What you need to know:
- Nyamweya, as FKF president, was appointed member of the 2012 Fifa Under-17 World Cup Organising Committee.
- FKF president Nick Mwendwa twice announced his candidature for the CAF, African (English speaking) representative to the Fifa Council, and twice withdrew. In 2018, he pulled out of the race on the floor of the congress, and this year, he backed down a day to the election.
- Congratulations to you all.
When I first met Francis Mutuku in the mid 2000s he struck me as an amenable young man, with a huge passion for tennis and quiet resolve to succeed.
He was then the chairman of Kenya Lawn Tennis Association (now Tennis Kenya) that was grappling with an ambitious junior programme against the backdrop of dwindling sponsorship and lack of public facilities.
Mutuku served as KLTA boss from 2005 to 2009 and returned in 2018 to the tennis body as deputy president.
Tennis was his first love, picking up the game while a student at Kabarak High School and playing with distinction at Kenyatta University where he captained the varsity team for the three years he was an undergraduate there.
He was a founder member of Kenya Association of Lawn Tennis Umpires and Coaches. Mutuku’s passion for sports is not in doubt.
Little surprising he has tried his hand in sports business, organising numerous high profile sports events in rugby, golf, triathlon and athletics.
He was the Kenya team manager for the 2015 All Africa Games, was elected National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) deputy secretary in 2017 before being elevated to the secretary position, albeit in an acting capacity a year later.
He was recently elected secretary general of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (Anoca) Zone Five and dove right into his new job, talking about establishing collaboration to see how best to develop athletes in the region using the strengths of individual countries.
Congratulations Francis! The sky is the limit. This being a sports column, I will salute those Kenyans who have etched their names on the international scene and acknowledge those who have gunned for posts too. They should all be considered for State Commendation.
Surinda Thatthi, a former rally co-driver, who was voted Kenya Motor Sportsman of the Year in 1988, is an accomplished administrator.
He has served in various capacities at the world motorsport governing body, International Automobile Federation (FIA).
These include member of the Rallies Commission (1999-2012), member of the World Motor Sport Council (since 2005) and vice president for Sport (since 2009).
And, oh, he is that (in)famous Formula One steward, who controversially stripped Lewis Hamilton of his 2008 Belgian Grand Prix victory. He is also a long-serving president of the FIA Confederation of African Countries in Motor Sport.
Kenya Table Tennis Association President (KTTA) Andrew Mudibo was in 2017 elected Board Director of International Table Tennis Federation. In the same year he clinched the Africa Table Tennis Federation presidency for Eastern Region.
NOC-K president, legendary long distance runner Paul Tergat has been a member of the IOC since his election in Buenos Aries in 2013. He was appointed board member of the Olympic Refugee Foundation in 2021.
You would expect Athletics Kenya officials to be prominent in international bodies, but alas, no.
The most prestigious position ever held by a Kenyan was that of World Athletics (then IAAF) Council Member by the late AK president Isaiah Kiplagat.
To be fair to AK, Kiplagat did make an unsuccessful stab at the vice presidency post of the world body in 2015.
AK president Jack Tuwei also vied for the WA vice president position and council member post in 2019 without success. The good general though is the vice president of African Athletics Confederation (CAA). Former AK secretary general David Okeyo was once a member of IAAF World Cross Country Committee.
Kenya Volleyball Federation chairman Waithaka Kioni was elected one of the six vice presidents of the Confederation of African Volleyball (CAVB) in 2011 and has served to date.
In the run-up to the polls, Kioni famously charged that CAVB was locking Kenya out of administration of the game in Africa despite the nation being a continental powerhouse.
“It’s more of a right for Kenyans to be on the CAVB administration board,” he then stated. I do not know if that would be true of chess and basketball.
Chess Kenya president Bernard Wanjala was voted African Chess Confederation (ACC) vice president last year, Maurice Aluanga, then boss of Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF), once served as president of Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) Africa Zone Five.
His successor at KBF, Agina Wesonga, vied for the Zone Five presidency in 2018 and lost, while Vitalis Gode is the current secretary general of the region.
Kenya could be considered an African rugby powerhouse and fittingly, former long-serving chairman of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), George Kariuki served as Confederation of Africa Rugby (CAR) (now African Rugby) vice president for 16 years. His successor at KRU, Richard Omwela, was a CAR executive committee member for 10 years.
Sharad Rao served as Legal Advisor for the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1982 to 2014 and is an honorary life vice president of the organisation.
Last but not least is football. Hopelessly optimistic Kenyans rate the country’s game highly despite the obvious fact we are decidedly featherweights on the world stage. Little wonder we feature even less in global and continental administrative positions.
Kenya has produced two Cecafa secretary-generals, Sam Nyamweya (1999-2000) and Nicholas Musonye (2000-2020).
Nyamweya, as FKF president, was appointed member of the 2012 Fifa Under-17 World Cup Organising Committee.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa twice announced his candidature for the CAF, African (English speaking) representative to the Fifa Council, and twice withdrew. In 2018, he pulled out of the race on the floor of the congress, and this year, he backed down a day to the election.
Congratulations to you all.