2012 will always be a memorable year for National Secondary Schools Rugby giants Kakamega School.
They made history, becoming the first side to win National 7s, 15s, Great Rift 10s and East African 15s titles without losing a match. Under Coach Paul Weloba who had John Asila and Oscar Okaron as his assistant coaches, Katch as commonly referred to by fans replicated the fine run in 2013, retaining the trophies they had won in 2012.
The Barbarians had a bad year in 2011, losing the National 7s Title after being knocked out of the competition held at their backyard at the pool stage. They had to watch as Maseno School were crowned Champions after beating St Joseph Kitale in the finals.
Seeking to bounce back, the barbarians would head into 2012 with a strong technical bench and team that showed the traits of Champions from the world go. After blowing away their opponents at the county and regional games Kakamega headed to Maseno School with one intention, to reclaim the title they had easily given away in 2011. The memorable match at the Nationals would be the semi-final between 2011 holders Maseno.
Maseno kicked off the game strongly scoring two unconverted tries for a 10-0 lead. The Barbarians would stage a comeback scoring three converted tries ( for 21 points) in the final three minutes to silence the hosts. In the final, it was a Kakamega County affair and Kakamega saw off St Peters Mumias with a 24-8 scoreline to reclaim the title they last won in 2010.
Peter Alex Musee a fly-half in the 7s and 15s winning squad says hunger for success, strong bond between players and effort in training was what led to their success.
“The urge to win, capability of the team and hard work were the keys things that led to that impressive performance.Its a team that made an history that no other school in the country never did before,” Peter told Scrummage.
“Strong bonding and hard work were the key determinants.”
Scrummage takes a look at the 12 men that did the job for Kakamega and where they are right now.
1.Humphrey Mulama (MC Mula)
Mulama was known for his impressive ball carrying skills. After High School, he played for Kakamega Rugby guiding them to the Nationwide semis. After the semis, he joined Homeboyz Rugby where he won the Great Rift 10’s and National 7s Circuit titles. While at Homeboyz he got to play for Kenya Under 20 squad 15s squad then graduated to the senior 7s team and played in World 7s Series in 2014 season. The forward also played in the Bamburi Super Series for Papa Nguvu. Mulama AKA MC (due to his love for music and Deejaying) went abroad in 2018.
2. Lucas Atito -(Uri) -Atlanta Old White
He was good in terms of aerial balls which saw the Barbarians retain the ball in most kick-offs. Atito went to Nakuru RFC after High School and won the Chairman Cup with the side. He quit the club and moved to the USA in 2019. Atito is currently attached to Atlanta Old White Rugby Club.
3. Bush Mwale (Wando)-Homeboyz/Kenya 7s
Mwale had amazing ball carrying skills and was hard to stop. He was in form three at the time he became a National Champion. He helped Kakamega defend all the trophies they had won in 2012 the following year. He never tasted defeat in 2012 and 2013. While in high school he played for Kakamega RFC and later moved to Western Bulls.
After School, he moved to Homeboyz where he helped them to win two National 7s Circuit titles and Great Rift 10s. Since then he has become a key member of the Kenya 7s squad, winning the Africa Men’s 7s title in 2019, featured in the 2016 Olympics and helped the squad avoid relegation in 2019. The former Shieywe High Schoolman has played 166 matches for Kenya 7s and has scored 37 tries. In the 2019/20 season, he played 16 matches for Shujaa.
4. Victor Shigholi (Nyani)-Homeboyz
Whenever someone would beat the Barbarians defence line, teammates were assured he would not go past their sweeper Shigholi. After clearing High school, he moved to Homeboyz for a short stint where he also served the Under 20 National Team before moving to Nakuru RFC.
At Nakuru RFC he featured in the 2014 Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cup finals where Wanyore beat KCB 20-13 and 18-13 respectively to be crowned Champions. In 2015, he would play for Nakuru in the National 7s as they become Champions under Gibson Weru. He later moved to Kabras for a season before making a return to Homeboyz where he is up to date.
- Tracing St Peters’ first Kenyan side to win EA 7s title
- Tracing Laiser Hill 2017 East African 15s Champions
- Tracing Kakamega High 2010 National 7s Champions
- Oriwo tactician speaks on County success & COVID-19 pandemic interruptions
5.Harrison Asena (Kanyamoto) Ireland
Asena was known as Kanyamoto due to his running style. His teammates felt he ran as if he was stepping on a hot surface hence the nickname. He loved dummies and his sidesteps left opponents guessing where he would step next.
