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The story of Wycliff Makanga, Kenya’s top sports medicine clinician



He is a sports medicine clinician and a Confederation of African Football (Caf) certified sports medicine instructor.

Meet Dr Wycliff Makanga, a 55-year-old medical expert currently attached to the Kenya football team Harambee Stars and Kenyan Premier League side Tusker.

Born in Luanda, Vihiga county, Makanga attended primary and secondary school in Western Kenya.

He has been practicing sports medicine for almost three decades as he explains to Nation Sport.

“Sports medicine is a branch of medicine concerned with the welfare of athletes and deals with the science and medical treatment of those involved in sports and physical activities. The objectives of sports medicine include prevention, protection, and correction of injuries, and the preparation of an individual or physical activity in its full range of intensity.”

But how did he get into this branch of medicine?

“My journey in sports medicine started some time back. After coming out of medical school, I joined East African Breweries Limited in 1990 as the Clinic Services Manager at their plant in Kisumu. As a young clinician in charge of the medical services and the clinic in the Kisumu factory. I attended to workplace medical emergencies, treated the company employees and their families together with medical administrative duties.

Dr Makanga warms up to his story: “In the early 1990s, I was called upon to preside over an Amateur Professional Boxing (APB) tournament as the ringside doctor. This event led to another. Kenya Breweries FC (now Tusker FC) came over to Western Kenya without their doctor from our main KBL clinic in Nairobi. I was called upon to step in and attend to the team during their stay. I never looked back. I developed an interest in sports medicine hence my appointment to double up as the team doctor for Kenya Breweries Football Club and my medical duties at the company clinic in 1994.

“Through high school, I loved sports with football being my favourite. Upon leaving the company in 2003, I continued with my full-time duties at Tusker as the team doctor,” he adds.

Makanga has had the privilege of working under many coaches in his career both at the club and national level. He singles out several for their professionalism.

“In this journey, I’ve worked under 25 experienced coaches. Of them all, there are seven top coaches whom their football knowledge, understanding, and management made me excel in dispatching my duties. I enjoyed working with Sebastien Migne, Jacob “Ghost” Mulee, current Harambee stars head coach — Francis Kimanzi, Twahir Muhiddin, Zedekiah Otieno, Sammy Omollo and the current Tusker coach Robert Matano,” he said.

Makanga has acquired some professional certification along the way and he has Caf and Fifa to thank for that.

“My journey on doping control started in 2006. I attended a Caf sports medicine course in Khartoum, Sudan. In September 2009 I had my first appointment as the Doping Control Officer for Caf in a Champions League match in Lusaka, Zambia. It was challenging. From there on it was all systems go in the fight against doping in sports,” he said.

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“I also undertook a Fifa sports medicine course in Livingstone Zambia in 2008 that enhanced my skills in the field making me a better sports medicine clinician.”

“Football medicine being a wide subject, apart from being the club doctor and the lead pitchside doctor during international matches, I’ve been called on to perform medical examinations on the referees during the CAF/Fifa physical endurance tests,” he adds.

Makanga was awarded the President’s Award by the Sports Journalists Association of Kenya (SJAK) in 2019 for his service to football and he ranks this as one of the major highlights in his sports medicine career.

“Also being part of the medical team and the team doctor for the Kenya during 2019 Afcon in Egypt was a major milestone for me. The medical team set up a state of art medical treatment room with all the clinical diagnostic and physical therapy equipment. This was great teamwork and I enjoyed every bit of it,” he says.

“I was also the team doctor for Harambee Stars when they won the Cecafa title in 2013 in Nairobi. I have been at Tusker for over two decades serving as the team doctor and leader of the medical team. We have successfully won the KPL and Cecafa titles. Reaching the final of Caf Champions Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994 against Daring Club Motema Pembe is also a moment I will always cherish.

“I have had some good times at Tusker and I don’t take it for granted. On one occasion in 2008, I had to double up as the team manager and doctor. And guess what, we won the Cecafa Club Championship title in Dar es Salaam that year.”

