Pride fathers have given birth to rugby sons who are Kenya’s rugby elite, literally the formidable players turning up for the sevens and fifteens side as siblings strive to keep Kenya’s roll of honour in the IRB series.
Kenya is known for its glut of talents from family members, taking the sport to a higher level starting from athletics to football and latest rugby.
Rugby has become a household name in some Kenyan homes, inheriting from their fathers, neighbours or self training.
First in the country’s rugby sibling rivalry begun with three Kenyan sevens Humphrey Kayange, Collins Injera and Michael Agevi who initially turned up for the sevens side.
As the trio slowly exits the rugby world due to retirement and other commitments, enters other family rugby players in the Kenyan team.
Current rugby clubs have siblings, running shows in various clubs. Michael Wanjala plays with his young brother Peter Wanjala.
Anytime Homeboyz RFC make a try either through captain Geff Oluoch or Bush Mwale, the elder Michael will always be the man to do all the conversions while Peter, is in the youthful Menengai Oilers player from Nakuru.
Another set of sibling are the Muhanji brothers Dennis and Johnston who all turn up for national teams.
Dennis Muhanji turns up for Sportpesa Kenya Harlequins while his young brother Johnston Mung’au plays for Kabras Sugar where he guided his side to lift Sepetuka sevens title in Eldoret that ended on Sunday at Eldoret Sports Club.
Dennis and Johnston plays in the 15 aside national team and seven aside national team respectively.
But one special man Osinde Wamusamia sits on the terraces to watch the two brothers tackle each other in the ongoing National Sevens Rugby series.
Wamusamia is the father of the two rugby players who has never missed to watch the two play especially more enjoyable when the rival teams meet.
The former football player, playing for Mvuke fc in his teenage age while his wife Penina Tallam was a national volleyball player where she was in the Kenya team at the 1987 All Africa Games.
“I normally watch all games that my sons play. As a father, I feel good, comfortable and enjoyable especially when the two knock each other. Even if they knock each other, it’s a sport and I don’t feel any pain or biasness. When they play, it’s like an army on the war front. You don’t care who is in front of you as much as you are protecting your country,” said Wamusamia.
Dennis and Johnston used to play for Harlequins before the later joined Kabras.
But Wamusamia defended his sons’ choice of taking rugby unlike football or volleyball that their parents used to play.
“As parents, we don’t have to choose for our children’s choice of sport they should involve in. we have sports in our blood and it is not a routine for us to force children on what to do,” defended Wamusamia for his sons’ choice.
As the current Kenya Volleyball Federation (KVF), Central Rift Secretary. Wamusamia became a volleyball fan while cheering his wife Tallam until he was elected as the secretary of the region.
Pioneers Kayange, Injera and Agevi are the sons of a medical doctor, Dr Wilfred Emonyi Injera whose sons runs the shows at global rugby.
The medical laboratory scientist at Moi University’s School of Medicine was keen to prepare a perfect weaning regimen for his three sons, used to turn up for Kenya’s triumphant Rugby Sevens side.
Dr. Emonyi has a cause to brag albeit good-naturedly: “We have nothing special in the family. It is simply the interest and passion for the sport.”
Humprey is the first born, Collins is third born and Michael is last born –and a pretty pharmacist Linda Emonyi in between.
Interestingly, the national rugby hierarchy could break their order of birth. Collins was the team national captain. He took over the mantle from elder sibling Khayange who plays for Mwamba RFC.
Running the shows at the national team captain and Kenya’s fastest man to touch ground, Injera shrugged taunts over young age. His moves are simply record breaking.
Their father says the two identical brothers run the shows at global stage despite having shown no interest in rugby in their tender age.
“I simply thought my sons would take up football like me whom I played football while in primary given I used to see Humphrey and Collins play a little of football in estates of Nairobi. I never imagined they will become national and international players as they are,” Emonyi in a past interview.
Although most of his children took up medicine, Emonyi says he gave them a free hand to choose careers.