“I am looking for a job. Any job. I need income. That is why you see me moving around and doing interviews with the media (so as to endeavor myself to prospective employers),” he said.
That was a statement from Dennis ‘The Menace’ Oguta Oliech, in May this year(2021) during an interview with KTN.
This is a man who had given this Country his best years- even to a point of rejecting close to a billion shillings to change his citizenship.
When he announced that he was retiring from soccer a few years ago, the response was lackluster.
Perhaps if he was an Englishman, Brazilian or South African, those and many other football-loving countries, folks would be gripped by ‘Oliech-mania’ to toast the career of a great player.
There wasn’t even a statement- even from the social media savvy government- thanking him for his service.
This is a player whose Qatari club, Al-Arabi turned down USD10m (over Sh100m) from French giants, AS Monaco to sign him in 2005.
Oliech played against the likes of Argentina legendary goal machine, Gabriel Batistuta and retired Germany midfield stalwart, Stefan Effenberg at Al-Arabi where he plundered 12 goals in 17 appearances.
It’s sad that Kenya’s heroes are celebrated in their prime only to be discarded as soon as their stay at the top is over.
But aside from his tumultuous career, his personal life has been fraught with spellbinding peaks and sunsets as well
At one time, Oliech was earning as much as KSh 100 million in salary and allowances during his time in France as well as millions of shillings from clubs in Qatar and UAE.
A once high-flying international footballer, he has now been forced to settle for an average life after waning fortunes from his football career.
At the zenith of his football career, he made real estate investments and opened up new businesses including a posh clothing line in Hurlingham, an entertainment label among others.
Then his family was faced with terminal illnesses, especially his mom and brother. Couple that with a few fiscal blunders and Oliech’s financial power took a downward spiral.
He has sold off some of his property while leasing out others including his Cedar Valley House in Lavington.
His trademark in town, an elegant Chrysler could no longer be seen.
One of his friends told the media: “Siku hizi Dess (as his “boys” refer to him) hana kakitu, kazi ni kuchana miraa na moguka pale Dago. Wale socialites walikuwa wanamdai sai hawaonekani. Cheki Facebook cover photo yake, hao ndo madem ahang out nayo”.
The 36-year old recently also opened up on why he turned down millions to change his nationality from Kenya to Qatar while at the prime of his footballer career.
“I can say the situation at the time is not the same at the moment so maybe if someone offered me the money right now I will take it. But you have to look at the other side and say living in Asia and especially with the Arabs is not easy. You have no chance to enjoy life. You can have money but get stuck in the country with nowhere to go. With their citizenship, they will even deny you a chance to leave the country. That is not the type of life I am looking to live.”
Oliech who received his football education at Kakamega and Kamukunji High School before enjoying a short stint at Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League side Mathare United also added:
“My mother’s hospital bill came to around Sh40 million and we had to pay around Sh84 million for Kevin’s bill. You cannot hold on to an asset and your relatives are ill and need your help.”
Oliech says he should have asked for help.
“The problem was maybe we did not appeal to the public to help us cushion the financial burdens.”
Speaking about his entertainment and events promotion company, Fishborne Entertainment, Oliech recounted how it started and eventually died.
“I loved reggae music and I still do. I figured out I could turn out my passion into a business since I had access and connections to high-profile reggae artistes, and that is how Fishborne was founded,” he said.
“I paid a lot of money to bring artists such as Richie Spice, Morgan Heritage among others to perform live in Kenya, but the business never broke even due to lack of sponsors and good partners.”
He said back then, reggae music was associated with the ghetto youth and criminals, which was not good for business. But right now, reggae music is played in most entertainment joints daily.
During his heydays, partied like an animal. Every woman wanted an inch of Dennis and he loved them all. Songbird Meg C (real name Nasra Salim) dated Oliech for close to a year. The lovebirds never hid their relationship and were seen at many events, holding each other and giggling.
The relationship, however, ended abruptly after Meg C realized ‘the menace’ wasn’t interested in marriage, but only in doing the things married people do.
In 2006, Oliech was in a serious relationship and living with his girlfriend Beatrice Wanjiku and their two-year-old son Miguel. They later separated.
In 2016, singer Avril started dating Oliech. They were first spotted in Kisumu getting all cozy.
“I like him. He is a fantastic guy. But right now, I don’t know what the future holds, so I can’t really say much,” Avril let slip as she walked off hurriedly when our reporter caught up with her.
In January 2013, word broke out that socialite Pendo was dating Oliech after she released some saucy pics sent to her by the Kenyan footballer.
In March 2014, Oliech set up a high-end fashion store and named it after his baby mama, Veronica Oliech. Veron Fashion Detail Store, which is no longer in operation, used to stock French designs.
In 2016, Oliech attended a Blankets & Wine event hand-in-hand with his new girlfriend Sheerlin with whom they had broken up months ago. Oliech could barely keep his eyes off her.
The two are said to have had a serious disagreement which led to their break up.
Then the former Harambee Stars captain began dating TV producer Paula Mumiah.
The couple even began documenting their vacation and in one of the photos, the former footballer bragged how he has been spending loads of cash during his vacation, claiming that he spent $1,600 (Sh164, 000) a night to stay at the ritzy hotel.
Then in January of 2019, Mumia dumped him on social media, accusing him of being unfaithful and selfish.
“Some men are very useless! You will take care of them when they are broke but when they get the money they look for whores. I hate you!” she spat, adding: “Never even think about me ever! Go to hell manwhore! Other men are busy investing, you’re busy investing in women.”
Paulah – who was born in Bungoma County, grew up in Nairobi’s Huruma estate and likes calling herself a ‘ghetto girl – said, “I can’t talk about anything to do with that guy (Oliech). I’m done. I’m now focusing on my life.”
“Despite everything, he is a great man with a marvelous heart. Sijui kama ni mashetani zinamsumbua; but he is a good man. Returning to football is a great idea to keep him busy and it’s something he likes doing. He won’t disappoint,”
The two met on social media when Oliech began chatting her up while he was playing in France. Since she was not a football fan, she says she had no clue who he was and kept on chatting with him late into the night until she said ‘yes’ online. They then met for the first time face-to-face in Kenya in 2014 and just clicked.
“It is weird that he seduced me on Facebook and I didn’t know a thing about him. I didn’t even know he was a football star. I didn’t know he was a celeb. I didn’t even know which country he was in. He only told me he’s abroad. It was just love,” the rugby fan said
The ace is dating again and has on two separate occasions shown off his new bae and crush on his social media. The mystery woman is yet to be identified.
On one occasion, he shared an instastory video of her with the word crush plastered all over his face. And it would seem, he is no longer the exotic type