Wanga:I almost joined the military out of despair
Allan Wanga could have been a soldier had plans in football not worked out. He would now be shooting bullets instead of balls.
Wanga’s entry to the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) almost hit a snag. Agrochemicals FC had secured his services as they sought to boost their fire power upfront but a hostile reception from his teammates forces him leave the club.
With his football career seemingly on the rocks, his mother suggested the military as a possible avenue to be in gainful employment.
“I almost considered joining the military but my love for football was just too strong,” Wanga told Nairobi News.
December 2006 would be the pivot of Wanga’s budding career. He gave a virtuoso performance while playing for Lolwe FC, banging in four superb goals against Wazee wa Kazi, a side consisting of retired internationals and other football legends.
George Sunguti, the former AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia and Harambee stars defender was impressed by his display and he introduced him to Jacob “Ghost” Mulee, the then Tusker FC head coach who signed him after only two training sessions.
He repaid the faith by scoring 21 goals that helped Tusker win the 2007 KPL title, their first trophy in seven years.
Angola’s Petro Atletico was monitoring his progress and soon he was on his way to Luanda. He would again replicate his league –winning feat his first season with the Angolan Club. By sheer coincidence Petro hadn’t won the Girabola league title for seven years until they bagged it in the year 2008 with Wanga on tow.
He then moved to Vietnam where he played for two seasons before returning home, a decision that surprised many.
“I missed home, I did not feel happy in Vietnam so I decided to return,” the AFC Leopards forward said.
He signed for Ingwe when he returned and was at the forefront in the team’s successful push for a second place finish in the Premier League. Wanga played a key role in Leopards’ 1-0 win over arch-rivals Gor Mahia in the GOtv Shield final on November 16.
Wanga’s stint with the national side, Harambee Stars has seen him amass 25 caps and nine goals. The future is still bright for the 26-year-old sensational striker. For as long as he remains fit, has a great chance of representing the country.
Wanga is also the first Kenyan footballer to write a a book – STRIKING IT HIGH – which captures his struggles to make it in football. The book which revolves around resilience, his career and the pursuit of dreams is an interesting read. The book was released last year.
He believes football in Kenya is growing fast and will continue with the momentum if there is proper management and more sponsors come on board.