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Dennis Oliech: I would change nationalities given another chance

Former Harambee Stars skipper Dennis Oliech once turned down an enticing offer from the Qatari government to change nationalities, an opportunity that came with huge financial rewards that ran into millions of shillings and a lifetime of comfort in the Gulf nation.

Now, many years later, Oliech says he would gleefully seize the opportunity, without a second thought, given another chance.

“If I were given the chance right now, I would take it because Kenya does not appreciate its heroes,” Oliech said.

Oliech, who spent the early years of his professional career with Qatari club Al-Arabi, made the revelation during an interview with comedian Churchill (Daniel Ndambuki).

During the same interview, Oliech also opened up on why he rarely gave interviews, despite the numerous opportunities he had during his playing days as a professional football player.

The former Kenyan international said he has had a speech problem ever since he was a young boy. Oliech said that even in his childhood, stammering hindered him from confidently making conversation with his peers.

“I am a stammerer. I have battled this problem ever since I was in primary school. It was only after I started gaining fame as a grown up that I saw it was necessary to step up because I knew I was going to do many interviews. That meant that I had to over my stammering problem. However, that’s why I don’t do many interviews,” said Oliech.

The retired football star recounted how hard it was for him back in primary school, as every time he tried flirting with girls, he couldn’t finish a sentence without stammering which left him with low a self-esteem.

“I didn’t like talking much because I wasn’t articulate, and this affected me,” he added.

Oliech also recalled how he got his first salary, saying that while in Form Two he was earning a monthly salary of Sh18,000 since at that time he was already playing for Kenyan Premier League side Mathare United.

Being the team’s hottest property at the time, he found himself often being sought after for media interviews. Yet, he still had a major challenge with his speech, let alone speak at interviews.

“Nobody knew I was struggling and how big of a challenge it was for me to being at the top. Over time, however, I was able to over it and speak a bit more eloquently,” he said.

Speaking about the offer from the Qatari government to change nationality that he turned down nal career,