Football Legend Joe Kadenge Dies in Nairobi

  • The legendary Kenyan footballer, Joe Kadenge has passed away at the age of 84.

    He drew his last breath while undergoing treatment at Meridian Hospital in Nairobi, his son Oscar Kadenge confirmed.

    There was a national outpouring of messages for Kadenge's family following the announcement, from both individuals as well as local football teams.

    "His contribution and dedication to the game will forever be remembered and cherished both within and across our borders. On my own behalf and that of the entire Kenya football fraternity, I wish to send my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Kadenge. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at these trying times, may you find solace in the memories," Federation of Kenyan Football President, Nick Mwendwa remarked.

    "We would like to send our condolences to the Kadenge family following the demise of Mzee Joe Kadenge, a true hero and legend of Kenyan football," Mathare United FC tweeted.

    The former player and coach was regarded as the finest footballer to ever grace the country's football scene.

    "Joe Kadenge epitomizes passion and talent for the beautiful game. He would attend as many local matches as he could. Rest in Peace Legend," Citizen TV's Mukami Wambora posted.

    Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans grew up to the famous "Kadenge na mpira Shooti gooooal" slogan, made famous by the former national hero.

    In his prime, when Kadenge had the ball, the impossible became possible. He was ice cold in front of goals, he was focused, he was swift as the wind, he was simply unstoppable.

    The Kenyan striker became so synonymous with scoring goals that his famous 'Kadenge na mpira' slogan could be used interchangeably with the word 'goal'.

    "I wanted to stop playing football when I was still a damn good player, so people don't forget me," Joe Kadenge once stated.

    Born on March 16, 1935, his meteoric rise to stardom kicked off in the 60s when he played for Maragoli United, where he held the record for the fastest goal scored in the Kenyan Premier League.

    He went on to play for Abuluhya United (now AFC Leopards), winning the Kenyan Premier League in 1966, thus cementing his cult status.

    Kadenge was added to the Kenya Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, before going on to enjoy a short stint as the Kenya National Football team head coach back in 2002.

    During Africa's first ever World Cup which was held in South Africa (2010), the Kenyan legend was invited by Fifa to represent East and Central Africa during the opening ceremony.