- Ezekiel Odera rose to enjoy his best ever goal-scoring campaign while at AFC Leopards from the depth of sorrow following his mum’s demise. He scored consecutive games despite the sadness that lead Ingwe to a seventh-place finish on the 2018 KPL.
“The passing on of my mum was a shocker not only to me but our entire family. She was my number one fan. Each and every goal I scored since then is dedicated to her and that has made me work even harder to impress her as she rests in peace with the angels,” he said.
The news about his mum’s demise was revealed to him as they traveled to Awendo for a league match against Sony Sugar where he incidentally would begin his rich-vein of goal-scoring form culminating in the SJAK award.
Odera started playing football at the age of ten while growing up in Umoja estate in Nairobi before the start of the new millennium.
“My career as a footballer really took off in 2010 when I signed for KCB from Sports Connect Academy based in Buruburu. The move made me mature quickly because I had not played league football previously but only tournaments,” Odera said.
“My highlights, of course, was in 2010 when in my first year in the Kenya Premier League became the league’s second top scorer behind now Sofapaka coach John Baraza. Baraza is an idol to many and if I can match his achievements on the pitch, I will be greatly pleased,” he added.
Odera still reels from his downward spiral when he joined Gor Mahia—a move that nearly derailed his career and sapped the confidence off him in front of goal.
“One of my regrets in my career was leaving KCB for Gor. With the benefit of hindsight, I think the time was not right for me because I did not get enough playing time at the club,” he told.
Though he is in his 30s, Odera has not given a thought to retirement but he is instead hoping to play for as long as his desire will let him.