Two weeks after inspiring his side to win their 20th Premier League title,local giants Gor Mahia captain Philemon Otieno has received an award from Public Policy Expert Raphael Obonyo.
Otieno who skippered the record top tier champions to lift this season’s title after overcoming Nairobi City Stars 4-1 at the Kasarani Stadium two weeks ago received the award worth undisclosed amount of money
“Congratulations for the excellent performance with Gor Mahia. We are so proud of you and the team’s deserved victory.Winning a title is never easy. Your hard work and determination set an impressive example, and your victory reflects the character and resilience you continue to demonstrate.
“As I said, you have made our community, KOCH, so proud. Your determination gives us great hope for the future. Because of you, kids growing up in our hoods, will believe again, that if you combine hard work, skill and determination, no matter where you come from, there is nothing you cannot achieve. I was delighted to be among the fans, especially to cheer for you, knowing well how far you have come. That was special, we appreciate you” Obonyo wrote
Last week,Obonyo who has reiterated his commitment of massive investment in community development projects awarded the top-ranked African in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior star Angella Okutoyi following her heroic exploits that earned her Wimbledon Open doubles junior championship title.
In February last year,Otieno who can play as a right back or as a defensive midfielder received captaincy armband taking over the reins from Kenneth Muguna who was out of favour with management before eventually sealing a move to Tanzania Mainland League side Azam FC.
The national team Harambee Stars defender is the long-serving member of K’Ogalo having also served as an assistant to the towering centre back Harun Shakava who left the team last year for law enforcers Kenya Police FC.
Just like Otieno, Raphael Obonyo was raised in a low-income community in Korogocho in the city of Nairobi. Hailing from a low-income family, his parents and friends worked hard to get him the necessary education. Through the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) scholarship, he completed his Master’s in Public Policy at Duke University in 2013.
“I want to say that I am a proud alumnus of IFP. I consider it to be a transformtive journey where I discovered myself and opened my eyes to enormous opportunism around me. It helped me in advancing my responsibility towards my community for social justice, reflecting on how I benefited from my community in turn and led me to work on social justice issues wherever I am.“ noted the a co-founder and a current board member of ‘The Youth Congress
Korogocho is well known for football having produced the Acakoro Football project which was founded in 2013 and has been run by both the “Austrian ACAKORO” aid organization and the Kenyan association “ACAKORO NGO”.
The goal of all these efforts is to grant academic as well as sports training to children who are socially strongly disadvantaged, by football serving as a life skill.
Since its inception, ACAKORO has outdone itself and some of their notable achievements include their under 11 team winning the top spot in that age category in the “Donauauencup” tournament beating Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona in 2016. One of their coaches, Jackline Akoth was appointed as coach of the under 20 women’s national football team. One of their co-founders, Stanley Okumbi was appointed head coach of the Kenyan national team in 2016.