The football journey of Komullo twins – Sharon and Vivian
As years roll by so do sports remain consistent in telling beautiful stories. In Kenya, the story of Komullo twins makes for such an attractive narrative, one that would make for an inspirational serie.
The twins – Vivian Akinyi (a goalkeeper) and Sharon Aluoch (a defender) currently ply their trade with Gatundu Sports Women Football Club (Gaspo Women) which takes part in the Kenya Women Premier League (KWPL), the currently top tier women’s league.
As if that is not enough, the duo also forms the Komullo Band, where they sing their hearts out, expressing the other talent in them.
So in a nutshell, their tale is that of hope against adversity, football and music intertwined to give a meaning to life.
Komullo is their surname, but it’s gone on to be their brand name. They acknowledge that growing up, their father never entertained the thought that they would be professional footballers, the journey inspired by their elder brother Brycal Omondi, who used to go with them to training with his under 12 youth team.
“We were inspired by our elder brother Brycal Omondi who was managing Blackburn Rovers, an under 12 youth team taking part in the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) league. When they were going for training, we would be lonely at home and Omondi would urge us to accompany him to the field, an opinion which our mother would gladly support,” they reveal.
Vivian notes that they would play ‘roughly’ agaibst the younger academy boys, who used to complain a lot and even at times refused to play with them. However, they would still play since their brother Omondi was the one managing the team.
“He would tell them if they did not want to train with us then they should not come, because for us we would keep going. This motivated us so much because we told ourselves if our brother is supporting us this much, then we will also push ourselves higher,” Vivian recalls.
Gracefully around 2004, their school Valley View Academy had introduced ladies’ football team which they joined, under the tutelage of coach Ajowi who would later play a vital part in improving their footballing skills.
Under Ajowi’s wings they were registered in the MYSA tournaments where they played for True Colours FC. It is here that their talents shone winning a number of trophies. In 2006, they got an opportunity to go for trials in the Norway Cup competition under MYSA.
Akinyi reveals that they had always been optimistic even before that they would one day fly, a wish which came true, courtesy of football.
Though their first attempt of going to Norway to feature in the Norway Cup was unsuccessful due to the age factor (majority of the players who were being selected were at least 14 years while they were still 12)they never gave up.
After primary school the duo joined Sega Girls High School in Siaya for their secondary education and it is here where their talents blossomed, and were part of the squad that won the Nyanza Region Copa Coca Cola competition.
In 2010, they helped Sega Girls reach the finals of the KSSSA finals losing to Jogoo Road Girls 2-1 but as fate would have it, the latter was found to have fielded overage players and thus Sega were crowned champions.
In the national finals, Vivian was named the best goalkeeper while Sharon was crowned the Most Valuable Player (MVP). They went on to grace the East Africa competitions where they were eliminated by Arch Bishop Njenga in penalty shootouts.
After the tourney they transferred to Maina Wanjigi High School even as they still featured for Mathare Women, before the team folded in 2012. At the time they were just about to join Form Four.
The disbandment of Mathare Women who were partly their sponsors presented adverse challenges. School fees became a problem, and they had to plead with their principal to allow them register for KCSE, after which they spent the better part of that year at home, and only went back to school for rehearsal, later sitting the exams.
It was until 2015 that their star shone brightest, when they got a call up to the national team, Harambee Starlets, under coach David Ouma.
At Harambee Stars the duo encountered familiar problems. Time and again issues would raised on why they were always making the cut for tournaments. To them it was due to hard work and determination while others felt otherwise.
Coach David Ouma being the focused man would put his foot down. Players had to fight to earn call ups and the duo did just that.
“We were losing hope while at the national team since they could say that we cannot travel both of us from the same family and one chance should be left for others. Sharon was dropped. However, coach David Ouma came up with a policy that he would select his team basing on performance and not family issues, and that is how we both made it for the 2016 AFCON competition,” they reveal.
Sharon however got injured and could not make it.
After the championship they joined Soccer Queens in a short-lived move before joining Gaspo Women FC, their current club. In the ended season their team emerged as runners-up in their zone, behind champions Thika Queens.
When off field, the twins are busy writing lyrics, or shooting a song, since music is their passion. They have produced several songs among them ‘Ásante’, ‘Mwambie’, ‘Mwaminifu’, ‘Nisamehe’ and ‘Utukuzwe.
The major challenge, they contend, is production costs and would relish a sponsorship to help drive forward their talents.
“The songs we have uploaded on You Tube are of poor quality but we have been doing it because of passion. If we can get help then we will definitely grow our music career,” they noted.
Giving the parting shot, Vivian urges fellow upcoming and already established players to put in their best because talent can take them anywhere, and pay them anything they want. She’s also urging parents to support their children in co-curricular activities because not every child is poised for academic success.
For Sharon, being prayerful, discipline and hard work unlocks the opportunities.