After High School, he played for Kenya Under 20 and Catholic Monks. Asena briefly played for Kenya Harlequins after Monks stint. He also left the country for Ireland.
6. Fami Idris (Kafe)
Idris was the captain of the team, he played with the zeal and knew how to hit the gaps with speed. He became the first-ever captain to win all the titles in a calendar year. He was the MVP at the National 7s School games held in Maseno School. Beside preseason tournaments such as Kakamega 7s, Musingu opens, Amadi 7s, he guided Kakamega to win the KSSSA 7s, 15s and FEASSSA 15s which saw Kakamega win the school team of the year award at SOYA Awards.
Fami played for Kakamega Rugby Club after high school and then moved to Homeboyz in Early-2013. The centre then played for Kenya Under 20 15s in 2013 and 2014. He scooped the National 7s with Homeboyz. School commitments saw him stay out of action for a while and after graduating from African Nazarene, he went back to Western Kenya where his doing business. He had a short stint with MMUST Rugby after leaving Nazarene.
Khafumi was speedster of the team. He was forcefully inducted into rugby in 2011 after impressing during the term three Interclasses games. Due to pressure had to shelf his football ambitions and after being taught a few drills he started showing traits of a star. Few months into the new sport Khafumi came close to what Arnold Kipkorir was for the Barbarians. Whenever the ball was delivered to him, Kakamega were assured of a try. Together with Mwale, Alvin Otieno, Dan Abounji and Peter Musee they helped Kakamega defend all the trophies in 2013.
After High School, he shined at the Junior Olympic and was tipped to become a top star. He went to Strathmore University but he has not been active in the game in the past seasons due to various reasons.
8. Alvin Otieno (Buffa)-Homeboyz/Kenya 7s
Buffa was unstoppable and his powerful handoffs intimidated opponents. He served the team well in 2013 where he also played for Western Bulls. After leaving Kakamega he moved to Homeboyz and just like most of his teammates he won the National 7s Circuit in 2016 and 2018, clinched the Great Rifts 10’s in 2017. Buffa was part of the Kenya 7s squad that won the first-ever World 7s Series Cup in Singapore.
In 2019/20 season, he finished as Kenya 7s second top try scorer with eight tries. The Homeboyz man has played in 46 matches for Kenya 7s and has scored 11 tries.
9. Brad Owako-Mwamba/Bantierra Fénix
Owako was another hard-hitting player in the team. He had the ability to sidestep and break tackles. He joined Mwamba and his impressive displays earned him a place in the Kenya 7s squad where he played in invitational Amsterdam 7s.
Owako then joined the Simbas squad under coach Jerome Paarwater in 2017. Early in 2019, the centre landed a deal to play for Spanish Bantierra Fénix. He is expected to have another stint with side.
11.Dan Abounji (Domo domo)- Atlanta Old white
Abounji was an aggressive player and did not fear to throw himself into tackles. He was a utility player who would provide cover at scrum-half and at hooker. He was there to help the Barbarians defend the trophies won in 2012 and then played Nakuru and Homeboyz after High School. ‘
Abounji was part of the 2016 Homeboyz National 7s Circuit winning squad, played for Kenya Under 18 in the Junior Olympics and later joined Oilers where they won then Nationwide unbeaten. He left the side in 2018 moving to Mud turtle Rugby club in USA. He later moved to Atlanta Old White Rugby Club where he was joined by Atito, Sammy Muregi and Eric Ombasa.
10. Mike Mulugu (Tink) -Homeboyz
Tink was a winger who played a major role in their campaign and he moved to Homeboyz where he is still up to date.
12. Peter Alex Musee ()Mutuku)
Musee was the playmaker of the team and was part of the 2013 squad before moving to Club rugby. He was at Homeboyz where he stayed between 2014 to 2018. He also had a brief stint with Mwamba and he expected to make a comeback in 2021 having taken a break due to school commitments.
Head Coach: Paul Weloba
Assistants: Oscar Okaron, John Asila
Patron: Oliver Minishi