Dennis Oliech, the man to have sent Kenya to their last African Cup of Nations competition, finds himself in a horribly difficult situation. According to a section of the press, the ex Mathare United prodigy is the current poster boy of the From Grace to Grass idiom.
In one of his photos posted on the social media alongside his former coach Jacob Ghost Mulee, Oliech looks weary; an easy target for naysayers who would like to tell tales that are not here or there. They claim Oliech who once had the most admirable physic of all the footballers in this country and looked pumped up while on national team duty is struggling to make ends meet going by his bushy beard and the smoothly shaven head.
Social Media Streets
In these social media streets it is a normal thing for people to judge an individual going by the looks. To them, going by the picture posted by Mulee, Oliech is on a downward trajectory and is not the same man we all recall as the kind of footballer who made you quicken your strides while on the way to the Kasarani every time Harambee Stars was summoned for duty.
Oliech is not your normal footballer. Apart from the Wanyama brothers (Victor and Mariga), Oliech is one of the best talents Kenya has ever exported to the European leagues. His record even before he made a move to the French League One speaks volumes. He racked up a total of 12 goals in 17 matches for Qatari side Al Arabi where after the fine show, the country requested him to change his nationality - which he declined.
Nantes was to come calling followed by stints at Auxerre (where he mixed it with the who and who in the world football) before calling it a day in France with AC Ajaccio in the later stages of his career. The naysayers will never tell you of these sumptuous moments where Dennis the Menace raised brand Kenya in World map. His after football life has been something that has got the press talking but for those who are close to him, the cancer treatment for his mother in France took a huge toll on his finances; a few people would realize this.
His behavior crossed the line more times than anyone can possibly remember but when called up to defend the colours of his country, he did it with pride. We are all entitled to be fearful for Oliech, he has had some of the most controversial posts on his social media accounts even during his time as an active player but no matter what he does, from buying high end cars to helping his family, there will always be someone clicking on a camera to make a few quid. It is expected that he will be the talk of town every time he pops up in you nearest local for a gig and there is not the slightest hope of Dennis Oliech getting any anonymity, he's the nation's beloved footballer, he's a story.
There is a network of true people around Oliech, and just like me and you, he has friends. There are qualified people in that network trying to help him get involved in the game going by the deals he has signed by cooperates in recent years. If we really want to help him, it’s time to leave the man alone for it is not time yet to write his obituary.