MMUST RFC forward James Chege (center) in a past action. Photo Courtesy

How MMUST hooker is making ends meet during Covid-19 period


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As Covid-19 continues to ravage the country in all fronts, making ends meet at this tough economic period remains the biggest challenge for most Kenyans, rugby players included.

Most rugby players have been subjected to throw themselves ahead of the curve, in this pandemic period, to devise new methods of cushioning themselves against this tough times, and to also put food on their table.

Branding 

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) forward James Chege, falls in the lot.

The 2019 Agriculture Economic graduate, currently on contract with MMUST RFC, took his time, following the suspension of all local rugby leagues in the country, to come up with a branding fashion label dubbed Jay Brands, that he says has helped raise funds for his daily upkeeps.

“With the suspension of the league, I had to tweak my mind to come up with a plan that will help me raise extra cash in this pandemic period. That is how I came up with the Jay Brands idea. The business has seen me add some extra cash in my pocket, and also keeps me busy with no games or training to attend to. This is my everyday job,” he told The Scrummage.

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“At Jay Brands, we deal with the sale of branded items ranging from hoodies, mugs, round necks, polo t-shirts, and caps. We also design posters, websites, brochures, business cards and business logos,” he further added.

Now in its eighth month of existence, Jay Brands has well attracted a good number of customers across the country, which has seen them enter into an agreement with MMUST RFC to produce branded hoodies, caps and T-Shirts for the varsity side.

“Currently, we have not been able to sign a substantive deal with any re-known cooperate as we are still budding. Our biggest market, though, has been individuals across the country who always place orders with us. MMUST is the only institution that has given us the go-ahead for use of their logo copyrights,” said Chege.

A MMUST design branded hoody from Jay Brands. You can support his business by placing your order via 0713286302. Photo courtesy

While this serves as a challenge, the biggest task, according to Chege, has been balancing between keeping fit for the resumption of the suspended season and work. He counters these hurdle with daily early morning runs, and his minimum two days-a-week gym routine.

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“The challenges have always kept coming, right from the start. First, I had to learn from a scratch about designing on my own, though my good friend Brian Okumu, who was already in the business, came to my aide. For now, balancing between work and staying fit has taken a toll on me. Also, customers who place orders then go mum thereafter are always frustrating in this line of work,” claimed Chege.

“Having played my last game in December, I have been working hard to maintaining good physical and mental fitness tract. Off work, I always do early 6km morning, at least four times a week. I have also indulged myself in-home workouts and cardio, and also attends the gym at least twice a week. That is how I balance between the two,” he added.

Jay Brands hoodies on display. Photo courtesy

While the sports fraternity awaits government directives on the resumption of sports activity in the country, Chege has urged his fellow players to evaluate critically for business ideas during this period, resounding his confidence that it is possible to balance between rugby and a side hustle.

“I would advise my fellow players to strive and think of various ways to get income at such trying times, and not rely on rugby alone. Also, for those in school, they should value that time by focusing on what they’ll do after school. Lastly, I urge everyone to follow government directives, and stay safe,” he said.

*You can support his business by placing your order via 0713286302

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