The experienced and widely travelled sports medicine clinician, who also holds a postgraduate diploma in sports medicine, singles out Dr Andrew Sule – consultant physician and chairman of the KPL medical and fitness committee, for his mentorship and guidance through his journey in sports medicine.

He also thanks orthopaedic surgeons Dr Jeff Mailu and Dr Vincent Mutiso for their professional way of handling sports injury-related referral cases and spearheading the Sports Medicine Society of Kenya, the umbrella bringing all the sporting medical personnel together, for a noble course.

Medical-related challenges in his line of work includes pitchside emergencies, other conditions, expectations from coaches, recurring injuries and the lack of important equipment due to budgetary constraints.

He has also handled some memorable emergencies while on duty, but concussions stand out.

“The most recent case I recall is during the Harambee Starlets match against Ghana in Machakos in 2017. A Ghanaian player sustained a concussion and we had to move in fast to rescue the situation. In the early 1990s, a Tusker player, suffered a severe concussion during a league match.”

“I also remember we were playing Gor Mahia in a KPL league match in 1998. A Gor Mahia striker suffered a concussion. I had to run on to the pitch from our bench. I applied the emergency life — saving protocol. We saved and rescued the player.”

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“I have attended to a number of other players in the KPL who suffered concussions and it is never easy. Cases of shoulder dislocations and fractures also require careful attention as well as severely cut wounds which require pitchside stitching.”

Makanga has handled some great Kenyan footballers in his line of work but he remembers a particular instance he was required to give a go-ahead to the Tusker FC technical bench on the state of Sammy “Pamzo” Omolo, who was then a dependable defender.

“I recall in 1994 I travelled with Tusker to Kinshasa to face Motema Pembe. Sammy Omollo was recovering from malaria. The coach then Elly Adero was so worried that Sammy being the kingpin in the defence had not trained for a few days before the match and was not going to be ready for the encounter. Having worked on his recovery programme, come the day of the match very early in the morning, we did clinical and fitness evaluation. Sammy played very well in the entire match. This gave me great satisfaction.”

According to Makanga, the most common injuries in Kenyan football are ankle and knee injuries, muscle soft tissue injuries mostly the hamstring, not forgetting head injuries – concussions and fractures.

“The pitchside medical management and the further intervention of the cases to stabilisation of these players’ clinical status has always given my job satisfaction,” he says.

What needs to improve in sports medicine in Kenya?

“It is vital in modern sport to have an emergency equipment kit by the pitchside. Fully equipped with life-saving tools, just to mention, Automated External Defibrillator (AED), cervical spine collars, stretchers, spinal boards, and other crucial medical equipment.”

“Clubs also need to train their staff on emergency procedures and sports injuries. Match-day ambulances should be fully equipped and fitted with medical emergency equipment. The referral health facility in case of further medical care should well be indicated before any game kicks off. Health insurance of our players should also be made mandatory with NHIF being the basic minimum,” he emphasises.

Makanga is however happy with the progress that has been made so far.

“Football medicine in Kenya is on the right track. We have set up the FKF and KPL medical committees — this was a step in the right direction. Match management medical protocols as directed by CAF/Fifa and applied have been a success in enabling matches to be safe and adhering to the safety standards required. The availability of ambulances, pitchside medical personnel, and equipment in important. The use of the Automated External Defibrillators is also is huge achievement,” he says.

“The periodic medical workshops for the KPL clubs’ medics conducted by the KPL medical committee have helped in keeping the medics abreast of the developing trends in sports medicine. The setting up of in-house medical treatment rooms and clinics for the national football teams when in camp, is an excellent achievement. This is a milestone achievement.

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Makanga continues to paint the picture of the daily environment he operates in.

“Teamwork in clubs’ medical departments must be emphasised. As club medics and physios you must work hand-in-hand with the physical and fitness trainers. Once you form your medical working teams the health of the players is enhanced. It has worked very well at Harambee Stars and Tusker.”

Makanga lauds the good progress done by the Anti-Doping Agency in Kenya (Adak) and Caf in the fight against doping.

