Edwin Ahayo may not be a name most rugby fans may be familiar with, but going with the recent achievements of this 26 year old, we are likely to hear more about him. Edwin is a third year student at Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) studying Computer Information Systems and also a 15’s Kenya rugby team player. Cynthia Karani sat down with the rising rugby star for an interview, revealing a few interesting things about Edwin.
What is your Background?
I grew up in Liwatoni, Mombasa in a family of five siblings. My family is sporty. My dad and uncle played soccer. My uncle actually played for Harambee Stars. I played soccer until I joined High School.
I went to several primary schools not because I was naughty (laughs) but because my mother was a friend to the Headmistress who kept moving. I cleared my Primary studies at Citadel in Mombasa then went to Moi Forces Academy for my Secondary studies. I then joined JKUAT to study Computer Information System but later transferred my credits to KeMU.
KeMU Nairobi Campus is convenient for me because of training for Rugby and also because I coach under 13’s and 11’s rugby at Braeburn. Though I had always wanted to be a pediatrician, I got fascinated by computers along the way.
What drives you?
My mother; She was always keen on our studies and our life and got us everything that we needed. But she passed on in 2004 when I was in my last year of high school. It was a shocker but I grew out of it. My mother was a gift in my and she still is.
How did rugby happen?
When I was enrolling into High School in 2001 my older sister advised me to join the school rugby team so as to avoid been bullied. On my first day of High School, the then rugby schools captain Jared Orare and his assistant Dennis Toya recruited me. They had in mind that the more people they recruit from Mombasa the better it was for the team. I have been playing rugby since then.
What ups and downs have you had both in life and rugby?
My best moment was when my younger brother called me and said that he was proud of me and looks up to me. I don’t know why he has that idea. My lowest moment was when I lost my mother. In rugby my best moment was when I was called up to be part of the national team in April last year. The lowest moment was when I had to be out of the game because I had to use crutches for 6 months in 2009 due to an injury.
Sorry for that, what injuries have you had so far?
I have had a fractured clavicle shoulder, torn muscle on my right shoulder, torn ligament on my right ankle (smiles), a fractured jaw, partial tear on my left hip joint, two broken fingers among others. I won’t be part of the 7s games because of injury but I will play from the October 15 season.
Ok that’s a lot to handle but one would not know. The other side of the coin what are you greatest achievements?
(2003) I was awarded the best under 17s player, I was also a captain in my high school team and I won the Duke’s cup.
(2004) I was awarded the best Nairobi 7s player in High school.
(2005) I won the best club player from Mombasa.
(2006) I was the top scorer in Mombasa for the 7s and 15s
(2010-2012) winning Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup in 1st season at Harlequins
Wow, what a portfolio. How do you balance being a student, rugby player and a coach at the same time?
Trust me, it’s difficult. I have to make sacrifices. All I have to look at is my priorities at a particular time.
What is your favorite rugby team?
All blacks from New Zealand
Any role models?
In life, it’s my uncle and Rodger Federer. In Rugby, it’s Justin Marshalls of All Blacks.
I am claustrophobia. I just don’t like tiny and crowded places.
What do you want to be in the future?
I would like to graduate and be in a position to influence people as well as be part of the team that qualifies for 2014 15s world cup.