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Amos Nyamanya: The Inspiring Journey Of A Rugby MVP Who Began As A School Teacher

Rubgy MVP Amos Obae Nyamanya PHOTO: Courtesy

Amos Obae Nyamanya was recently named Player of the Tournament at the 2024 Rugby Super Series held between May 4 and May 25. The Menengai Oilers Cheetahs captain had an exhilarating match, making 35 tackles, 29 carries, winning three turnovers and scoring one try to collect 92 impact points.

He is a father of two, and his success story is truly remarkable, beginning in high school where his peers pushed him to venture into the sport after seeing his potential on the pitch.

After playing for his high school team, he tested his skills at Kisii RFC, and he played from 2013 to 2014. He joined the Catholic Monks rugby team in 2015 before returning to Kisii RFC from 2016 to 2019. He then joined Nakuru RFC in 2019 where he has remained till now.

Nyamanya’s parents had different hopes for him, as they tried to dissuade him from the sport at the onset of his career. They once met with his high school’s deputy principal imploring him to intervene, but that hit a snug after he saw Nyamanya’s talent. After high school, his parents decided to enrol him in a college where he could at least pursue a professional course. He made it to the Asumbi Teaching and Training Centre.

After achieving a teaching certificate, Nyamanya opted to continue playing for the Nakuru RFC, where he received a full four-year scholarship to study at Kenyatta University. He had never been in a classroom, but somehow his skills would come in clutch in his rugby career.

“I am a teacher by profession, with a certificate from Asumbi TTC, but I have never taught at any school. At Kenyatta University, I studied Business Management. With this background, I find it easy to teach children rugby,” he stated in an interview with the Nation.

Nyamanya’s degree allowed him to undertake a career change, leading him to work at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital as an officer in the radiology department. His passion for rugby remained undeterred, and scaled the heights by staying disciplined and maintaining a go-getter attitude.

He has encountered challenges that almost ended his career, noting that rugby is not the faint-hearted and one wrong move could have him hanging his boots.

“Rugby is a contact sport and I have suffered physical injury at various stages of my career. I broke my tibia bone in 2020, came back, played four games and broke it again in 2021. In 2020, I had surgery and spent nine months on the sidelines. In 2021, I had surgery and spent one year and three months away before playing my first game. Fortunately, my insurance covered the hospital bills,” he said.

When asked about his best moments in the game, he recalled being selected for the Rugby Super Series and being named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

“I didn’t expect it. It caught me by surprise, but statistics don’t lie. I scored the most impact points. Until now I can’t tell how it feels. I have been working hard and staying disciplined. I never miss any training sessions,” he narrated.

The player looks up to South African national team captain Siya Kolisi, who he said had great leadership qualities and style of play, but most of all is a loving family man.

He described his journey as progressive and fulfilling and anticipates going professional and playing for more established teams outside the country.

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