Alvin Marube: A journey from football, Threatre to Rugby


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He is known for the pace that matches his height, he ditched theatre for rugby and has not looked back or ever regretted. Impala Saracens’ Alvin Marube is a force to reckon when with the ball. He spoke to Scrummage and told his story.

The second term of the 2010 academic year in Itierio Boys High School will have a mark in Marube’s life as the time he decided to get into rugby, this was after juggling between football and rugby.

Juggled

“I used to play football and still in high school, juggled between both football and rugby. It’s funny. I joined rugby because many loved football in the whole school so I felt like trying something new.”

Unlike many small-sized lads who face ridicule on joining the sport, Marube’s case was different.

“In our school, playing rugby was like earning respect. Rugby players were highly respected regardless of size hence the name ‘Wadudu’,” Marube tells.

Alvin Marube in a past action courtesy/Impala

With no coaches, they would train by themselves, with skills they had learnt from home and their captains doubling up as their coaches.

“Players would come from a home with some rugby drills then we train on them. We did not have a coach so the captains acted like coaches. I became the rugby captain in 2013.”

That year, Marube would lead his teammates to beat Maseno school, a giant in the region, for the first time in Agoro Sare. Before their match the then Maseno school coach had taken from him an Impala short he had got from a friend (Ian Okari) terming it as an Impala property.

During his time in high school, Marube’s side reigned as Kisii County 7s champions while in 2014 they got a chance to play in the nationals which were held in Kisii School. After high school, the multi-talented Marube gave acting a stint which he ditched shortly after to fully concentrated in rugby.

At Kabete Polytechnic where he trained with a few lads, he was spotted by Caleb Kiprotich who gave him a proposal to join Catholic University.

“Actually after high school, I did not play rugby until 2015. I began acting but later I realized my passion was in rugby. So I trained at Kabete Polytechnic with a bunch of my friends. I was spotted by [Caleb] Kiprotich of Catholic University in March 2015,” he added.

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After training with CUEA for a month, he was selected to play at the Masaku 7s 2015 edition where he was recognized as the Most Valuable player winning the Second Division category.

He also had a short stint with MKU Thika and The Kenya Methodist University Rugby sides.

In 2016 Walter Orangi gave him a call to return to duty as Kisii RFC began their campaign at the nationwide league.

“I played for three seasons in Kisii RFC, that is in the nationwide league. We finished sixth in the regular season but still qualified to play championship. We won the first championship league, hence gained a Kenya Cup 2017/2018 slot.

Marube left Kisii before the 2019 National 7s Circuit after he felt he had given Kisii his all and had to focus on other matters. Besides Impala, a Homeboyz offer was also on the table but Marube chose to board the Ngong Road bus.

Impala’s Alvin Marube in action against Kabras in a match played at Kakamega Showground. Photo Courtesy Impala

Impala Saracens sponsor Resolution Insurance had taken care of his knee surgery while he was with Kisii side and this also pushed him to take the Impala offer. On how the season has been with Mitch Ocholla’s team, Marube says he learns and grows each day, describing Ocholla as a tough yet good at his job.

“It has been a good season am always learning each day and growing. Mitch is a tough one, but he is good at his job,” he continued.

So far, Marube has scored 12 tries in all competitions since joining Impala, also featured for UK based VX3 Wailers in the Safari 7s tournament 2019 edition. Marube hopes to represent the country in bigger tournaments.

Besides rugby, Marube is a student pursuing a Diploma in Business and Information Technology at Mount Kenya University, Nairobi Campus. The 24-year-old also does video editing and learns French when not on the field.

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