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McDonald Mariga lands brand ambassador role after Kibra poll loss

Ex-Kenyan footballer McDonald Mariga, a former Italy league and UEFA Champions league player, has landed a brand ambassador role months after failing in his second bid to join active politics.

The 36-year-old is now the brand ambassador of Betgr8, a Kenyan owned sports and casino betting company.

Details remain scanty on the ex-Inter Milan and Harambee Stars footballer’s contract with the betting company but his image is splashed on online advertisements in websites from across the world.

The new gig comes after he lost in his bid to become the Kibra MP in the August 2022 polls. He also lost in a similar by-election in 2019 following the abrupt death of Ken Okoth.

Known as a close ally of President William Ruto, Mariga, the elder sibling of Montreal Impact footballer Victor Wanyama also missed out on the lucrative Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) post despite publicly applying for the job and getting shortlisted.

However, the CAS posts created by President Ruto are currently being contested in court for being instituted illegally and unconstitutionally.

McDonald Mariga, now retired, is statistically one of the most successful footballers in East Africa.

He played for some of the biggest football clubs in the world including Italy’s Inter Milan and Spain’s Real Sociedad. He won the Italy league and UEFA Champions league titles during his stint at Inter Milan under famed coach Jose Mourinho.

He quit football in 2019 after niggling injuries and switched to politics but his efforts remain fruitless to date.

McDonald Mariga is a firm believer of betting firms investing in sports personalities and not influencers as is the current trend. In December 2022, Nairobi News reported that Mr Mariga said this would motivate Kenyan footballers and other sports people strive to perform at high levels instead of rewarding influencers with lavish trips and contracts.

He is the elder sibling of footballer Victor Wanyama, another prolific Kenyan footballer making waves on international fields in Europe.

This is Mariga’s second stint as a betting Ambassador after role he and TV girl Joey Muthengi influenced for the now defunct Betin between 2018 and 2020.

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