Posted: August 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


A 3 way dilemma. That’s what has led FKF to Henri. Michel Simply put, would you rather the known-known, known unknown or unknown unknowns? After witnessing the Harambee stars struggle to strike lustre in the beautiful game, stakeholders have been touting names foreign to the Kenyan tongue for the national team’s top job. The dilemma therein. Others have been tried and tested in the recent past, and not many have impressed: Francis Kimanzi, “Ghost” Mulee, Antoine Hey and Zico, didn’t quite cut it. So Sam Nyamweya and Football Kenya Federation opted to chance with the known-unknowns, Raymond Domenech (yes, him), Claude Leroy, Oto Pfister, Adel Amrouche and Frenchman Michel from a more extensive shortlist. Many boast noteworthy success under their managerial careers and therefore felt equal to the task. Put in mind our football team is a wild card. Has been for a while now. In a minute way, VERY MINUTE, our position is similar to England’s, currently bossed by Roy Hodgson. Bags of potential, no actual results. Admittedly, we should be thankful for the national coaches we have had, but life goes on, and it has, with Frenchman Henri Michel. Our known unknown.

 You wonder how most of us have our noses in English football, and yet know kaput of our own. Tidbits of Gor-Mahia- Ingwe knowledge don’t apply. Not by a long shot and Chengafunga isn’t any different. Guilty as charged! So, possibly, we all need something new. Different.  A learning process.  A known unknown. The prospect of a new tactician within our ranks is refreshing. Someone with a different experience but open to new challenges, a Kenyan challenge. ” What’s in store for us?” you might think. Give it time. It’s worth a try but whether it is wise to let go of local instructors for foreign, remains our unknown-unknown. So we wait with bated breath on what our new man has in store. But hold! Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman. And what with the new constitution on matters gender? Hmmm… imagine the feel, a female manager as boss?

 In happier days, not long ago, Reinhard Fabisch (rest his soul) was alright. Antoine Hey ??… Hey, I don’t know, but in faith with keeping up to the learning process, did you know, Kenya has appeared in five Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and has never secured a second round berth? The team entered its first FIFA World Cup qualificationin 1974 and as of 2012, has never qualified to the final tournament. Even then, the bad comes with the good. Ying and yang. The team has been 5 Times, Cecafa  Champion (1975, 1981, 1982, 1983, 2002) and 4 times Runners-up. Point in hand, these historical football treasures of ours can be realized with planned change.

 Correcting our fatal mistakes and rediscovering paths to these previous successes are doubtlessly, ways to upgrade our football. The new tactician, Michel, should be a man who knows some things can change, others can’t. Like getting old and dying. Mind you, integrating change is no mean feat. Therefore 64 year old Michel should be allowed his choice for a backroom staff, but integrated with a couple of local, old school tacticians. Michel has the African experience managing Cameroon (‘94), Morocco (’95-2000, 2007), Tunisia (2001-02) and Cote D’Ivoire (04-06). With blue, dreamy eyes and a pinch of naivety, most would go for the more familiar Domenech…Well only imagine what hefty pay the former Les Bleus boss would command and take back to France? The kind of money you’d by a fishing boat with in your 60’s. Not many Kenyans do that in their 60’s. Perhaps the young, technical Belgian Tom Saintfiet (39) is a better pick vis a vis the experienced Oto Pfister (74)? Or the man with big African names under his belt-Leroy? All in the unknown-unknowns basket, so leave it.

 Transition is key; stakeholders need a moment to let it all sink in before any rabbits start hopping out of the hat. Maybe Michel needs either Kimanzi, Ghost and Zico as a consultant and whether that should be financially worked, is of concern. No, not concern, but advisable if brought in the fold. In similar fashion to athletics, proper preparation is required, and since football is more technical than running or sprinting, even more is necessary. Successful football nations invest heavily in intensive coaching for their young players, relying on football associations to effectively coordinate the training of several thousand coaches. So in retrospect, this job isn’t necessarily a one man show. The contribution of local premier clubs, trainers and school competitions should direct more wind to the smooth sailing of our football ship.

Football needs to be run like an organization, and we can look no further than Ghana for governance lessons. It is no coincidence that Africa’s best performing team at the last World Cup was Ghana, a country which has some of the highest scores in Africa on world governance indicators. In organizations’ management, firms are at fault for complete changes and overhaul of their internal systems e.g. marketing strategies, machinery and equipment, all the while expecting improved, better output. However, they forget that transforming their current employees’ mindset, skills and cultures to suit those new changes is most important. Michel should be willing to learn as well as teach and realize that there are already decent players here: Celtic’s Wanyama, Oliech, Mariga, Mugalia, Blackberry, Oboya, Asike and others in the local premier league.

Change is welcome, but like it’s often asked, would you rather the devil you know or the devil you don’t? Answer-you never know but start with the rule of knowns.  



  1. chengafunga says:

    @GlobalVoices ..It is uplifting to notice your approval of content within your own posts. Sharing noble voices and thoughts is a sure platform for improvement, especially for Kenyan football. Merci!

  2. chengafunga says:

    @lista de emails….hopefully, you can expect more of the same as we plan on increasing our blogging frequency. Nevertheless…..appreciated!

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  6. […] had their own views about Henri Michel's appointment. Chenga Funga states this in his post ‘The Rule of Knowns‘: A 3 way dilemma. That’s what has led FKF to Henri. Michel Simply put, would you rather […]

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