By Amoto Dennis
Slightly a year after Gor Mahia FC Savings and Credit Co-operative was launched by the club’s patron, Raila Odinga; the Sacco is moving to gain a foothold in the competitive savings mobilization and credit provision space.
Establishment of the Sacco meant to make the club financially independent and also to help empower its members which is creating excitement and hope among many fans of Gor Mahia Football Club, commonly known as K’Ogalo.
According to Dick Ndiewo, a resident of Yimbo location in Bondo Constituency, Siaya County the Sacco will bolster many lives in different ways, emphasizing, however, that the club must embark on an aggressive membership drive.
‘’This will see the club earn revenue in membership fee with proper education to entice more Kenyans to join the Sacco”.
He says that an enrolment of just half a million members each paying just Sh100 would see K’Ogalo go places and build a state-of–the-art stadium or two in Kenya .
“A Gor stadium would be a prudent way of investment that would not only see the club have a training ground but also earn some more cash and keep off debts , added Ndiewo. Currently, Gor Mahia trains at the Jericho’s Camp Toyoyo Grounds where the club pays Sh10, 000 per day.
Ndiewo believes K’Ogalo must plan for a future without a sponsor, pointing out that such a development can only be possible if the club pursues other avenues like the Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society besides sponsorships. SportPesa are currently the shirt sponsors for the Kenyan Premier League champions.
In addition to launching its first Public Service Vehicle (PSV) bus that began operating early this year with maiden trip to Usenge, through Kisumu and Bondo towns, the Sacco has also intensified recruitment of Kenyans who want to save and get loan facilities at affordable rates regardless of football affiliation.
He says though he excelled as a star during his days at Gor Mahia Club now he lives from hand to mouth selling water in Yimbo Usenge.
‘’It is not a very pleasant life, had Gor Mahia Sacco been established maybe life could have been better,’’ he regrets.
Speaking during the launch of the Sacco, Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier (pictured) said the initiative is a significant move towards developing the public economically as well as helping Gor club.
“This is an innovative initiative that is open to all interested people and corporates. It is intended to improve the welfare of communities and by joining the Sacco, one will also help Gor Mahia from the registration fee they will pay.
Raila on his part said the project reflects the inherent Kenyan dream. A Kenya that gives her citizens the opportunity to realize their dreams.
“It is my hope that people, especially the youth, will take up the opportunity to join the Gor Mahia Sacco to draw optimal benefit to empower them socially and economically,” he said.