Mboma arrives in Nairobi for the SOYA awards

By alex wafula
Jan 13, 2022
  • Patrick Mboma with his manager Slimane Bensale on arrival on Wednesday at the JKIA for the SOYA awards. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

An Olympic champion in 2000 and two-time CAF Africa Cup of Nations winner in 2000 and 2002 Patrick Mboma will be the star guest at this year’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

The gala will be held on Friday at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). Mboma arrived in the country on Wednesday night with his imminent coming announced a few hours earlier by the SOYA patron Paul Tergat, with co-sponsors Kenya Airways who flew one of Africa’s greatest left backs from Paris where he is based.

“We trust that his presence here will be a motivation to other sportsmen to work hard and achieve what he has achieved. It has been our tradition every year to bring one of the finest sportsmen in the continent to have a taste of the talent we have in Kenya,” Tergat said.

"I am really looking forward to meeting Tergat, an athlete I admire and gracing such a big sporting event,"Mboma,45, told Sports News Arena before his departure. Mboma is a decorated footballer with an illustrious career.

Great left back 

He was the CAF African Player of the Year in 2000 and received the BBC Africa Footballer of the Year Award after leading Cameroon to the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics and the African Cup of Nations titles. He also helped Cameroon defend the title in 2012 where he also won the golden boot award.

Last year, the tournament was graced by Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. At the same time, the awards received another shot in the arm with the Communications Authority of Kenya handing in a Sh1million sponsorship perk.

The organizers earlier this week also received a Sh3.5million sponsorship boost from betting firm mCheza.

“We are honored to be associated with SOYA because this will enable our young Kenyans reach milestones and encourage them to work harder,” CA Kenya director Francis Wangusi said.

The toast of the night on Friday will be the awarding of the Sportsman of the Year. Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku received the award last year.

This year, the battle will be between World champions Julius Yego (javelin) and Asbel Kiprop (track) as well as reigning footballer of the year, Gor Mahia’s Michael Olunga and World Cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor. National hockey team player Linus Kipkemboi is the surprise face among the top five nominees.

The women’s top five has a diversified listing of sports women that includes the top lady shooter of 2015 Nune Bonaya, top marathoner Florence Kipgalat and Gladys Cherono. Attacker Mercy Moim, Malkia’s strikers top scorer from the world grand prix who recently signed for a Finnish club and Naomi Wafula, the leading lady golfer complete the women’s list.

KCB Rugby, Kenya Simba 15’s, National Hockey team, Gor Mahia and Harambee Stars are the five teams that will be gunning for the SOYA men’s team award.

Malkia Strikers’ two squads the All Africa Games champions and the world grand prix group winners, Kenya Volleyball league champions Kenya Pipeline and Africa Club champions Orange Telkom are the top five women’s teams.

Safaricom has unveiled a free SMS voting platform where the public can choose for their preferred athlete by dialing *279# from their mobile phones.