“Medical examinations for the players in all phases must continue to be done and documented. They include preseason clinical assessments, ECG, ECHO, blood profile, and urine examinations. We have always carried out the assessments on our Tusker players.”

He says the affiliation to the Sports Medicine Society of Kenya, of all medical departments in different sports entities like football, rugby, athletics, basketball, hockey and boxing should be emphasised.

“I sincerely thank EABL and Tusker FC for grooming me and setting up the platform for this journey. They have been my source of inspiration, the federation for believing in me and making it a reality.”

His advice to fellow sports medicine practitioners is to work on getting better at what they do.

“We have come a long way in sports and football medicine, we have made very good progress reflecting on these achievements.

“We will continue to do so. Let us all in our various teams remember, medical teamwork, team preventive health talks and further clinical consultations in regards to our players’ health when the need arises are the key points to our success. Always, let us remember a correct diagnosis is half the cure. As we welcome these players in our teams let us do so with one motto — when these players leave our teams, let them be in better health than when they came in. The health of the player comes first.”

As years go by, Makanga admits he needs to pass on the baton to the next generation of sports medicine practitioners.

“As a doctor, you never retire, you serve forever but with my vast knowledge in football medicine I should be able to pass on the services, knowledge, skills and even, on a consultation basis, to the young upcoming medics from grass root levels once given opportunities to do so.”

“For now I am eager to ensure all national team players are healthy and in the good physical condition that will ensure we qualify for the next Afcon and World Cup. I also have to ensure my Tusker players are in tip-top shape and hopefully win a KPL title soon — it’s been a while. If we achieve that it will be a dream come true for me.”

By Nation Sport

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I bought a car from an online bazaar, but it ended in tears



Buyer beware! The sleek car that you saw on that online bazaar may not be on sale – but a ruse to rip you off.

Three buyers fell for this trap, hoodwinked by a smooth-talking ‘salesman’ who promised to help them upgrade their cars, in a saga that ended in tears.

And the victims had thought that because a lawyer was involved in the transaction, this protected their interests as well. However, the manner in which they lost their cash raises questions about his role.

The address was an office block in the city centre, where the sale agreements would be drafted, buyers would part with their cash and the seller would thereafter vanish into thin air without delivering the vehicle.

Since 2018, when one of the cases was reported, the victim is yet to recover his money, with the lawyer claiming he did not know the seller.

This year, however, two more people have fallen prey to the scam and it’s unclear how many more have been conned.

Wanted to upgrade his car

Earlier this year, Mr Kelvin Ngugi, 23, wanted to upgrade his KBX Toyota Sienta and, while scrolling through the internet one evening, he came across a dealer who identified himself as Mr Ronald Bundi on, the online classifieds website that acquired OLX.

Mr Bundi was willing to trade in Mr Ngugi’s old vehicle and Mr Ngugi, impressed at the convenience of that possibility, began making arrangements for that to happen.

However, before the deal could be closed, Mr Bundi informed him that the trade-in option was no longer viable.

He was left with the sole option of selling his car to buy the one he wanted, a white Toyota Sienta, registration KCQ.

Mr Ngugi hunted for a buyer, sold it and reached out to Mr Bundi for the car he wanted. He was informed the car was still available at a showroom along Kiambu road at Sh600,000.

“The plan was that I pay a Sh500,000 deposit and remit the balance in instalments of Sh25,000,” recalled Ngugi.

Mr Kelvin Ngugi.

On February 19, when they were to close the deal, Mr Bundi advised Mr Ngugi to meet him at lawyer Wilberforce Mariaria Nyaboga’s office at Uniafric House, along Koinange Street, for the payment and signing of a sale agreement.

Mr Ngugi says he did as advised, returned with the money and gave it to the lawyer, who, alongside the seller, started counting it.

When they confirmed the amount, the seller offered to go get the car with Mr Ngugi’s father from a garage in Hurlingham.

Mr Bundi explained the car had been taken to Hurlingham to be fitted with an alarm system to ease its tracking in the event Mr Ngugi failed to remit the balance.

