Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge dies at 84

Sunday July 7 2019

Legendary Kenyan footballer Joe Kadenge. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Legendary Kenyan footballer Joe Kadenge. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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Mzee Joe Kadenge, considered Kenya's greatest footballer of all time, has died at the Meridian Hospital in Nairobi, his son Oscar has confirmed Sunday.

His body is set to be transferred to Lee Funeral Home on Sunday afternoon.

He was 84 and had been unwell for a while.

"Dad has not been in good shape," said Oscar.

"He had complications in breathing and his sight was also failing. His condition deteriorated when my sister passed on in the USA earlier this year and he was unable to attend."

President Uhuru Kenyatta, opposition leaders Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi were among those who consistently visited Mzee Kadenge when he was unwell.

Two years ago, President Kenyatta gave Kadenge Ksh2 million ($19,493) and also directed the football legend be offered a National Hospital Insurance Fund cover.

At that time Kadenge thanked the Head of State and also challenged the government to invest in the sports industry and take care of its heroes.

Kadenge commenced his football career as an attacking midfielder and second striker for the defunct Maragoli United, before crossing over to Abaluhya United (now referred to as AFC Leopards) in 1996.

He is remembered for his silky skills, deft touches and mazy runs at the centre of the pitch and would soon be associated by the popular phrase 'Kadenge na mpira' courtesy of renown broadcaster Leonard Mambo Mbotela.

Kadenge also turned out for and coached Kenya’s national football team, Harambee Stars, with prominence and success.

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