the scene as a volleyball player playing for CSKA Sofia in the Bulgarian League. So successful was he, that he was ranked one of the best volleyballers in the league. He ultimately moved to Romania to play for CVM Tomis Constanta. 

    The sports trade runs in the family as his younger sister, Lydia Maiyo, also plays volleyball. Interestingly, she is also ranked as one of the best players for the national team.

    Other siblings who play volleyball within the family include Thimon Maiyo, Wobestus Maiyo, and Brian Maiyo. 

    Injera, Kayange

    The rugby industry has undoubtedly changed after both Humphrey Kayange and his brother Collins Injera burst into the scene. The duo has become synonymous with the World Rugby Sevens Series – aiding the national team to reach greater heights. 

    Their youngest brother, Michael Agevi, is following suit as he has represented the national team on numerous occasions. The duo of Kayange and Injera, have been awarded prestigious awards including the 2010 presidential Order of Golden Warriors. 

    kenya sevens Rugby team posing for a photo after they won in Singapore in 2016.
    Kenya sevens Rugby team posing for a photo after they won in Singapore in 2016.

    Obiero Siblings

    Two teenagers, Zech Obiero and his elder brother, Micah Obiero, are earning their strides in the sports hall of fame after they joined top clubs in English football. 

    Sons to former Gor Mahia player, Henry Obiero, the duo are seemingly surpassing their family legacy after they both earned professional contracts. 

    The 18-year-old Zech signed a two-year contract for Leyton Orient in February 2022, with the club seeking to extend the terms based on his performance.

    On the other hand, Micah plays for Huddersfield Town as a forward. He began his career with the club after spending three years playing for the under 18s side. He transitioned to the team in 2019 and has since had stellar performances.

    Notable mention: 

    The Origis span two generations whose family members have excelled both locally and internationally. The likes of former Harambee forward Mike Okoth, Liverpool striker Divock Origi to Norwegian goalkeeper Arnold Origi, the family have made a mark in the industry. 

    Arnold Origi however, ditched the Kenyan passport in order to adopt Belgian citizenship. 


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