How excessive partying became the true opponent of former Gor Mahia striker

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How excessive partying became the true opponent of former Gor Mahia striker

Festus Chuma 07:00 - 29.05.2024

Former Harambee Stars striker reflects on his career downfall due to excessive spending, alcohol, and lifestyle pressure

A former Harambee Stars striker has candidly opened up about the rollercoaster of fame, money, and personal missteps that marred his football career. 

Once a promising talent in Kenyan football Ezekiel Odera's journey took a downturn amid lifestyle excesses and poor decisions that have left him suspended and reflecting on his past actions.

The striker's tumultuous journey through the ranks of Kenyan football saw him achieving early success but it was not long before the pitfalls of sudden fame began to take their toll. 

"When I joined Gor Mahia, I was very young, having come from KCB where the pay was minimal. I went there to fill Blackberry's shoes after his departure, and there was a lot of pressure, not to mention the lifestyle changes. There was money and women, but it was not about sexual relationships," Odera disclosed in an emotional tell-all with The Buzz Kenya.

His time at Gor Mahia was a defining period. Initially brought in to replace George 'Blackberry' Odhiambo who had moved to Danish side Randers FC expectations were sky-high. 

The club and its fervent supporters hoped Odera would continue the legacy left by Blackberry.

 However, the pressure was immense, and Odera found himself succumbing to the temptations that came with his newfound status.

 "I failed to meet the club's expectations, but Coach Zico had trust in me. I used to drink and there was money, but I never used any drugs," he admitted.

The lifestyle that once seemed glamorous soon revealed its darker side. Excessive spending, alcohol consumption, and distractions off the pitch led to a significant drop in his form. 

Reflecting on these times, Odera added, "It affected me a lot and there was a time that came that my form dropped and years later when I joined Nairobi City Stars I changed my name to Ezekiel Omulo. I even changed my hairstyle."

Despite the challenges, the striker's career included stints with other notable teams like Ushuru, Sofapaka, and Thika United, showcasing his enduring talent despite personal struggles. 

However, the high life had its costs as his stint with K'Ogalo proved to be a flop in the end overshadowed by off-field issues rather than on-field successes.

Now, having moved away from the limelight, Odera's life has taken a turn towards stability. 

Becoming a family man marked the beginning of his reformation. This new chapter has seen him stepping away from the destructive habits that once jeopardized his career and personal life.

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