Keni The Chef: Five things you didn’t know about Hearts’ new coach

Japanese-American Kenichi Yatsuhashi is set to be unveiled as the new head coach of Accra Hearts of Oak, Ghana’s oldest club. However, but for the fact that he holds a USSF A and National Youth coaching license, a CONCACAF International Coaching license, an NSCAA Goalkeeping diploma, and a KNBV Advanced diploma, there isn’t much else Phobians–and Ghanaians in general–know about the new man.

Thankfully, though, his two Twitter accounts (any surprise that he follows Hearts’ official handle on one already?) reveal those personal trivia no comprehensive profile of Keni could possibly capture. Below, we share a handful.

He loves good food, especially if he does it himself
Two of Keni’s tweets since October 20 have been about food. In a series of posts on October 23–the day he first tried to get a visa to Ghana–Keni talked up the credentials of a fine restaurant in Tokyo that served food “good for your body” and provided an atmosphere “so peaceful.” There might just have been a hint that Keni is vegetarian, given he specified that said eatery catered for the dietary needs of such ones. Three days prior, however, Keni had posted the picture of a dish he had prepared for lunch at a cost of about $2.5.

“I love cooking my own meals,” he added. So Hearts may not have to find him a personal chef after all. Or maybe not.

An MJ fan?
Lithe Keni looks like the kind of man who could be great for the dancefloor if he tried. It’s probably why he likes late dancing legend Michael Jackson, with the only musical reference in his most recent tweets being to the late pop star, specifically a Japanese instrumental cover of Jackson’s 1987 hit single ‘Smooth Criminal’. Not that Hearts fans could expect to ‘moonwalk’ their way back to the glorious days of yore.

He hates war
For a man from Japan–a country that has experienced first-hand the ravages of red-hot warfare–it’s little surprise Keni isn’t one keen on the taking up of arms as a means of conflict-resolution. On October 17 this year, he tweeted in bits: “On a serious note, we are all residents of global planet earth. . .as long as we are fighting against ourselves, we never improve our planet earth. Take advantage of globalisation. . .love each other, instead of hate. Care for all of us, not wars.”

In Hearts’ fractious circles, Keni’s peace-making skills would likely prove handy.
He’s an expert at counting goals, not money
Keni’s other Twitter account–which, quite oddly, hasn’t been updated since February 2015–also tells us some more about Hearts’ new boss. It informs us that he’s lived in five countries (Ghana now becomes his sixth) and speaks at least four international languages, but also that he knows how to keep track of the numbers that matter–and, no, it ain’t cash.

“I don’t know how to count money; I only know how to count how many goals my team scores,” said Keni to the world on February 22.

But, of course, he’d know if Hearts pay him even a cent less than the two-something-thousand dollars he’s reportedly due each month, wouldn’t he?

He loves assists
Much as Keni likes to see his side score goals, he apparently also holds in high esteem those who make them. On Monday, October 18, Keni raved over assists and how valuable they proved during the previous day’s kickabout.

“We kicked, tackled, run, and scored. In fact, I made three goals because of nice assists,” stated Keni, emphasizing that “assists are a big part of football.”

And then, still on the note of assists, Keni tweeted a secret on how he landed his newest role: “A big assist was necessary for me to get a chance for my next job. I will make everyone proud.”