Roy Nandwa’s Rugby Journey

Let’s travel back in time, to 10th June 2015, A Wednesday Evening like any other but a unique one for Roy. A well renowned trainer in Bungoma, is walking out of Bungoma Highschool after supervising the rugby team’s training session.

The trainer has a rugby ball in his hand, and this catches the attention of the young man, who runs upto him and requests to hold the ball alittle bit. The trainer can spot the eagerness and enthusiasm the young man has, and quickly asks for his name and the sport he plays, to which Roy responds with his name and goes ahead to state that he plays football.

The trainer takes note that the young man looks athletic, and since Roy is donning the Bungoma DEB Primary School Uniform, he asks him which class he is in, to which Roy says, “I’m in class eight.” Roy then asks whether he could join rugby, but the trainer advises him to complete his primary school studies first and then join them.

Six months later, Roy shows up for training and the trainer quickly recognises him. He watches keenly as the boy goes through the necessary fitness drills, and after afew weeks, he believes the boy is ready to play.

They head down to Bukembe with the local team, and Roy gets a chance to play in the second team. His first game against Bukembe B he scores a stunning try, right after kick off. Showing great speed,strength and endurance to land the try. The trainer also notes his great defensive abilities, something that has stuck with Roy to this very day.

The next weekend the team is headed to Webuye, and Roy also gets a couple of minutes off the bench. It was this experiences that shaped the young man’s perception of Rugby and he has never looked back.

January 2016

It’s time to say goodbye, as the trainer heads back to Nairobi to continue with his studies and also his rugby career in the big city, Roy is also off to Kapsokwony Highschool in Mount Elgon Sub-county.

The trainer, though, is not convinced that Kapsokwony will help Roy grow rugby-wise, so he pulls afew strings and in no time, Roy Nandwa is called to Menengai Highschool which is well known for Rugby.

While at Menengai Highschool, he gets a chance to train with Menengai Oilers, from Nakuru, something which impacts his rugby life and completely improves his understanding of the game and his abilities, he manages to play both at the nationals and at the East Africa school games during the four years that he is in Menengai.

During school holidays, he remained active, turning up for his team in Bungoma, and also continuing to link up with his former trainer.

After Highschool, the corona outbreak brought everything to a standstill, but the Young man stayed focussed, preferring to remain in Nakuru and train with the Menengai Oilers rugby club. This would later pay off this year when he was called up to the Kenya Under 20 team.

When he was brought on in the 63rd minute against Senegal, his trainer burst into song and dance, and then a week later the young man was also brought on in the 60th minute against Madagascar, much to the excitement of his trainer who recorded an audio of himself singing praises for the young man in the native Bukusu language.

It’s important to note, that when he got called up to the Under 20 national team, members of his home team commonly referred to as Wazalendo, held a fundraiser to help him obtain a passport.

He became the first Bungoma Wazalendo member, to win the Under 20 Barthes Cup and the third to have played for the Under 20 team, when they narrowly beat Madagascar in the final. For the young man the sky is the limit as he seeks to make it to the senior national team.

Roy Nandwa Is Officially The First Bungoma Wazalendo Member To Win The Barthes Under 20 Cup

Roy Nandwa in action

Roy Nandwa is the first player from the Bungoma Wazalendo franchise, to win the coveted Barthes Under 20 Rugby Cup, this came after a dramatic victory against Madagascar at Nyayo National Stadium this afternoon.

The Kenya Under 20 team, fondly referred to as Chipu, had to hold off a resurgent Madagascar side to win the match 21-20.

The young man from Bungoma county, who plays his club rugby at Menengai Oilers in Nakuru, was brought on in the sixty third minute, and wasted no time in announcing his arrival with a big tackle down the right wing. Moments later he carried the ball intensely into Madagascar’s half, and afew minutes to the end of the match he turn-overed the ball, just as Madagascar were building momentum and getting closer to Kenya’s 22.

A try by Madagascar in the dying moments of the game, would bring them within a point of Kenya’s lead, but the ensuing conversion sailed wide, much to the excitement of Kenya’s players who burst into song and dance as the final whistle was blown.

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Musalia Mudavadi alongside other dignitaries, were on standby to congratulate the team as they awaited the Match between Kenya Simbas and Zambia.

Cameo Debut For Roy Nandwa, As Kenya Under 20 Whip Senegal Under 20

Roy Nandwa poses for a picture during the Kenya Under 20 photo session

Roy Nandwa, has officially become the third member of the Bungoma Wazalendo Rugby Franchise to play for the Kenya Under 20.

