Snappy 7: Wilson Obungu (Bandari and former Harambee Stars goalkeeper)
Bandari goalkeeper and former Harambee Stars custodian Wilson Obungu talks about his love for football and what he thinks needs to be done to lift the standards of the game in Kenya.
1. Childhood – I was born in Mombasa but my earliest memories are the streets and playgrounds of Shauri Moyo and Muthurwa estates in Nairobi where I grew up. I loved the game so much because at that early age I visited Norway and we played there for almost a month.
After primary school, I considered quitting education and instead pursuing a career in football. But my sister dissuaded against the idea and I joined Hamisi Secondary School in Mombasa where I achieved what appeared improbable at the time by becoming the school team’s goalkeeper while still in form one.
2. What next after football – To become the national team goalkeeping coach when I finally quit the game or even coach the Kenyan national football team. I would also love to become a football TV commentator at same point when I’ve stopped playing.
3. Family – I have a girlfriend whom I’ve been dating on and off for the last five years. We have a beautiful 3-year-old son.
4. Lifestyle and food – I’m from a humble family and while growing up I didn’t have much. That explains why am not a show off. I love to cook fish and ugali, with some kachumbari on the side.
5. Nairobi or Mombasa – There is great football talent in both cities, but it seems everyone wants to be in Nairobi because it is the capital city.
Personally I like Mombasa because it is the place that molded me to become who I am today. I will always be thankful to Bandari for giving me my first breakthrough in the game while I was still a high school student.
6. FKF Elections – Everyone wants change. There is no way you can stay in office for life and make meaningful change to the game. My problem with the candidates running for election is that none of them has come out outlined his agenda for the players.
It’s sad that in this age and time players are still begging for food and a place to sleep because they have not been paid their dues, yet they wake up every morning, train and show up for matches. We need to elect leaders who will look after the welfare of the players.
7. Infrastructure – I welcome the government’s plan to build new stadiums. We need more and better facilities spread across the country. It would also be important for the authorities to make these facilities available to the players anytime they want. As a goalkeeper trainer, there is no way you can train a goalkeeper on a rough pitch, you need a proper turf to prevent injuries.