•The lethal Kariobangi Sharks striker has been instilling awe and fear in equal measure and his enviable work rate on the pitch has already seen him find the back of the net 9 times in the Kenyan Premier League this season.
•Kapaito could just as well be on his way to replicating the glorious season he experienced in 2018 when he scooped the league's Most valuable Player (MVP) and capped it off with the golden boot after emerging at the apex of the scorers' chart with 17 goals.
Quite a good number of Kenyan goalkeepers get goosebumps at the slightest mention of the name Erick Kapaito.
Their fears are justified. The lethal Kariobangi Sharks striker has been instilling awe and fear in equal measure and his enviable work rate on the pitch has already seen him find the back of the net nine times in the Kenyan Premier League this season.
Kapaito could just as well be on his way to replicating the glorious season he experienced in 2018 when he scooped the league's Most valuable Player (MVP) and capped it off with the 'Golden Boot' after emerging at the apex of the scorers' chart with 17 goals.
It's not surprising then that the mercurial striker who boasts an exceptional knack for scoring goals from the tightest of angles was handed the armband. He has all the leadership credentials and his abilities have been evident throughout. Kapaito's double enabled Kariobangi Sharks to condemn Wazito FC to a 4-0 defeat in their Football Kenya Federation Premier League opening tie at Moi International Sports Complex, Kasarani.
Born on December 24, 1995, Kapaito attended Engapoli Primary School in Namanga, where he turned out as a striker and led them to the provincials after they clinched the Kajiado district title.
Kapaito proceeded for his high school at the nearby Kuluani Secondary School but didn't, however, stay there for long before the 2018 national school ball games champions Laiser Hill asked their coach Antony Karimi to look for him.
This development came hot on the heels of his splendid performance during the Kajiado district school games, where he netted two goals during their preliminary round match at Olkejuado High School which ended in a two-all draw.
"Mr. Kirimi came looking for me and promised to offer me a scholarship to study at the school. I accepted the offer straight away," said Kapaito.
The decision to bring him on board was most definitely the best the school had made given he went ahead and propelled them to the winners podium at the national stage, securing them an automatic slot at the East African school games in the process.
Kapaito began cutting teeth in football when he was about 12 while playing leisurely for his village team, Maili Tisa Youngsters in Namanaga, where he turned out as a striker. "We didn't have a coach then and only played for fun," he said.
His exceptional skills impressed one of the Laiser Hill assistant coaches, John Mwaura, who convinced him to join a team he was guiding in the Nairobi Provincial League—Eastleigh Youth.
He got off to a career in club football with a bang, scoring 21 goals in the season. This was despite the fact that he had to commute constantly from Namanga to Nairobi to feature in their matches.
"I wasn't residing in Nairobi and so the coach had to cater for my transport to and from Namanga for me participate in their games at the weekend. I used to arrive and train with them a day before the match," said Kapaito.
"The team was also being managed by ex-Kenya international Edgar 'Fighter' Ochieng who would also assist me financially when I became absolutely stuck," he added.
Kapaito had to shelve his ambitions in football for a while after he landed an opportunity to travel to South Africa to pursue private business.
"I featured for Eastleigh Youth only for a season and a half before a chance to travel to South Africa came begging," said Kapaito.
On his return, Kapaito joined F.C Talanta in the National Super League after undergoing successful trials under coach John Kamau. He was immediately drafted into the first team and ended up scoring 18 goals for them in his first season with the Nairobi-based outfit whose shirt sponsors are Communications Commission of Kenya.
Kapaito couldn't have stagnated at Talanta for long given his rich gift on the pitch. Just a year later, Kariobangi Sharks dangled a deal right behind him and an opportunity to make a giant leap to the big stage was placed right at his feet.
It was Sharks' head coach William Muluya who offered him the deal that proved to be a turning point in his career. They finished ninth in the league that season.
Kapaito relives his moment of glory when he scooped the coveted 2018 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Most Valuable Player of the Year (MVP). The forward walked away with the New Player of the Year award as well capped off a stunning debut campaign in which he finished as the league’s top scorer with 16 goals.
He won his first senior national team cap in 2018 and made his debut the same year in their 2-2 friendly match against Morocco.
Kapaito says he has been drawing a lot of inspiration from former Kashiwa Reysol striker Michael Olunga who only recently accepted a bid believed to be in the region of Sh930 million from Qatar Star League champions Al-Duhail SC in exchange for his services. Internationally, he admires Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovich who turns out as a striker for Serie 'A' side AC Milan.
He would, however, wish to feature in the English Premier league in the near future although he did not disclose his preferred club. Kapaito says he spends his free time playing a video game called xbox.
Kapaito is convinced that Kariobangi Sharks stand a chance to charge for their maiden KPL title this season and he is prepared to propel them towards achieving the dream.
He further says that his most memorable match was his KPL debut against Chemelil Sugar at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
"I felt so much elated with my performance after scoring a goal in the match although I was featuring in top flight football for the first time ever," he said.
Kapaito has a parting shot for budding footballers who wish to follow in his footsteps in future:
"They should put God first and then work hard and maintain a high level of discipline," concludes Kapaito.
Date of Birth: December 24, 1995
Place of birth: Maili Tisa, Namanga
Engapoli Primary School
Kuluani Secondary School
Laiser Hill Academy