Daniel Adongo is remembered as the first Kenyan to play in the National Football League (NFL), a game that Americans worship just like the British do to soccer.
Until three days ago, very few people knew his whereabouts and how he is faring on with life after bagging a Ksh216 million contract in 2013.
In 2013, Indianapolis Colts, an AFC South team, and one of the only 16 NFL teams in the United States poached Adongo from the Blue Bulls of Pretoria. The scouts and coaches of the Colts had not heard of Adongo before.
They had only seen a couple of pictures of him training and decided to take an 18-hour flight to South Africa to do some drills to the then promising young Kenyan, and they were amazed by the results.
One of the basic scouting tests he was put through was the broad jump, something Adongo had never done before. On his first attempt, he cleared 11 feet, a mark that would have put him in the top 10 among performers at the 2013 combine.
At that moment, the team knew they were getting a raw talent, so they offered him a one-year contract paying $400,000 (Ksh43,316,182), with an option to renew based on performance. That is Ksh3.16 million a month, more than the president’s basic salary.
The first few days of training went well. The team loved his personality, and his coaches loved the commitment. One of the coaches was quoted saying “everyone who knows Adongo has a story that follows one of two themes: Daniel doing something extraordinary, or Daniel trying extraordinarily hard to do something.” He was exactly what the NFL needed, and was earmarked for a brighter future.
In his maiden season, he appeared in two games for the Colts. Even though the performance wasn’t the best, his commitment in training and on game day was unmatched. During 2014 preseason, just before the start of his second season, Adongo received a bicep injury that put him out for an entire year.
However, when he returned from injury in 2015 season, things did not get rosy – Adongo was waived for alleged domestic violence from a lady that, from his Facebook images, can be identified as Hadley. For this reason, the Colts terminated the contract permanently indicating their support against domestic abuse to women.
After leaving the Colts, Adongo went quiet until June 2020 when he posted a picture of a fraud case he had filed against his mother, a letter from IRS of an owed tax totaling to Ksh460,000, and a bible quote (Matthew 10:21).
From this time, it was evident that life of Adongo, who was once anticipated to be the best linebacker, was amiss.
Remember your rugby hunk Daniel Adongo? He got into drugs and some weird beliefs.
This is him currently.
Homeless and broke. Sad!! pic.twitter.com/dieyVp7sdG
— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) August 13, 2020
Three days ago, he posted screenshot of his communication with his mother and a video that left tongues wagging.In the coversation, he was asking for money from his mother, hurling unprintable insults against her.
In June 25, Adongo in a Facebook post insinuated that he had been sent to a mental facility for three years after his lover framed him.
For now, what’s left of a titan is a bruised reputation, excessive use of drug, negative bank balance, and a puzzle that remains unsolved.