Benjamin Ayimba, Kenyan rugby legend succumbs to Celebral Malaria

By Elkanah Nyauma

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Rugby legend and former Kenya Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba has died. Ayimba who has been fighting Cerebral Malaria died while receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Receiving the news of his passing that came as a shocker, many Kenyans came out loud on social media saying Ayimba was an astute sportsman and a world-class coach.

They also said he was a true champion who made the country proud everywhere he went and defended Kenya by representing her, playing in the only game in the country which never got lost in the world map. 

Many other Kenyans who have been praying and hoping he would get well said he was a true Kenyan hero, legend and patriot; a true son of Kenya. They added that Benjamin Ayimba made Kenya proud in Rugby and that his players will truly miss a dedicated coach and one that loved doing his job wholeheartedly.

Benjamin Ayimba
Picture | Capital FM

Kenyans on social media also stated how Ayimba made Kenyans proud by placing her on top of the rugby arena. They said the fast and furious pace he set, the belief in the youth and his passion for excellence lives on! They stated how eternally indebted to him they are.

The Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also mourned the fallen sports superstar. He said he was a Kenyan rugby icon who inspired a generation of Kenyans to take up and excel in rugby.

“It is a sad day in the history of Kenyan sports having lost Benjamin. From his exploits on the field as a rugby player and on the touch line as a coach, Benjamin inspired a generation of young Kenyans to take up and excel as rugby players. He was truly a national rugby icon,” the President said.

He also added that as a nation, we will forever be grateful for his great contribution to sports in Kenya especially for the many accolades he earned the country over the years.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also mourned the rugby legend saying he was a great patriot. “We have lost a great patriot in Benjamin Ayimba. As coach he led Kenya to their first World Sevens Series title when they beat Fiji at the Singapore Sevens in 2016,” Raila said.

Other leaders who expressed their condolences to the fallen champion include Senator Sakaja, Kalonzo Musyoka among others.

HIGHLIGHTS! How Kenya stunned Fiji to win Singapore Sevens in 2016

Facts about Benjamin Ayimba

He was a successful figure in the Kenyan rugby, 

Ayimba served as the captain of the national rugby team in the Kenya Sevens and 15s team. 

He was first appointed Shujaa head coach in 2006. 

He led the country to its first World Series Cup Final in Adelaide, Australia where the team lost to South Africa, three years later.

In 2011, he was fired after refusing to include the team’s key players at the Safaricom Sevens. 

He returned in 2015 

In 2016, he led Shujaa in winning the World Rugby Sevens Series after playing against Fiji at the 2016 Singapore Sevens.

Benjamin Ayimba is a true manifestation that indeed, Africans can nurture talents on and produce results. ~ Nelson Ochondo Mandela

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