When Green Commandos were disqualified from national action...

When Green Commandos were disqualified from national action...

When Green Commandos were disqualified from national action...

It was 1993, Kakamega High School’s Green Commandoes were keen on returning to the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association’s National Football Championships after failing to qualify in 1992 when they failed to go beyond the district championships.

 

The urgency to return to the highest echelons of schoolboy soccer saw the side, coached by a physics teacher and legendary coach Christopher Makokha (R.I.P), crush all opposition right from the zonals to the provincials.

The Green Commandoes class of 1993 had in its ranks the likes of Ahmed Yusuf “Negro”, Yusuf Abubakar, Solomon Shikanda, Anthony Fwaya, Donholm Shikuku, Maurice Sunguti, Japhary Oyando, Wilberforce “Ocha” Ochieng,Nicodemus Matwai,Hezron Kamanga, Patrick "Pie Doggie" Odhiambo, Maurice “Odes” Odera, Elisha “Young Pele” Onyango, Richard Owino (R.I.P), Bob Oloo (R.I.P),to name but a few.

Many of these lads also held down places at big wig Kakamega club MoW (Motcom in days gone by). In short, there was an embarassing array of talent in the team that trained daily at the Mabao Stadium, as their Kakamega High School training ground was fondly refered to by the locals.

Makokha's former multiple national champions would reach the Western Provincial final against bitter rivals Musingu High School.This match would be played at the Bukhungu Stadium and drew a sizeable crowd. It was tied 1-1 with precious little time left on the ticker.

 

"Coaches" would take a gamble and throw on a form two student going by the name Maurice Sunguti in place of Sammy “Okothe” Okoth who later played for Transcom and Sher Karuturi.

Sunguti would moments later score a bullet header that ripped through the Bukhungu net, setting the crowd alight. The Green Commandoes would hold on for the 2-1 result, returning to the Nationals for the first time since losing 8-7 to Ofafa Jericho in the 1991 final after a penalty shootout under the Nairobi City Stadium floodlights.

"GC" were back on the national stage, but in the period leading up to the nationals in Nakuru, a certain clamor seemed to gain momentum. The clamor to beef up the squad with standout Musingu players, the livewire Steve "Okush" Okumu (R.I.P) and Bernard "Bena" Agunda. Within no time, the duo were on the bus to Nakuru as part of the Kakamega squad keen to reclaim the title they last held in 1990.

Things went well for "GC", securing semifinal qualification with a game to spare.

Drama would soon unfold, questions raised about Okumu (an elder brother of Dennis Oliech) and Agunda.

Legend had it that immediate former Kakamega High School Principal, Mr. Kinaro - who had since been transferred to Kisii High School- raised issues about the duo. It is also alleged at that about this time, his successor, Mr. Elmanus "Babdi" Vodoti, having caught wind of the situation, frantically sent out an SOS to the administrative staff back in Kakamega to produce class attendance records backdated three months.

 

So, as the legend goes, Mr K (seemingly unconvinced by "Babdi's efforts to prove that Okush and Bena were indeed eligible to play for GC) proceeded to question the duo about a one storied dormitory located within the Kakamega High School compound. It is said that they duo were unable to give a name to Sejero House, and this is what led them to being smoked out as ineligible players.

Apparently "poaching" was the widespread practice across the board back, many got away with it but the unlucky were caught.

 

Kakamega High School were promptly disqualified from the competition, news that was received with sorrow and disbelief back at P.O.Box 90, Kakamega. The dream run had come to an embarassing halt and only served to raise questions, the biggest one being "Why did GC and the school administration have to succumb to pressure and field the duo?"

Looking back in retrospect, the team was good enough to go to the nationals without Okush and Bena and there was really no need to bring them over from Musingu.

Lessons were learnt, Kakamega eventually rebuilding and winning the national crown in 1995 but that is a story for another day.

 

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