This comes a week after he made his Kenya Cup debut for Menengai Oilers, coming in as a second half substitute in the 60th minute in their win against Masinde Muliro University.

For the 18 year old Menengai Highschool Alumnus, the journey to the top has had it’s fair share of challenges, but he has been resilient, always ready to improvise, adapt and work hard.

Today, that hardwork paid off, when he was brought into the game against Senegal, in the 63rd minute. It’s a dream come true for the young man, since he has always wanted to don the national team jersey.

They’re set to play against Madagascar later next week, and hopefully they win and defend the Barthes Under 20 cup which Kenya won in 2019. With the absence of their main rivals, Namibia, victory for Kenya looks assured.

He could potentially, become the first Wazalendo member, to play at the Junior World Rugby Tournament should Kenya win against Madagascar.

The dream is not yet over for the young man, and with consistency and hardwork, he could feature for the Senior national team.

May God bless the young man.

Here at Wazalendo we say HONGERA.

Throwback Rugby

Two kids tackle each other at training

The game between Cfg Bungoma rfc and Kibabii, came to life in the 17th minute when Ian Kisenge Simiyu playing alongside two of his senior brothers, spotted a gap behind the Kibabii defence and put a clever chip that was regathered by speed merchant Chris Mbaya who went over for Bungoma rfc’s first unconverted try.

Simiyu brothers

In the dying minutes of the first half, the forwards had some quick hits to the right and the scrumhalf played a quick ball to Peter Wamoto Simiyu, who had an overlap of upto 5 guys to his left. His release pass found yet again another speed merchant, and they don’t come any better than in the form of Samuel Kimeta (Meta) who made a 60 metre dash to cross over the line for another unconverted try.

Few seconds to the hooter, James Wanjala Simiyu had a big hit on a Kibabii forward to cut off any debate about which team carried the day in terms of physicality.

The second half would spring to action after ten minutes, the Bungoma rfc backs going on a physical rampage Edwin Khisa fending off close to six opponents to set up a ruck inside the 22. The ball would then be recycled left, James Wafula showing great quick hands to find Wamoto and well we know a younger Wamoto would have had a go on his own with just 5 metres ahead of him, but instead he would selflessly release Chris Mbaya to go over the line for his second try of the match.

Kibabii would then complain of lack of substitutes forcing them to abandon the match inthe 68th minute. Secondrow Alvin Wanyama was crowned man of the match for his exemplary display of sheer strength.

Fulltime Scores
Cfg Bungoma 15-00 Kibabii Bulls

Bungoma Wazalendo Rugby Finalise Their Preparation For A Potentially Explosive Friendly Against Mumias

Wazalendo founder in action for TUK in a past tournament

The Patriots from Bungoma are finalising their preparations for their first clash outside Bungoma County this year, against their arch rivals Mumias ‘Imboko’ RFC in Mumias this coming Saturday.

The Patriots, commonly referred to as Wazalendo, have been in training since the Corona Virus restrictions were lifted, and are pumped up for the clash.

The last time the two sides met was in October of last year,in Bungoma, where Wazalendo won the rugby 10s match while Imboko won the rugby 15s match.

Clashes between this two sides, are nothing less than a spectacle, and fans are encouraged to come in their numbers to watch, albeit observing Covid 19 guidelines(wearing masks, social distancing and using their sanitisers frequently to clean their hands).

Wazalendo will be looking to improve on their performance from a fortnight ago in Mwiruti, and the head coach is certain that alot has been done to improve on the areas that let them down in their last friendly match.

Bungoma Wazalendo And Mwiruti RFC Share Spoils

Wazalendo-Mwiruti group photo

Rugby fans in Mwiruti were today treated to a spectacle, as Bungoma Wazalendo Rugby club battled the home team in a rugby 7s and rugby 10s match.

In the Rugby 7s match, Wazalendo were quick to get on the score board with their winger showing great speed, to go on the outside of his opposite player and score. Wazalendo followed it up with two more tries before the break with a brace from their scrum half.

In the Second half Wazalendo picked up from where they had left with two more tries before Mwiruti responded with three tries.

In the rugby 10s game, Mwiruti RFC gave Wazalendo a taste of their own medicine, when they scored 3 consecutive tries to head into the break with a 15-0 lead. In the second half, they added two more tries before Wazalendo fired back with a consolation try from their hard running prop Emmanuel Wanjala.

