By Hillary Mukasa
A tournament with meticulous organization
Ken Muriuki Wakili has undeniably made an impact in developing football at the grass roots in Meru and keeping the youths gainfully busy. The last time the Lawyers were involved in football in Meru was in 2017 when Meru Mahakama FC participated in the FKF Division 2 League Northern Zone. Mahakama FC of Nairobi played in the Kenya Premier League in the late 2000. If the members of the Judiciary in Meru and other stakeholders joined hands with Ken Muriuki Wakili then that would be the turning point of football development. The league started as an FKF District league until Ken Muriuki Wakili came on board. The League was then renamed as FKF North Imenti Kandanda Mashinani Na Wakili. This was a new dawn for the North Imenti League because before there were no awards in previous league competitions. Ken Wakili is aspiring for the post of Member of Parliament in North Imenti Constituency.
The league attracted a total of 24 clubs and it was divided into two zones. Each of the zones had a total of 12 clubs. All the registered clubs were from the 5 Wards of North Imenti. The teams were sponsored with a full uniform set, balls and capacity building done to Clubs, Coaches, Captains and referees. All the payments for the referees and other match officials were footed. And who facilitated these bills. Of course it was Ken Muriuki Wakili. Who else? When he was donating the uniforms to the teams he personally visited all the teams in the North Imenti league. Upon his visits to the clubs the matches were commentated.
The highly awaited final
The final match between Al Azizia FC and Njukinjiru was played on 5th December 2021 at Kaaga Primary School. Al Azizia beat Njukinjiru 4-0 in a one sided match. In the playoff Gachanka beat Meru Police 2-1. The final match was graced by the sponsor Ken Muriuki Wakili, former Kenyan International striker Boniface Ambani and Moses “Dube” Odhiambo. Boniface Ambani was the top scorer in the Kenya Premier league in 2006 for Tusker Fc. At Young Africans of Tanzania he scored 18 goals in 22 matches. In Tanzania they refer him as “King of Dar es Salam” because he terrorized Simba during the Kariakor derby. Moses “Dube” Odhiambo on his part studied at Kaaga boys in Meru and played for Al Azizia FC. The football journey man played for Tusker, APR, Young Africans, Gor Mahia, Thika United, Ushuru and Sofapaka during his career. He played for Kenya in 2004 and was capped twice.
Awards for different categories
There were different categories of awards in this tournament. The match commentator was Diblo Kaberia of radio Jambo. Bonface Ambani on his side thanked the sponsor and the Federation for the superb organization. He identified a gifted player by the name Evans “Ferrari” Miriti and he promised to hold his hand to a brighter future. The same sentiments were echoed by Ken Muriuki Wakili the sponsor.
The most disciplined team Giaki FC
Sponsors Award Kenneth Gitonga the oldest player aged 41years- Trophy and Ksh 5,000
Golden Gloves Alex Mutuma (14 clean sheets) Trophy and Ksh 5,000
Top scorer (golden boot) Ian “Kamala” Mugambi (Al Azizia FC -31 goals) Trophy and Ksh 5,000
MVP Dennis “Tizzo” Gikundi Trophy and Ksh 5,000
League Champions Al Azizia FC Trophy, medals and Ksh 100,000
Runners Up Njukinjiru Medals and Ksh 75,000
2nd runners up Gachanka Ksh 50,000
4th place Meru Police Ks 25,000
The FKF Chair North Imenti Nicholas “Conte” Mugambi Mugwiria says had this to say “The league was quite fulfilling and the sponsorship by Ken Muriuki Wakili made it more competitive and lively. The league saw clubs pull out more fans as it got hotter. A team like Al Azizia Fc benefitted by selling merchandise.” The tournament was indeed highly attended and the big traffic brought Kaaga pitch and its environs to a standstill. “We as the Federation thank the sponsor, other football stakeholders that made the league to be successful and the media houses for the coverage”. Adds Nicholas “Conte” Mugambi Mugwiria.