Unbeknown to Mr Ngugi, this was the seller’s trick to get away with his money.

The two stepped out to hop onto motorbike taxis to speed them to the garage, but Mr Bundi sped past Mr Ngugi’s father and disappeared.

“Later Dad called to inform me that they had lost him. We tried reaching Bundi on the phone in vain.  That is how I realised I had been conned,” he said.

Mr Ngugi says he recorded a statement with a Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officer at Central Police Station but that is yet to bear any fruit.

He says the police have been unable to track down both Mr Bundi and the lawyer, even on the occasions the latter is spotted at his office.
On Thursday, the lawyer denied knowing Ngugi and ever having drafted the agreement.

Another victim

After giving up hope of ever recovering the Sh900,000 she paid for a Toyota RAV4, Ms Florence Awour (36) decided to share her predicament on a Facebook’s parenting group to expose Mr Bundi, who had conned her too.

Ms Awuor had spotted the car at and involved her brother in making the purchase. She paid Sh1.1 million through the lawyer’s Equity Bank account but never got the car.

Ms Florence Awour.

Nation Media Group

Her brother had been assured the car was at a yard along Kiambu road. Her brother and a mechanic had checked out and test-driven the car twice before she paid for it.

She conducted a search on the car’s registration and realised her brother had also been given a fake logbook.

“I alerted the car’s owner, who in turn filed a report with a DCI officer at Central Police Station under OB number 67/26/02/2020.”

After publicising her tribulations, she said the lawyer refunded Sh200,000 and alleged the balance had been wired to the seller.

Yesterday, the lawyer acknowledged he refunded the money but after realising that the deal had gone sour. He admitted to having recorded a statement at Central police station where the matter has been pending under investigation for months.

“I was acting on behalf of the two because they came to me asking for an agreement to seal their deal. I am therefore not to blame. I am also aware that the police have been hunting the seller who I only know as Robert, who is unknown to me,” he said.

The sale agreement however was with Alice Nancy Momanyi.

Seller disappeared into thin air

Henry Munene Muchiri (35) also gave up after a long wait for justice. He said police were unable to help him recover Sh600,000 paid for a Toyota Sienta bought via OLX but was never delivered to him in 2018.

“After expressing my interest, I was taken to a yard on Ngong Road where I saw the vehicle, inspected it and agreed to make a purchase.”

A Toyota Sienta 2010 model.

File | Nation Media Group

But before the car was released, Mr Munene was asked to accompany the seller to his lawyer’s office in town to sign a sale agreement.

“At some point everything was fine, the car’s logbook and search hinted at no foul play until I was asked to make the payment. Apparently they did not have a bank account so I was requested to pay in cash and I brought the money to the lawyer’s office.”

At some point the seller said he needed to rush downstairs to pick up a laptop for use in the transaction but he never came back.

“The lawyer claimed he didn’t know the seller in person and I reported the matter at Central Police Station under OB number 146/10/7/18 but the investigating officer kept asking for a facilitation fee to speed up investigations. I later gave up and returned to Kirinyaga,” he said.

Efforts to contact Mr Bundi were futile. His contacts as received from the victims were out of service and others were not being picked.

Cash withdrawn immediately

However, an attempt to send Sh5 to one of Mr Bundi’s contact to get his Mpesa-registered name was successful. The amount was, however, withdrawn from his end as soon as it was received. A text message the Nation sent to this number thereafter requesting his response to the claims by the victims wasn’t responded to.

After placing a call and sending a text message to the lawyer on Tuesday, October 20, requesting his response to the claims by the victims, he called back but declined an interview on phone.

Mr Mariaria told this writer to meet him on Wednesday, October 21, in his office. The meeting was then pushed to Thursday when the lawyer denied claims of acting in collusion with Mr Bundi.

He explained that although he had drafted two agreements in the past for transactions in which the buyers never got the vehicles, he has never been involved in any deal with Mr Bundi.

Mr Mariaria added he could not recall parties to the transactions because he offers legal services to many people.

