NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – The family of celebrated former Kenya Sevens head coach Benjamin Ayimba has asked Kenyans to continue supporting and praying for the rugby legend even as he fights for his life at a Nairobi hospital.
Family spokesperson Oscar Osir, a close friend and a former teammate of Ayimba described the coach’s current condition as critically ill and says he continues to get proper medical care as they hope and pray for him to improve.
“I want to thank Kenyans for their immense support financially and emotionally, and I want to ask them to continue holding the family in prayer,” Osir said in a joint presser addressed by the Kenya Rugby Union boss Oduor Gangla and the family.
As at Saturday evening, the hospital bill stood at Sh3.2mn. President Uhuru Kenyatta has given a personal donation of Sh1mn while the overall money collected from the paybill opened to support the celebrated coach had hit Sh1.8mn.
Ayimba’s family has also asked Kenyans to continue praying for the coach.
“I would like to thank all the Kenyans for the overwhelming support. My father has served this nation for a long time and I am happy to see that Kenyans are supporting him,” his eldest son Brian stated.
His sister Rita added; “We are overwhelmed by your love and support. Please continue with it. My brother is truly sick, struggling for his life and we pray for your continued support to see him get better.”
Meanwhile, Osir has called on Kenyans to respect the family’s privacy and stop spreading falsehood on social media.
“I ask once again those sending false information to please respect the privacy of our brother. There is no need for all this information we have seen on social media, we will appreciate if his privacy is respected,” Osir stated.
The family has opened a PayBill number to help in getting finances to foot the huge medical bill.
Well-wishers can send their contributions through PAYBILL NUMBER 8021673 under Account Name: BENJAMIN OTIENO AYIMBA MEDICAL.
Ayimba, the former Kenya 7s and 15s Captain, is the most successful local Kenya Sevens Coach, having written history by guiding Kenya to its first ever World Sevens Series Cup title in 2016, winning the Singapore 7s after stunning Fiji 30-7.
Ayimba represented Kenya at Rugby Sevens World Cups (2001 and 2005) as a player. His first appointment as Kenya 7s head coach came in 2006, replacing his coach at Impala Bill Githinji, a position he held to 2011.
During his tenure in 2009 he guided Kenya to its first ever World Series Cup Final in Adelaide, Australia losing 26-7 to South Africa.
Ayimba made a comeback to the national team set up in 2015 as head coach, and he guided Kenya to its first ever Cup title in Singapore the following year (2016).