Thursday, May 23, 2024

Patrick Namai: 5 key facts about former Harambee Stars defender now selling charcoal in Eldoret

The as soon as a famed Harambee Stars defender, now struggles as a charcoal vendor in Eldoret on account of systemic neglect.

Soccer legends typically discover life after their careers on the pitch a clean transition into teaching, commentary, or different associated fields. 

Nevertheless, for Patrick Alfred Namai, as soon as a celebrated defender for Harambee Stars, the story has taken a a lot humbler path.

 Right now, Namai is much from the floodlights of the stadium as a substitute, he’s a charcoal hawker in Langas, a bustling property on the fringes of Eldoret city. 

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Listed below are 5 important points of his journey from a soccer icon to his present life.

1. From nationwide glory to native vendor

Namai’s mornings start early within the bustling streets of Langas, the place he sells charcoal to make ends meet.

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 This is a stark distinction to the Eighties and 90s when he was a stalwart defender for Kenya’s nationwide soccer group and performed alongside worldwide stars in prestigious tournaments. 

“I performed soccer, good soccer, however luck was not on my aspect,” Namai displays with a touch of resignation. 

His days of guarding the posts in opposition to high world strikers like Paulo Maldini are actually simply reminiscences overshadowed by his every day wrestle for survival.

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2. Financial hardships post-retirement

The decline of Namai’s fortunes started with the collapse of Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) in Eldoret, the place he labored after retiring from soccer. 

The closure of KCC not solely left him jobless but additionally marked the start of his monetary woes. 

Regardless of his vital contributions to Kenyan soccer, the dearth of sustainable post-career help and planning has left him in poverty, a state of affairs confronted by many retired athletes within the nation.

3. Uncared for by the system

Namai’s story highlights a important difficulty in the therapy and help of retired athletes in Kenya. 

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He laments the dearth of respect and recognition for former gamers, “It’s not that we don’t have good gamers. What we’re missing is respect for the gamers,” he states. 

His expertise underscores the broader neglect by sports activities authorities, who typically fail to supply former athletes with alternatives inside sports activities organizations.

4. Household and legacy

Dwelling together with his spouse, Rachael Chepsang, and their six youngsters, Namai’s family is crammed with names that echo his previous glories. 

His youngsters are named after well-known footballers he as soon as shared the sector with, a nod to a time when he constructed lasting relationships with soccer officers and gamers internationally. 

The youngsters’s naming custom is a bittersweet reminder of his once-promising profession.

5. An advocate for change

 Regardless of his circumstances, Namai stays an advocate for the higher therapy of footballers in Kenya. 

He emphasizes that in his time, “soccer was like a passion. However we have been dedicated.Right now, nevertheless, gamers make a dwelling out of it.” 

He requires a systemic change in how athletes are handled and insists that with the proper help Kenya might elevate its soccer profile considerably.

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