Interbank Games: Basketball Queens Steer Equity Bank To A Successive Football Title Defense

FROM Left: Former Harambee Starlets central defender Sylvia Wasilwa (captain), and Equity Bank Hawks trio of Betty Kananu, Brenda Ngaira and Samba Mjomba who steered their football team to glory in the 36th edition of the Kenya Institute of Bankers Interbank Sports in Nairobi. PHOTO/ COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya- They rule Kenya’s basketball airwaves like colossus, and when it comes to football they are unmatched.

Equity Bank Hawks trio of Samba Mjomba, Betty Kananu and Brenda Ngaira proved to all and sundry that they are a multi-talented lot in the 36th edition of Kenya Institute of Bankers Interbank Sports in Nairobi.

The three musketeers perfectly steered their side to a back to back women’s football victory in the Games.

Equity Bank has successfully defended the women’s football trophy without conceding a goal.

The glorious Equity Bank women’s football team that successfully defended the trophy in the 36th edition of the Kenya Institute of Bankers Interbank Sports in Nairobi. PHOTO/ COURTESY

They won their opening match 3-0 against Co-Op Bank, 2-0 against Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), 3-0 against University of Nairobi (UON) Business School, 10-0 against KCB Bank, 7-0 against I &M Bank and 3-0 against Absa.

Ngaira has won the golden boot race with 14 goals, this includes a hatrick notched in the 10-0 demolition of KCB Bank. Mjomba and Kananu also netted a hatrick in that one sided encounter.

“Returning to the football field after a very long time feels like home, football was my first love, its circumstances that forced me to embrace basketball while in Form 2,” Mjomba told Standard Sports.

The lethal left winger so far has five goals in the tournament; a hatrick against KCB and a goal each against CBK and I&M Bank.

“We are glad that Equity management have put us in a residential camp, we were also given a two weeks grace period from job just to train and prepare for this tournament,” said Mjomba, who features as a point guard for Equity Hawks in the Kenya Basketball Federation League.

The Equity Bank Internet Banking Relationship Manager said transition to football was not difficult for them because of the rigorous and endurance training they do in basketball all throughout the year.

Just like Mjomba, Ngaira too played football in childhood but embraced basketball after high school after realising the game had potential to take her far and open more opportunities in life.

She attributed her goal scoring prowess to team work in their squad.

“The drill is they feed me with the ball and my work is to take it at the back of the net,” Ngaira explained.

Unlike Ngaira and Mjomba, Kananu is engaging in football for the first time and she attributed her good coordination on the pitch to her athleticism gained from years of playing basketball as a power forward.

The Equity women’s football team is captained by former Harambee Starlets central defender Sylvia Wasilwa who so far has notched six goals in the tournament.

“We are happy to successfully defend the cup, we thought Nairobi University would give us a hard time since they are young and agile but we managed to cruise over them with a deserved victory,” Wasilwa underlined.

Apart from featuring for the national team, Wasilwa, who is a Kilifi based Equity Bank teller, lifted the FKF Women’s Premier League trophy with Moyas FC.

She also had stints with Makolanders FC, Thika Queens FC and Spedag FC in the national league in her hey-days.

Despite the Equity team being in perfect condition, head coach Paul Onyango rued some of their missed chances upfront in their matches.

“We also had several injuries that put some of our players down but we are glad to have successfully defended the trophy,” said Onyango.


“My hope is that younger players are absorbed in the banking sector and other corporate companies so their lives could be transformed the way Equity Bank has done to us.” Equity Bank Hawks point-guard Samba Mjomba.


KIB Interbank Sports women’s football standings

1. Equity Bank                                                    18 points

2. UON                                                                 12

3. CBK                                                                   9

4. Absa                                                                 6

5. KCB                                                                   6

6. Co-Op Bank                                                   3

7. I&M Bank                                                       0

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