NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 7 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is among many Kenyans who poured their condolences to mourn the death of Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge who passed on Sunday morning at 84.
Kadenge’s family said he died at the Meridian Hospital in Nairobi on Sunday, after a long illness with diabetes, having suffered a stroke in February.
Uhuru, who paid a visit to Kadenge on January 8, 2017 at his South B home to fulfill the legend’s wish, eulogized him as a true patriotic.
“It is with profound sadness that I have learnt of the demise of Mzee Joe Kadenge. His death is a loss to the sporting fraternity and our nation. Joe exemplified talent, dedication and patriotism. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time,” President Kenyatta mourned.
“It is with profound sadness that I have learnt of the demise of Mzee Joe Kadenge. His death is a loss to the sporting fraternity and our nation. Joe exemplified talent, dedication and patriotism. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.” ~ H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) July 7, 2019
Kadenge, who said he has met and talked to all three previous Kenyan Presidents expressed his desire to meet the sitting President before he bids the world goodbye and his wish on a cool Sunday evening came to pass.
The President did not come empty handed as the ailing Kadenge then was gifted with a comprehensive insurance cover that would see him get treatment in any health institution in the country as well as Sh2mn cash.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who also paid Kadenge a visit while he was at hospital, said Kenya has lost a great talent to have ever graced the Kenyan pitch.
“We have today lost one of the greatest talents to ever grace a football pitch in our national uniform. Joe Kadenge was a true ambassador for the country and Kenyan soccer. May he rest in eternal bliss. May his spirit inspire more young people to pursue the game,” Odinga mourned.
We have today lost one of the greatest talents to ever grace a football pitch in our national uniform. Joe Kadenge was a true ambassador for the country and Kenyan soccer. May he rest in eternal bliss. May his spirit inspire more young people to pursue the game. pic.twitter.com/5CNT2m7mf5
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) July 7, 2019
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the soccer fraternity for whom he was a figure to emulate.
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) July 7, 2019
Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa also sent his condolences to Kadenge’s family;
“I am saddened by the passing on of Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge. His contribution and dedication to the game will forever be remembered and cherished both within and across our borders,” Mwendwa said.
“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,” he added.
Fare thee well Joe. You contributed through football and showed the way. Till we meet again.
— Nick Mwendwa (@Nmwendwa) July 7, 2019
Kadenge suffered stroke on February 14, which was attributed to the death of his daughter Evelyn in the United States that made him admitted in hospital for two months before being discharged April 8
The former Harambee Stars striker famed by the ‘Kadenge na Mpira shuti goal’ phrase, has been described as the finest footballer ever produced by Kenya.
Kadenge played for Maragoli United, and scored the fastest ever goal in the Kenyan Premier League, and has also played club football for Abaluhya United, winning the Kenyan Premier League in 1966.
Kadenge also represented the national team Harambee Stars for 14 years, despite retiring from the game in 1965, only to make a comeback with a bang and steered the national team Harambee Stars to victory in the inaugural East and Central Africa Challenge Cup the same year.
He quit the national team for good in 1970 preferring to go into coaching where he was later appointed coach of the national team where he has also been serving as the manager.
Kadenge boasts a sporting family where his younger brother John Anzra, a former athlete is now coaching the Kenyan sprinters team and his sister Esther Kavaya is a former sprints queen.
His sons Evans, Francis and Oscar have stood out to emulate their father, having played for AFC Leopards.
A legend has rested
We are sad to announce that our legend Joe Kadenge has passed on
Our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends . May the peace of God comfort you at this trying moment
Rest In Peace Joe Kadenge pic.twitter.com/F3PrMrWq5h
— AFC Leopards SC (@AFCLeopards) July 7, 2019
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. pic.twitter.com/Uf3lolZmuC
— Mathare United FC (@MathareUtd) July 7, 2019
Joe Kadenge was one of my favourite footballers ever…He was a true GOAT🐐.He was emulated by the whole soccer fraternity..For real,we have lost such a legend in Kenya..#RIPKadenge pic.twitter.com/2NVSVty2qx
— Magmatic Magnate (@MagmaticMagnate) July 7, 2019
— MWAMUDZ 🐦🌴 (@MwamudzHK) July 7, 2019