Kenya’s football legend McDonald Mariga shot into political limelight when he won the battle to fly the Jubilee Party ticket in Kibra area by-election in bid to replace late Ken Okoth.
Mariga who was one of the 16 hopeful aspirants to fly the Jubilee ticket, said that he was not being used by anyone after he emerged the winner.
That’s my decision and I’m not being pushed by anyone. There is no influence. I decided, together with the family, that I try it,” he said.
As Mariga ventures actively into Kenyan politics, here are key facts about the bubbly footballer
- Mariga was born 32 years ago on 4 April 1987 as McDonald Mariga Wanyama. Mariga was born in family of sports personalities such as his father Noah Wanyama who played for AFC Leopards in KPL, younger brother Victor Wanyama who plays for Totenham Hotspurs in EPL and two younger brothers Thomas and Sylvester who feature in KPL. His sister Mercy played football and netball on national levels
- While still studying at Kamukunji High School in Nairobi, Mariga started off his professional football career by joining Ulinzi stars before moving to Tusker FC and then Kenya Pipeline FC in KPL
- In 2002 and 2003, he together with schoolmate Dennis Oliech won the two consecutive National Championships. They were later crowned as ‘Golden Boys’
- In 2005, he moved to Sweden where he played for two clubs as a defensive midfielder before moving to Parma in Serie A, Italy in 2007
- Mariga featured excellently for 38 times as a Parma player, scoring crucial goals which handed them a promotion from Serie B to Seria A
- In 2010, he failed to sign for Manchester City due to work permit issues, a move that NASA leader stated that 22 year old mariga had not obtained a work permit to work in UK
- He opted to join Inter Milan exactly on the deadline day
- Mariga became the first player from East Africa as well as from Kenya to play in the UEFA Champions League when he featured as a late substitute against Chelsea in March 2010
- Between 2011-2012, he moved to Spanish La Liga club Real Sociedad where he featured against top players such as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and former Real Madrid star Christiano Ronaldo
- In 2013, his love relationship with Rwandese fiancée Ariane Umutoni went berserk prompting them to end the relationship