My husband doesn’t use ‘juju’ in football matches, coach Matano’s wife says
If you are an ardent fan of KPL football, you must have heard of claims that one of the country’s most successful coaches Robert Matano invokes ‘witchcraft’ to win football matches.
Three years ago, the veteran trainer broke his silence publicly for the first time, over the claims during an exclusive interview with the Sunday Nation.
“Watch the people who say I consult witch doctors because they might be the ones who believe in such. People say it’s (my success) about ‘juju’ but the truth is that I’m different because I combine my experience both as a coach and a former player” he said back then.
The claims seem to have baffled his family too. In a recent interview at his home in Eastleigh, Nairobi, the subject emerged again and this time it was Matano’s third wife Carol Walusanga who addressed it.
“One day in the stadium I overheard a fan allege that Matano is a superstitious ‘juju man’. After the match, I approached the fan and asked him to dispel rumours he couldn’t not substantiate. I have known my husband as a very rational tactician on the bench although sometimes temperamental when things don’t work as he instructs,” Walusanga told Capital Sports.
The mother of two is an ardent supporter of AFC Leopards but when her favourite team clashes with her husband’s side Tusker FC, she is always spoilt for choice and o most occasions she ends up supporting the brewers.
But even with the claims, one thing that can’t be disputed is the tactician track record as a successful coach.
Matano’s career spans three decades, a period over which he has been in charge of 18 clubs. He is the first and only coach to have won KPL league title with two different teams.
He first won it with Sofapaka in the club’s debut season in the top flight league back in 2009 and was christened the ‘Lion’ by the club’s Congolese owner businessman Elly Kalekwa.
Matano would then lift the league title again with Tusker (2012) as his team denied Gor Mahia the trophy on the very last match day of that season.
In Matano’s own words, he’s yet to walk out of a club without winning silverware save for the stint he had at Ulinzi Stars between 2014 and 2016.
Other than football, Matano is a family man, who is married to three wives. His first wife is Mary, with whom they have two children, his second wife is Rosemary, with whom he has one child. Matano lives in Nairobi with his third wife Carol.