Mashujaa Day: Life and Times of legends, a year on after Kadenge’s death

VIACliff Riang'a
Written By: Cliff Riang'a

The late Joe Kadenge

Today marks an important national holiday, Mashujaa Day. One that is reserved for those who have managed to put the country in the global arena.

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A group of sportsmen and women will be feted today as heroes and heroines, among them is athletics legends Nyantika Mayioro, Yobes Ondieki and former footballer Henry Motego.

The big question though is, do they get to lead a life that goes with the status and recognition? It is against this backdrop that KBC online sports, sort to speak to the family of the late legend Joe Kadenge.

“I don’t want to lie to you, life has changed-it has been difficult without Mzee around.” Says Oscar Kadenge.

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A year since the legend passed on, a lot has happened and the family is holding on to hope. They’re still in possession of his mobile phone and number. The difference is, it’s no longer busy like it used to be.

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“Whilst he was alive, things were moving at least. Yes, he wasn’t in the best of places health wise but life was bearable.” He reminisces.

In terms of footballing legends, they don’t come any close to the late Joe Kadenge, especially here in Kenya. A kid growing up, kicking anything would sing the famous; Kadenge na mpira, song. He was a wizard with the ball. Unfortunately, the legend’s fame and name never translated to a somewhat decent life.

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“It leaves a bitter taste, promises were made that we will be given something to do, gainful employment, but nothing has been forthcoming. Maybe it’s because of Covid 19.” Oscar adds.

As things stand the family is struggling and, are on the verge of selling the iconic vehicle that Kadenge used as a taxi, so that at least they can take care of one of the widow who is unwell.

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Oscar Kadenge, is a legend on his own accord and, is currently nursing a sickly child. He says he would never hesitate to introduce him to football, as nowadays, one can make a living out of it.

It’s important that as we celebrate this day, a deliberate effort is made to try and offer support to our heroes and heroines earlier on in life. It can be in form of educational, financial or legal advice. This will definitely offer a path of steady progress.


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