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Oliech: Family pressured me to send money when I was in Europe

Former Harambee Stars captain Dennis Oliech has opened up on how his family and friends consistently demanded money from him when he was based abroad.

The ex-international spoke in an online interview to mark the mental health awareness month.

“The challenge I faced was from my family and friends,” he explained.

“They always demanded I send them money from wherever I was because they thought I was making so much. Yet, you’d find I would go for like 6 months without playing. This pressures really affected my mental health,” he explained.

The retired footballer adds that these pressures really took a toll on him, admitting the family members and friends were not quite interested in how he was faring on. He suggests this is one of the reasons Kenyans abroad are tempted to cut off ties with friends and family.

“That’s why you see when players go out there they keep quiet for like a year. This is because they haven’t gone to party they are ensuring they can sustain themselves first before they start dishing out money.”

Oliech is considered one of the most talented players to come out of Kenya.

After a blistering start at Mathare United in the Kenyan Premier League, he featured for Al Arabi in Qatar before moving to France where he banged in the goals at Nantes, Auxerre and Ajaccio before moving back to Asia to finish his professional career in Dubai.

The Kakamega High School and Kamukunji alumni has in previous interviews explained his humble background where his mother (now deceased)  struggled to make ends meet to fend for her family from her fish mongering business.

Oliech is said to have earned Sh10 million a month in the prime of his career, when he was based in Europe for nine years.

At the time, he heavily invested back home in real estate and other businesses but a disquiet among family members led to legal battles on some of the properties.