Felix Opana has watched Bengal Warriors’ last five games in the Pro Kabaddi League’s (PKL) third season from the bench. The raider, who is playing his first PKL and is only the third player from Kenya in the league, is a bit-part player in the team as of now.
But in Nairobi, he is the life of the party.
For, Opana is a “wedding entertainer” back home. He sings and dances at weddings to earn a living.
“I’m an entertainer. I dance and sing with my band at weddings. I perform in least three marriages in a month. Sometimes, we also perform at corporate gigs,” said Opana.
The Kenyan reveals that he took up the sport one-and-a-half-years ago.
“I was in the gym when I met Simon Kibura, a player in the Kenyan national team and also the coach. He has been with Puneri Paltan since the first edition of PKL. He told me about the sport and invited me to watch a few sessions. I went and got hooked,” he said.
Opana soon made a mark at the local kabaddi circuit, which consists of just two teams, Kiambu Warriors and Nairobi Lions, who play against each other.
“In a match between Warriors and Lions, I was playing for the Lions and was the best raider in the match. The president of the kabaddi federation in Kenya was recording the match and put up some videos on the internet. That got me noticed. Here I am in the PKL,” he recollected.
Opana is yet to get a game, but says he has been assured by the management that he will get a look-in soon. For now, he is content with the opportunity to learn from his coach and teammates.
“When I go back to Kenya, I will teach my team the things I learn in India,” said Opana.