File photo of Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge. PHOTO| COURTESY
Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge is dead.
According to the family, Kadenge, who has been ailing for quite a while, passed away on Sunday while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Nairobi. He was 84.
Due constant illness, Kadenge’s once robust frame had turned into a pale shadow of the marauding former Kenyan winger who tormented defenders at will in his hey days.
In January 2006, he suffered stroke and collapsed at Camp Toyoyo grounds in Jericho, Nairobi, while watching a football match on December 23.
President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed his condolences, terming Kadenge’s death as “a loss to the sporting fraternity and our nation.”
“It is with profound sadness that I have learnt of the demise of Mzee Joe Kadenge. His death is a loss to the sporting fraternity and our nation. Joe exemplified talent, dedication and patriotism. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time,” said President Kenyatta.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto said: “Kadenge was a wonderful man, on and off the pitch; approachable, gentlemanly, courteous and a role model. May his soul rest in peace.”
“Condolences to the family and friends of football legend Joe Kadenge. At his prime, Kadenge was unplayable; he terrorised defenders with dribbles, nutmegs and was a joy to watch. He raised a family of great footballers: Francis, Evans, Rogers and Oscar, who excelled in the sport,” added Ruto.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga mourned Kadenge as one of the country’s greatest football talent.
“We have today lost one of the greatest talents to ever grace a football pitch in our national uniform. Joe Kadenge was a true ambassador for the country and Kenyan soccer. May he rest in eternal bliss. May his spirit inspire more young people to pursue the game,” said Odinga.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula said: “The curtain has fallen on our football legend Joe Kadenge. His football artistry equaled modern day Thierry Henry, Christian Ronaldo, George Weah, Samuel Etoo etc. We must have a proper policy for the welfare of our sports heroes/heroines. RIP Joe.”