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Why resurgence of Gor Mahia is at the heart of CS Eliud Owalo



Gor Mahia the 21 time Football Kenya Federation Premier League winners have a storied past and a legion of passionate fans. The club has been active in the past years fighting to catch up with its peers,the top football clubs in Africa.

At the heart of this revival is a figure not traditionally associated with the sport’s front lines but whose impact has been nothing short of transformative: ICT and Digital Economy Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo.

Owalo, renowned for his astute organizational skills and expertise in marketing and public relations, has infused new life into Gor Mahia. His approach transcends the typical financial handouts that often provide only short-term solutions in sports patronage. Instead, Owalo has introduced a level of professionalism and strategic planning that promises to secure the club’s future both on and off the pitch.

The tangible signs of his influence are evident. The procurement of a new bus for the team, a long-overdue asset, was initially met with skepticism and dismissed by some as political grandstanding. Yet, Owalo delivered, proving his critics wrong and setting a new standard for addressing club needs. Beyond this, his plans for a training ground and clubhouse are not mere ambitious dreams but achievable goals, given his track record.

Recently, as the Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communication, and the Digital Economy, Owalo revealed his intent to spearhead the construction of a state-of-the-art sports complex for Gor Mahia. This collaborative initiative with the club’s management aims to develop a comprehensive sports complex for the 21-time league champions, including a clubhouse, training pitch, fitness center, and various sports amenities.

Owalo made this announcement at Gor Mahia’s final league match at the Sportpesa Arena in Murang’a, where they triumphed over Muhoroni Youth with a 3-0 victory. He emphasized that this long-term project aims to construct a facility that will elevate the club’s infrastructure and support its competitive aspirations.

In the short term, the focus is on preparing for continental football to ensure a strong performance on the international stage, with a midterm goal of clinching a CAF competition title. Owalo’s involvement with Gor Mahia is a case study in effective leadership and the power of professional management in sports. His background as a seasoned human resource and management consultant has undoubtedly informed his approach, focusing on sustainable growth rather than quick fixes. This strategy is poised to elevate Gor Mahia back to its rightful place among Africa’s footballing elite, a club that once dominated regional rivals like Simba and Yanga and stood toe-to-toe with giants like Zamalek.

Beyond the infrastructure projects, Owalo has championed the professionalization of the club’s operations. He has introduced rigorous financial management practices, transparency in dealings, and a merit-based approach to player recruitment and development. This holistic approach ensures that Gor Mahia is not just building for immediate success but laying a foundation for long-term dominance.

The call to officially name Owalo as the club’s patron is more than a ceremonial gesture. It is a recognition of his visionary leadership and a call to arms for others in positions of influence to support sports in a manner that goes beyond the superficial. Owalo’s blueprint for Gor Mahia is a testament to his belief in the club’s potential, not just as a team but as a community and a symbol of excellence.

As the deputy patron of Gor Mahia, Owalo’s dedication to the club and his broader vision for its future highlight his commitment to fostering local sports and achieving new heights for the team.

Owalo has continually stressed that while winning the league is commendable, the team must set its sights on greater achievements. In celebrating Owalo’s contributions, we not only anticipate Gor Mahia’s return to glory but also acknowledge the broader implications for sports management in Kenya and beyond.

Owalo has made a deliberate effort to lead from the front in championing the sustainable growth of Gor Mahia and is seen as the driving force behind the champions’ renewed energy and the architect of the club’s future aspirations. Gor Mahia’s leadership must capitalize on this goodwill and provide credible, professional guidance to mold a team capable of formidable continental competition.

With Owalo’s influence, Gor Mahia is not just poised for a return to its former glory but is set to redefine what it means to be a top-tier football club in Africa.

Written by Kenn Okaka,media and communications consultant


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