“People come to me after agreeing to sell and buy cars from each other and all I do is sign the agreement and witness the transaction,” added the lawyer.

Denies culpability

Asked whether he was concerned about his office being used to swindle Kenyans money, he responded he cannot stop people from flocking to his office in search of legal services.

“The only mistake I committed was receiving Florence’s money in my account. Otherwise, there are too many criminals in town and cars are being sold every day. The only thing I can do is to be careful next time,” the lawyer said.

Jiji, a subsidiary of Digital Spring Ventures, acquired OLX from five countries in its efforts to become the leading classified marketplace in the world by traffic.

The transactions made through the platform are virtual, which exposes it to abuse but to cushion its clients from theft, the website advises buyers to only make payments for items bought after successful delivery.

“Avoid anything that appears too good to be true, such as unrealistically low prices and promises of quick money,” further reads the disclaimer.


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Court postpones case against Sonko’s impeachment




The Labour Court has suspended the temporary issued over half a year ago to have Nairobi’s governor Mike Sonko impeached.

On Friday, justice made the decision after disbanding an initial report filed former Nairobi county assembly speaker Beatrice Elachi.

Elachi sought to have Mike Sonko relieved of his duties at Nairobi’s county boss.

In her argument, Elachi said that there was no employer-employee relationship between the governor and members of the county assembly.

She added that such a relationship didn’t give the governor the mandate to determine any arising dispute.

Elachi further stated that the case breaches the basic principle of law that states all government entities should not encroach on each other since they are separate.

Additionally, the former speaker stated that the governor’s case was against the law as it abused the entire court process.

Justice Ongaya, however, ruled that the governor didn’t have to create an employee-employer relationship with ward representatives.

He added that impeachment is a disciplinary process for removing a person from the office which is a function of human resource.

Therefore, it is within the realms of the Constitution and Statutory provisions.

Additionally, the judge said Sonko’s case was within Constitutional and Statutory jurisdiction that can decline issues pertaining to labour relations and employment.

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Also, section 12(2) of the Employment Labour Relations Court Act, 2011 it’s okay for a case to be filed in court against or by any institution under the written law.

Additionally, the Act allows the court to determine disputes against people working as either employers or employees.

On his part, Ongwaya said proceeding with the case didn’t mean he was undermining the comity of the three government arms.

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Uhuru warns boda boda riders against being used by politicians for personal gains




President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday the 23rd of October oversaw the signing of a grand deal between capital markets authority, Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya (BAK) an investment firm and an oil marketer.

The head of state further gave the riders some financial advice on how to scale and become rich.

Uhuru also encouraged the bodaboda riders to work hard so that they can achieve their goals.

“Boda boda industry is a sleeping giant that needs to be awakened, which is why the boda boda investment scheme is a great idea.

“Every individual should take pride in paying the price for what they want. If you do not pay the price, someone will pay to misuse you,” Uhuru said.

President Uhuru further questioned why some Boda Boda riders are poor despite the industry raking a staggering ksh 27 billion monthly.

According to him, the industry earns more than what the Government gives counties yearly.

“Every year, in totality, the boda boda industry makes ksh 357 billion. Boda boda association if together, would make more than what the government gives to the 47 counties.

“If you collect almost ksh1 billion every day, why does every boda boda rider cry of poverty?” Uhuru questioned.

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“The boda boda sector supports, directly or indirectly, 5.2 million kenyans which accounts for 10% of the population. This means that one in every ten kenyans makes his livelihood because of the business that you do,” he added

The head of state also cautioned the riders against accepting influence from political forces.

According to him, the riders should unite and work hard to visualize their dreams.

“If the working life of a boda boda is ten years after which he joins another sector, then this scheme offers a safe landing for him outside the said industry. My government is in full support of this association.

“My advice is to tell you to leverage your numbers.. look at things not in an individual aspect, but in a collective point of view. At times you’ll have to make unpopular decisions hence the reason why I came with a lean team. But always think of yourselves first and be careful not to be swindled based on political grounds.”

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