What you need to know:
- Kefwa has also supported Nzoia Sugar striker Jeremiah Wanjala, who was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer – a type of cancer that affects the infection-fighting cells of the immune system. The player is currently undergoing treatment.
- Kefwa bought a motorcycle for the former AFC Leopards and Kakamega Homeboyz striker, which will now be used for the Boda Boda business.
When Daniel Ochieng suffered a hip injury while featuring for Sony Sugar against Thika United in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match in 2017, it marked the beginning of a downward spiral in his football career.
Sony Sugar was going through financial turmoil at that time and he did not undergo proper medical diagnosis. He sat out of competitive action for a while and resumed only for the injury to re-occur. His condition worsened and further diagnosis revealed he required reconstructive surgery.
“The surgery required a minimum of Sh400,000. The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) would ideally cover part of that, but Sony Sugar had not submitted the monthly NHIF contributions for a while and therefore the card was inactive,” Ochieng revealed.
“Things worsened when Sony Sugar terminated my contract in 2018. I was laid off and broke. I could not manage to meet the cost for the surgery and went back home in Ugenya. I was resigned to the fate that I would never kick a ball again and my football career was over,” he added.
Back to school
With his condition deteriorating, a group of friends started a Whats App group to fundraise for the medical procedure earlier this year and word eventually reached the Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (Kefwa), who are now supporting his road to recovery.
"We cleared his pending NHIF contributions and the card will be active by next month, just in time for his surgery which is scheduled for September 12. We will also clear the balance and support him on his recovery process," Kefwa Chairman James Situma said.
Ochieng, 29, has used the period off football to study at the Ugenya Technical and Vocational Institute courtesy of a Constituency Development Fund (CDF) bursary and is set to graduate with a Certificate in Welding and Fabrication.
"My dream has always been to go to the university and I hope Kefwa can also help me achieve this through their partnership with Zetech University. I am confident I will recover and get back to the pitch, but I must also plan for life after football," Ochieng said.
He has previously played for West Sugar, Rush FC and Western Stima.
Kefwa has also supported Nzoia Sugar striker Jeremiah Wanjala, who was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer – a type of cancer that affects the infection-fighting cells of the immune system. The player is currently undergoing treatment.
Kefwa bought a motorcycle for the former AFC Leopards and Kakamega Homeboyz striker, which will now be used for the Boda Boda business.
"I'm under regular medication and therefore require a constant flow of funds to buy medicine and also cover other related costs. This motorcycle will be very key in this and I am very grateful to everyone who has supported me," Wanjala said.
"My progress has been good so far and I am looking forward to the day I will be back to the pitch doing what I love - playing football. I want to thank Nzoia Sugar FC, Kefwa, my family, football fans and everyone else who has stood with me during these hard times, “he added.
Wanjala won the September 2017 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Player of the Month award, while playing for Kakamega Homeboyz.