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From a Little Known Genius to a Celebrated Local Champion –the Incredible Rise of Kenya’s Kenneth

Months ago, Kenneth Muguna was a secret in waiting. Given his untapped talent, it would require a dosage of closely monitored tasks to get him through rigors of first team football.

Many hyped youngsters, fresh from the academy production line, often fall flat in the first hurdle of climbing through the ranks of A-team sport, with woeful tales to tell.

For Muguna, it was as though he was destined for the big occasion. The usual nervousness and stage fright that accompanies first-team games, especially on debut day, did not manifest on Muguna’s face and, even if it did, it certainly was not revealing.

Western Stima Football Club (WSFC) had it bitter in swallowing the defeat endured to them by HomeBoyz in an all opener fixture – Kakamega derby – in the Kenyan Premier League.

The anguish of a nightmarish first league game loss aside, a slight blip came with it many lessons for rookies, with Muguna making the cut among Kenya’s top tier. The 20-year-old took in all that there was to be taught on the occasion and has not looked back since.

Keen to prove Coach Henry Omino’s faith in him was not a costly error of judgment, Muguna set about stamping his foot marks early, a move of little regret now. With an eye for a pass and agility defining his age, the lanky midfielder did not look out of place and soon had spectators jumping off their seats.

Those who followed his train-speed progression would not gape in surprise over how he would blossom. A deadly force on his day in office, he can be unplayable in the way he bosses the midfield. Sofapaka FC are witnesses to Muguna’s commanding skills in middle.

Standing tall, the midfield playmaker combines physicality, a-rare-to-find Xavi-like technique and a penchant to spread out a pass in the tightest of situations. Such ingenuity has not been seen since the days of Victor Mugubi Wanyama at AFC Leopards.

WSFC finished fourth in the 16-team Kenya Premier League, scooping forty-four points in thirty games – sixteen points behind eventual league winners Tusker FC.

Subtract Muguna’s involvement in two thousand and seven hundred minutes he featured in, you can be sure WSFC will come down crashing and beckoning at relegation which is why, there is no doubt that Muguna would be rewarded four days ago, with the Most Valuable Player award and all this, happening in his first year of league football.

He out beat competition from Ulinzi Stars striker and golden boot winner, John Makwata, fan favorite defender, Eric Ouma and Tusker FC duo, David Okello and Humphry Mieno to win the award. To cap off the night, Muguna also won the Best Midfielder accolade prized by a 43-inch LG television, a smart phone and a sum of KES 1.6m approximately, $15,600 USD in prize money.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“It’s a special feeling. The award is very important to me and it proves that finally all my hard work was rewarded,”[/perfectpullquote]

the St Ignatius Loyola Secondary School graduate, told Ducor Sports in a brief interview from his base in Kenya.

The only low moment for the Kisimu-based star was finishing second in the new award category of the Best Breakthrough Player.

On how he’s able to grab the aforesaid prizes in his first season, the former Youth Sports Academy Fort Collins captain replied, “It means a lot in my career because it shows that I’m developing individually hence motivating me to even go for more in the coming years.”

Following such exploits, there will be increased interest in Muguna when the domestic transfer window re-opens. Clubs will be lured to tempt Western Stima’s resolve on their prized asset but, it all depends on whether the playmaker will savor a move to new pastures. He will not be short of any takers.

League champions, Tusker FC are among the suitors understood to be keeping tabs on Muguna but they face stiff competition from clubs outside of Kenya.

When Ducor Sports asked where next, Munguna kept his cards close to his chest saying, ”For the offers, I can’t deny there are some in Kenya and also outside the country but at the end of the year I shall come up with a wise decision.”

He would not reveal any interested clubs and said, “No, no not for now but soon I will reveal the clubs after my holiday.”

About the secret behind his explosive run, the 20-year-old said, “My secret is simple. I believe a lot in myself, work hard and stay focused’

WSFC wrapped up the campaign unable to guarantee a spot in CAF Champions League, with fourth place the highest position since the last decade. With the current trend, it would no longer be a matter of if, but when they would lose Muguna amidst increasing enquires from foreign clubs.

There are however speculations that the 20-year-old will be a one-season wonder, which remains to be seen but for now, he is basking in his latest glory.


Featured Photo: Courtesy of

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