•For the second time in one year, Kenyan footballers have been left to contend with the dire situation occasioned by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
•Asked if the business had started generating sufficient returns to sustain all the nine investors, Asieche said they were not hard pressed to reap the fruits of their investments overnight.
Seven Kenyan footballers have joined hands to fend off the pangs of the Covid-19 pandemic, a couple of days after President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a directive putting on hold all sporting activities in the country.
Led by Wazito midfielder Elly Asieche, Chrispinus Onyango (Tusker) and Samuel Mwangi (KCB), the footballers say they saw the necessity of using their income from football to invest in the 7 siblings barber shop at the Umoja I space mall in Nairobi in order to cushion themselves from the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Playing football is important but there is also need to have a fallback plan just in case things don't work out well. That's why we came up with the idea of establishing a barber shop," said Asieche in an interview with the Star on Wednesday morning.
Others involved in the venture include Nairobi Stima skipper Brian Odhiambo, James Onund and Collins Marita (Dimba Patriots). The other two —Mike Otieno and Reuben Mulee are not in the football industry.
Asieche dispelled the notion that Kenyan footballers are usually reluctant to invest in the future, choosing instead to place the blame right at the feet of local clubs who have a problem with paying players their salaries consistently.
"You can only invest when you have saved enough money. Local clubs should pull up their socks as far as paying salaries is concerned.
"It's quite difficult to expect players to invest when they can hardly pay rent or even feed themselves," observes Asieche.
Asieche, however, admitted that some footballers are entirely responsible for their own downfall. "I agree we have colleagues who squander all they have instead of saving up for meaningful projects," said Asieche.
Asked if the business had started generating sufficient returns to sustain all the nine investors, Asieche said they were not hard pressed to reap the fruits of their investments overnight.
"We knew very well that it wasn't going to be all that easy setting up a venture and earning from it immediately. Any good business takes a long time to mature.
"The idea was to lay down a foundation upon which we can now start expanding our territory. We have other ventures in mind that we are planning to tap into once we have stabilised our flow of income," said Asieche.
For the second time in one year, Kenyan footballers have been left to contend with the dire situation occasioned by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first wave threw the country into turmoil, as several footballers suffered the detriment of going to bed on an empty stomach, being kicked out of their abodes over unpaid rents as well as marriage breakups.
Although the government eventually chipped in with some relief funds, it was a case of too little too late.