President Uhuru Kenyatta has led other leaders in mourning the passing on of Kenyan football legend Joe Kadenge, describing him as an “exemplified talent, dedicated and patriotic person.”
“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 said.
Deputy President William Ruto in his condolence message described Kadenge as “approachable, gentlemanly, courteous and a role model.”
“Condolences to the family and friends of football legend Joe Kadenge. At his prime, Kadenge was unplayable; he terrorised defenders with dribbles, nutmegs and was a joy to watch, ” Ruto said
“He raised a family of great footballers: Francis, Evans, Rogers and Oscar, who excelled in the sport. Kadenge was a wonderful man, on and off the pitch; approachable, gentlemanly, courteous and a role model. May his soul rest in peace,” DP added.
In his part, opposition leader Raila Odinga mourned Kadenge as one of the country’s greatest football talent.
“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. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the soccer fraternity for whom he was a figure to emulate,” Raila said.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula has also mourned him saying: “The curtain has fallen on our football legend Joe Kadenge. His football artistry equaled modern day Thierry Henry, Christian Ronaldo, George Weah, Samuel Etoo etc. We must have a proper policy for the welfare of our sports heroes/heroines. RIP Joe.”
“Kadenge na mpira”
Revered for his trickery and goal-scoring heroics, Kadenge enjoyed cult-like status in Kenya during his stints with both Harambee Stars and AFC Leopards between the 1950s and 70s.
His mastery in the game prompted the then football commentator Leonard Mambo Mbotela to come up with a slogan ‘Kadenge na mpira’ a phrase that many Kenyan football fans remember.
Kadenge died on Sunday July, 7 after a long battle with diabetes.