From an unknown player in Siaya to becoming club CEO - The inspiring Ronald Okoth story

12th April 2024

Okoth was named new Sofapaka CEO in April 2024, taking over from Pastor Jimmy Carter Ambajo.

New Sofapaka CEO Ronald Okoth. PHOTO| Ronald Okoth
New Sofapaka CEO Ronald Okoth. PHOTO| Ronald Okoth
  • Odhiambo started his playing career for Siaya Rangers in Siaya before moving to Nairobi.
  • He has signed for a host of clubs including record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia, KCB, Western Stima and Mathare United.
  • He retired from playing in 2022 while at Sofapaka where he has now been named the CEO.

13 years ago, Ronald Okoth did not see himself occupying the country's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role at top-flight side Sofapaka FC.

The budding gem from Siaya was just keen to get more minutes under his belt and then perhaps join a professional football club in the country.

True to his ambitions, Okoth joined Congo United in Nairobi in 2011, after playing for various local clubs including Siaya Rangers and Nairobi Salem.

While playing for Congo United, the FKF Premier League record champions Gor Mahia showed interest in him after he presented himself for trials. Convinced by the offer on the table, Okoth joined Gor Mahia.

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With the little money Okoth saved while playing for Gor, he enrolled at the Kenya Methodists University to pursue Computer Science.

He juggled well between academics and his football career which saw him play for Mathare United, Mahakama FC, Nairobi Stima, Western Stima, KCB, and eventually Sofapaka, where he announced his retirement in 2022.

"I was raised back in upcountry Siaya where I played for Siaya Rangers then moved to Nairobi and played for Salem.

Then went to Jericho All-Stars, and from Jericho, I moved to Congo United, my first professional club, that is 13 years ago," he stated during an interview with Kenya Footballers Welfare Association (KEFWA) on Wednesday, April 10.

"I then moved to Gor Mahia where I enrolled at Kenya Methodists University. From there I moved to Nairobi Stima, Mahakama, Western Stima, Mathare, KCB and finished with Sofapaka," he added.

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Transitioning into coaching and talent management

After hanging his boots in 2022, Okoth decided to pursue another career related to sports - he ventured into coaching and sports management.

The first step into his new career path, Okoth obtained a CAF coaching license. With a clear vision in mind, he then established R.O Sports Soccer Academy, an institution with branches in Westlands and Eastlands dedicated to nurturing young talents and giving back to the footballing community.

In addition to his endeavors with RO Sports and Sofapaka, Okoth actively engages in mentorship programs for young athletes and serves as a football pundit on media platforms, where he shares his insights and analysis of the sport.

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When asked about how he managed to do all that, Okoth told KEFWA that he decided to utilize every opportunity he received.

Unlike other players who are only focused on playing abroad, Okoth indicated that he was more focused on making every moment count which helped him diversify his skills.

"I feel that I have achieved everything that I want to achieve locally. I am so contended with everything I have done," he remarked.

"We are more focused on playing outside but again we don't realise that our chances of playing outside with age going by get minimal.

For me, I maximized every opportunity I got with the local clubs and used my time well. I don't feel any regret," the former Gor Mahia player insisted.

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His Appointment as Sofapaka CEO

Early this week, he was announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of FKFPL side Sofapaka. Confirming the news on his social media accounts, Okoth expressed gratitude to Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa for entrusting him with the position.

The former player vowed to help the club return to its winning ways as currently, Sofapaka sits 15th on the FKF Premier League log with 26 points.

He also pledged to prioritize talent development at Batoto Ba Mungu which would be key to footballing success in the country.

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"Excited to embark on a new era at my former club Sofapaka as the new CEO. Honored and pleased to step into this new role to spearhead more progress and success in the club.

Special thanks to the Club President Mr Kalekwa for trusting me with this exciting opportunity," Okoth announced.

"Join me in this journey and be part of this great team as we create a progressive football club atmosphere to be proud of. We are Sofapaka, and together, we will rise," he concluded.

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