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My brother? Bring on the challenge!

When the national men’s hockey team won bronze at the recently-concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Nairobi two brothers played their part.

It was interesting for hockey lovers to watch Davis and Frank Wanangwe playing together despite being members of rival clubs.

The brothers have locked horns in the National league as Davis plays for defending champions Nairobi Simba and Frank turns out for Kisumu Simba.

Their first battle this season took place on September 1 at the City Park  Stadium, Nairobi where Davis’ Nairobi Simba claimed honours with a 2-1 win over Kisumu Simba.

Ironically, both brothers were on target but Davis had the last word as he scored the winning goal.

Pacy midfielder

When both Simba clubs met at the pre-season Super Eight Tournament at City Park and Nairobi reigned supreme over Kisumu in the semi-final, winning 2-0 but it was more interesting to watch Frank, an attacking midfielder denying his younger brother who’s gifted with pace and power upfront the rare opportunities that came his way.

The brothers who lit up the league last season, once played for the same team – Strathmore University Gladiators before going separate ways.

When Davis left Strathmore Gladiators last year to join Nairobi Simba, many fans wondered if his elder brother would join him at the Lions’ den.

The move would have elevated the status of the local league but that was until Kisumu Simba made the “signing of the year” when Frank joined them this year.

The brothers have almost identical introduction to and familiarisation of the game, dating back to early primary school years at Friends School Kamusinga in Bungoma County.

Davis and Frank have, on several occasions, made it a family affair to spur their teams to victory stretching back to high school. They guided Kamusinga to the schools’ national title in 2004 and 2005.

After Frank joined Strathmore in 2006, Davis helped Kamusinga to lift the national title in 2006 and 2007.

“We have never experienced serious sibling rivalry. Frank is a good counsellor and advisor,” Davis reveals.

The brothers scored the two goals that sank Kenya Police 2-1 to hand Strathmore its maiden title in the men’s Premier League in 2009 before playing a crucial role in the team’s successful title defence in 2010 after beating Police on a better goal aggregate.

But Police claimed revenge during the 2011 season, arresting Strathmore also on a better goal difference.

Davis attended Bungoma DEB Primary School from 1999 to 2003 before joining Kamusinga in 2004 to 2007. While in standard eight in 2003, Davis dumped football for hockey.

It took few training sessions before he was drafted to the school team for the nationals upon joining Friends School Kamusinga in 2004.

The Wanangwes hail from a family of five boys that seem to have been bitten by the hockey bug. Their younger brother, Grant, played for Lenana High School until last year when he sat for his Kenya Certficate of Secondary Education examinations.

Impact felt

Stephen, 11, and Jerry, who is in standard three, seem likely to follow in their brothers’ footsteps.

After Davis and Frank joined Strathmore University, their impact was felt immediately. They represented the university at various local and international competitions.

The highlight was in 2011 when the two led Strathmore to second place at the Africa Cup Club Championships in Lusaka, Zambia.

Davis was voted the best player at the tournament after beating more fancied names.

Frank played for Stramothmore University for seven years before heading to Kisumu Simba.

“There’s a competitive nature in us because we want to win the title. Despite being in opposing teams, we’re friends and always look out for each other on and off the pitch,” Frank said.