Cleophas Shimanyula alias ‘Toto’ as he is fondly known is the chairman of Kakamega Homeboyz FC. Apart from being the chairman of the Kakamega based football team, he operates as the owner of the team.
The wealthy Kakamega based businessman is no an ordinary man in the Kenyan football atmosphere. What amazes many is where this man came from and the kind of influence that he continues to draw. One time well reserved and contented at his club, the bull started growing his horns. Shimanyula found a reason to actively participate in the day to day life of Kenyan football. In his presence, one will disagree to agree but one fact will still remain at the end of such discussion. After Gor Mahia’s former tactician Dylan Kerr, Cleophas Shimanyula is Kenya’s remaining super sports banter. For purposes of flexibility and inclusivity, Gor Mahia’s number one fan Jaro Soja still meets the merit for the same.
Sports banter is just a way that people more so fans of a particular sport can use to bring fan out of something. It’s more of having a playful and friendly approach to things in a manner that brings some fan aspect of what’s happening. This is therefore what Cleophas Shimanyula has mastered and fairing on at it.
One minute this man will be attacking Gor Mahia, the second day he will be on Nick Mwenda’s neck and so on and so forth. Sidelining the aforementioned, there is no club that has found it rough with the Kakamega Homeboyz boss than AFC Leopards. Ingwe and their chairman Dan Shikanda have had the hardest time with the tycoon.
Is it helpful?
One person who probably doesn’t understand what this man does will always ask if what he does is even relevant. I will confidently tell you that yes, what Cleophas Shimanyula does is healthier to our local game. Analyzing what he speaks about from time to time will show you one thing; this man is just enjoying the game. So, he wants all of you to join the game so that you can enjoy the game together. His utterances and remarks help frequently in raising the bar of the game in the country. We can’t just do away with the Homeboyz man.
There are numerous occasions Cleophas Shimanyula have helped. One time in the last season, when Gor Mahia hosted Homeboyz at Moi Stadium in Kisumu, many fans who travelled to that match went there to specifically see this man Cleophas Shimanyula. Prior to that league tie, he had hyped the match and that Kakamega Homeboyz was going to win against Gor Mahia. It amazed and shocked many people where this Shimanyula was gaining the courage to utter such words. I mean, nobody ever knew who this man was. It is at that time that Gor Mahia was in serious financial turmoil and therefore depended only in the gate collection.
His utterances therefore in one way or the other, managed to drive in many fans for that particular match. Fans travelled from all over including Homeboyz fans who some, used their own means of transport to reach to Kisumu. At the end of that matchday, Gor Mahia in their signature style thrashed Kakamega Homeboyz 3-1. Gor Mahia on that day went home both with the points and enough money from the gate collection courtesy of Cleophas Shimanyula
Hate for Ingwe
As Cleophas Shimanyula continues to excite fans in the country, there is one thing that we can’t afford to just wish away, his love-hate relationship with AFC Leopards. If it’s a passion then this man hates the Ingwe with a lot of passion. If it’s about career then this man went to the best school of heating AFC Leopards. In any case, the second scenario is true then he ought to have not paid because he must have been a very brilliant student in his class.
What happened between him and the club we can’t really tell. We can however tell that his relationship with the Den is not a usual relationship. He will always attack the club when he wishes so at the slightest ‘provocation’ or sometimes just for fun. A mastery of taking swipes at the 13-time league champions is what he has. He will always be on top of his lungs criticizing the club from different angles ranging from their chairperson, transfers all the way down to their pockets. To be more realistic, there is no other club that wishes this man wasn’t there as AFC Leopards. They will always be at loggerheads over almost everything.
In his recent attack to the club, he started by taking a swipe at the club when they signed his former player Thiong’o on a free agent. He delved into a point stating that the club was too broke to buy a player and that’s the norm at which they operate. Before that one would even sink down, AFC Leopards hired a new coach and he was on their neck again. He has now started clearly that he doesn’t even mind AFC Leopards hiring Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho to coach them because they will still beat them.
In a developing nation like Kenya, it’s not easy to have a club and run it. More so in a competitive top tier league like FKF Premier League where each season clubs fight to win the league. This is where whether we agree or not, Cleophas Shimanyula scores more points than the majority of team leaders in the country. The only people who have done a tremendous job over the same are Ambrose Rachier and Elly Kalekwa of Gor Mahia and Sofapaka SC respectively. The two have stood the test of time to ensure that their clubs remain at the top of the premier league even during tough times.
Earning promotion in the 2016 season, Kakamega Homeboyz under the turtle ship of Cleophas Shimanyula remains a club to reckon with. Since earning their promotion, the club has maintained their league presence ever since. As a matter of fact, it is just a matter of time before the club wins a league trophy. In the last abandoned season, Kakamega Homeboyz had pilled a lot of pressure on Gor Mahia to a point that they were going to win the league. If they come with the same mentality and psyche as they were last season then they will definitely win the league. All they will have to pray for is for Gor Mahia to slumber then they arise to the occasion. As I pen off, I can only wish that we have many people in the calibre of Cleophas Shimanyula.
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