Kenya Hockey: A blood brother affair?

Stop!Take a minute.

Now, think about all the hockey brothers you know. Not the “heart” brothers, but the blood brothers that make up so much of the hockey fraternity. Did you know they can fill not one, but three entire teams?

Such is the bond of blood, circulating in the phenomenal brothers that form part of some of the best teams in the Kenya Hockey Union’s leagues. From the super keeper duo of Farhad and Ali Shire to the sensational Frank and Davis Wanangwe in the forward lines of our premier league, the brothers epitomize hockey love as borne at home and only built on the field.

Brotherly Passes and sibling rivalry

Some of these brothers have had the good luck of playing alongside each other in single teams, such as the Sikh Union combination of Haggai Pepela and Hosea Walucho that man the defense and occasionally give each other “brotherly passes.”  Others have to encounter frequent face-offs, most of which turn out quite sensational, such as Sikh Union’s Job Simiyu against Butali Warriors’ Emmanuel Simiyu; Francis Eshikuri, also from Sikh Union and Victor Wekesa from the Kenya Police team, and Dan Onyango and Festus Onyango playing for Parklands Sports Club and Strathmore Gladiators respectively. Parklands Sports Club’s Eric Odendo is also blood brother to Hesbon Galinga from the Chase Sailors, playing alongside Frederick Okeyo whose brother Willis is part of the Kenya Police. Encounters among the Wekesa brothers, Frederick from the Western Jaguars and Denis from Greensharks, become even more phenomenal due to the presence of another duo, that of Daniel Obunyasi and Meshack Okwemba. Which brother wins? Who is the better brother? Maybe it a question we shouldn’t ask…

Unfortunately, we may never see some of these pairs engaged in any sort of rumble, at least not in this season, owing to their being in different leagues. Collins Omach from Western Jaguars remains a tier above elder brother Kennedy Omach from Kenyatta University, while Butali’s Ken Nyongesa claims older child dibs on Edwin Eshapaya from Thika Rovers. Maybe one time these teams will have a chance encounter, one can only hope. It will be a rare chance to gauge the mightier of the parts forming the pairs.

Coincidence? Maybe not

It is easy to see the pairs, but some of the brotherhoods extend to threes and fours to prove its more than mere coincidence that they find themselves on the pitch. Consider the Wokila brothers, Chris, Sammy, and Steve; whose presence in the Greensharks, Police, and USIU teams is impossible to overlook or attempt to replace; or the Makhasta brothers, Collins, Lawrence, and Cyril. However, the absolute magnificence has to be in the KCA/Police quartet featuring brothers: Rodgers Simiyu, Edmond Makona, Duncan Murunga, and Tony Ashira. What are the chances that the four sons from one house would all step onto the pitch and conquer it? 100%, it would seem.

So there, they already made three complete teams of 11 and left some to spare. Maybe one day we will not have to recruit the national team, choosing to send our brotherly comrades to represent us internationally instead. It is a wild thought, but so is having four sons in the same sport at a single time. And, like I said before, it never hurts to wish…or hope…or even speculate. For now, let’s just raise a glass to our brothers, whose presence on the field truly gives the fan something to anticipate.


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