Rugby 7s
Bungoma Wazalendo 25-15 Mwiruti RFC.
Rugby 10s
Mwiruti RFC 25-5 Bungoma Wazalendo.

Bungoma Wazalendo Rugby Vice Captain Completely Aces His First Radio and TV Interview

Wazalendo Rugby Vice Captain, Keith Wafula, while being hosted for a live radio interview disclosed the team’s program for the year 2021.

In the lively interview held from 5pm, the current Wazalendo Vice captain was put to task to explain why the name Wazalendo was chosen, to which he responded,” Most players here play the game out of passion and determination. Which are key pillars of patriotism.”

He also urged President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, to step in and cushion Rugby players from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. This comes after the recent containment measures, greatly impacted sports leaving most rugby players in a bad state financially.

The interviewers then asked him if Rugby players use any drugs or muscle builders, to which he jokingly replied that rugby players only use legal things.

He spoke of the upcoming Friendly match between Wazalendo and their perennial rivals Mumias RFC, stating that the match will proceed when the government gives the greenlight. He compared the derby between the two teams with the mashemaji derby between AFC and Gor Mahia.

He also mentioned that Wazalendo Rugby, has launched a sports agency which will be incharge of all player transfers to other clubs at a fee of 25% of the transfer cost.

Most importantly he mentioned that the Bungoma Wazalendo team, will be participating in the nationwide league come end of the year.
On a lighter note, the interviewers asked him why alot of ladies love rugby players, to which he said rugby and women are like tea and sugar.
Viva Wazalendo.

Former Kenya Rugby 7s Headcoach In Critical Condition

Benjamin Otieno Ayimba, a former Kenya Rugby 7s player and the most successful rugby 7s coach in Kenya, having coached the team to its first ever major tournament in the world series in Singapore 2016, is currently battling for his life at the Nairobi Hospital. The 43 year old father and husband, is also a director at Ayimba Rugby School and Infiniti EA Group.

The family says that Benjamin Otieno Ayimba ,has been ailing from Cerebral Malaria after being diagnosed and he is currently in HDU.

However, the rugby great needs specialised treatment at The Kenyatta National Hospital but only after clearing a bill of 2 Million that was generated while receiving treatment at the Nairobi National Hospital.

The family says he can hardly speak or recognize anyone for days now. He has been suffering from this condition since January to date.

The family now calls on well wishers to help them sort the bill. “We are appealing to all well wishers to help contribute towards getting him the best medical treatment and back on his feet again.”

 Paybill: 8021673 – Name: Benjamin Otieno Medical

Quarantine Rugby Season 2

The first season of quarantine Rugby ran from May last year, through to December, culminating in a mother of all Rugby festivals that was well attended by fans across Bungoma town.

With the country under partial lockdown, Bungoma Wazalendo Community Rugby Club has unveiled a creative program to keep their players active and in good spirits throughout the quarantine period.

Earlier this morning, Wazalendo unveiled a number of activities that the team will be partaking, key among them the launching of the Wazalendo Rugby Agency, which shall manage all transfers of Wazalendo players to major clubs at a 25% commission.

Also the club has unveiled a leadership program, that will see several Wazalendo players get the opportunity to address press conferences on behalf of the team, participate in Television interviews, as well as get involved in numerous public speaking events and Covid 19 sensitisation programs.

The Patriots from Bungoma, have come up with entrepreneurship programs that will see members participate in different businesses to enable them keep afloat during the pandemic period.

Training has been scaled down to 5 players per session, to enable adherence to Covid 19 guidelines issued by the government.

The Patriots are set to play their first match of the year at the end of April, against their fierce rivals Mumias RFC, in what is termed as the Aseka Cup. The Wazalendo team will be away in Mumias for the first leg and will hope for a much improved performance from last year’s visit.

Mumias will then come to Bungoma for the return league in August, but in between Wazalendo are expected to have played against Nalondo Rfc, Kitale Rfc and the Border Rucks Rugby team from Busia.

The Patriots have entered into a strategic partnership with the rugby teams from Kabula, Bumula and Mwiruti inorder to boost their numbers ahead of the crucial friendlies and the nationwide season which will kick off in November.

Lastly, the Patriots have promised to host another Festival come December this year, this is inorder to celebrate the rapidly growing rugby culture and love for the sport among residents of Bungoma town.