Before 'Gor's' Rodriguez there have been other imposters

Jan 24, 2013
  • Brazilian Giovanni Rodriguez strikes a pose when he was unveiled at the City Stadium.

So it was just a sham after all? All the razzmatazz about Kenyan Premier League picking up the ‘Samba’ beat.

After two weeks of eye-twitching travesty, on Wednesday Gor Mahia cut loss their losses by letting go their ‘hottest’ property in recent times - a nondescript Brazilian by the name Giovanni Rodriguez.

The club’s decision did not come as a surprise though. For all the ten odd days that the Brazilian player shuffled his hefty mass around the team’s training ground there wasn’t much left in the imagination of the true identity of this imposter.

His silent departure was in stark contrast to the buzz that was caused by the club’s announcement a few weeks ago that it had landed a Brazilian star, a first by any Kenyan club.

And so in their typical pompous style, scores of K’Ogalo fans who had been duped into believing the authenticity of the Brazilian product thronged the City Stadium last week on Monday curious to catch a glimpse of the ‘Samba Boy’.

Tell-tale signs

However, one look at the chubby lad clad in jeans, black t-shirt and sun glasses revealed the first telltale signs. To make matters worse, his attempt to showcase his juggling skills was abit wishy-washy if not hilarious.

But they say the proof is always in the pudding. 24 hours everything was laid bare in his first training session with the club.

One football writer described him as “a round man who looked more a yesteryear rugby prop forward than a nimble football midfielder.”

One look at him and head coach Zdavko Logarusic dismissed him without mincing words. “I have observed him and he didn't produce anything meaningful on the pitch. He is very unfit”, was the coach’s first impression of Rodriguez.

As if that’s not enough, the outspoken Croatian coach’s went on to declare his assistant John “Bobby” Ogola fitter than the Brazilian.

It didn’t help matters that his arrival in Kenya coincided with the saga of a phony character by the name Joshua Karanja Waiganjo, who for the last 5 years has fooled the Kenyan security system while masquerading as a senior police officer.

Butt of jokes

Poor Rodriguez! Within no time he became the butt of jokes on the street and in social media. From the unflattering nickname of “Lou-driguez”, the Brazilian was soon christened “Waiganjo” in reference to the fake policeman.

Thankfully, Logarusic was never going to have a player who can’t run and think at the same time (to put it in his own words).

Leave alone the thinking bit; Rodriguez couldn’t run during his first training session. He had to go.

The notion that this out-of-shape player would have been the leagues highest paid player with a fat monthly pay cheque of Ksh.150,000 is in itself laughable.

But who would blame club secretary George Bwana for his double bluff? This is Kenya.

Like the small Russian town in Nikolai Gogol’s classic comic The Government Inspector, every so often we are treated to an incognito visitation by imposter(s) from all sorts of place in the world.

Anyone who still remembers bogus Artur brothers from Armenia?


Nesta Kizito

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