Covid-19-How-KCBs-Mike-Kibwage-is-keeping-his-football-dream-alive
FILE: Mike Kibwage of KCB in action against Ulinzi Stars during a Kenya Premier League match at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on October 19, 2019. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

With football activities put on hold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a complete shutdown of sporting activities across the globe.

Hundreds of Kenyan athletes are now at home carrying out personal workouts to keep fit ahead of next season.

KCB FC captain Mike Kibwage is among the several professional athletes in self-isolation to avoid any risks of contracting the deadly Covid-19.

Narrating his football journey to GameYetu, the 22-year-old defender, who moved to KCB from AFC Leopards in 2018, admitted that he doing his best to deal with this new reality brought on by the virus.

When did you first fall in love with football?

I first fell in love with football when I was just eight years old.

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Tell us about childhood, where did you grow-up, which part of Kenya?

I grew up in Police Band in South B, Nairobi Kenya.

Did your parents or friends shape your football career?

At first, my parents did not fully support my football career. They wanted me to focus more on my studies. But my childhood friend, Tusker FC midfielder Kevin “Ade” Omondi inspired me to become a professional footballer.

What has been your biggest challenge in football?

The biggest challenge has been inadequate live coverage of football matches following Supersport’s exit from Kenya. It is difficult to market our talent outside the country.

Do you have a side hustle apart from football, if yes, how do you balance this work and playing in KPL?

Yes. I have a small business. We train early in the morning and after training, I am able to get time to do my business. During match days, my brother takes care of the business. That is how I do it.

You are still young, are we set to see the best out of you soon?

Yes! I always give my best, pray to God, and hope for the best. 

Covid-19-How-KCBs-Mike-Kibwage-is-keeping-his-football-dream-alive
Mike Kibwage during personal workouts in Nairobi [Charles Odero, Standard]

Tell us about your previous football clubs and how do you find your current club?

My stint at AFC leopards was a good one and I thank Ingwe for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent.

AFC leopards helped me to build my name and people saw my potential which made me seal the KCB sports club move.

KCB is the best club so far in my career I can say. Everyone is playing his part from the management to the technical bench to the players hence there’s a good understanding amongst ourselves. I am really happy here at KCB.

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KCB FC defender Mike Kibwage training at his resident in Nairobi on May 29, 2020, following the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic which has resulted to sports leagues globally altering their schedules. Photo [Charles Odero, Standard]

Do you think Harambee Stars will ever qualify for the World Cup?

Yes, I think they will reach the World Cup in the near future.

How many training sessions do you hold in a week to remain fit and in shape?

Mmmmm! I train Monday to Friday and take a break on Saturday and Sunday.

After normalcy resumes what are your expectations?

I expect the league to be more competitive and to get more financial support from sponsors.

With the current Covid-19 situation, do you get support elsewhere apart from your club?

Yes! My family supports me whenever I need help.

What advice can you give Kenyans that can help them in dealing with coronavirus pandemic?

Let everyone follow the Kenyan Government directives to combat COVID-19 that include, social distancing, wearing a facemask, washing our hands, and staying at home.

And also let us continue praying for God to help and assist one another where necessary. Eventually, everything will be fine.

Are you satisfied the way KPL season ended due Covid-19 and Gor Mahia declared champions?

I am not satisfied with the decision.

Tell us about your achievements/ memorable moments in sports?

When I won the GOtv Shield cup with AFC Leopards back in 2017. That was also my best moment and also playing in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) with Leopards.

Do you think the Government and football stakeholders are doing enough to improve sports in Kenya especially football? 

Not really. I think they can do better than.

If given opportunity, what would you change in Kenyan football?

I would bring gender equality in football. I would also push for the construction of at least five stadiums and training facilities so that athletes and their clubs can train and host matches easily.

I would also advocate for every football club to have an academy for which grassroots players may also be accommodated and have a junior league for under 13, under 17 and under 23

What inspires you in football and why?

My life and my family. I always want to make them comfortable and happy. I won’t like them to have the life we had before and so seeing them around makes me keep pushing for success.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

God willing, I would like to play for the best club in Europe.

How do you want the world to remember you in sports?

As the greatest defender of all time who was hard to beat and score against.

What are your plans after quitting football?

After football, I plan to engage in business.

And finally, tell us about yourself;

Are you dating?

I am currently dating.

What do you do during your free time?

During my free time, I listen to music and watching movies.

What is your favorite meal?

Ugali and fish

What kind of music do you enjoy most?

Favorite music West African music

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