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Malava Boys products who’ve risen to compete against Kenya Rugby’s best

Malava Boys are popularly known for their exploits in Volleyball as they have won several National and East Africa titles.

In matters rugby, they have not had a chance to shine, being overshadowed by National Giants Kakamega School, Musingu and St Peters Mumias who have dominated the County and regional games.

Malava’s best performances in both versions of the game have been a final appearance in Western Regions games and they have never gone beyond the stage.

Despite being overshadowed by big wigs, they have produced players who have turned out to be key members of the clubs they play for. The side formerly coached by the current Kakamega High School Head Coach Amos Wamanga has had two of its alumni don the National colours on different occasions while others have won domestic silverware. Majority of them went through Kabras RFC system under coach Mike Bishop.

Scrummage takes a look at graduates of their rugby team that are still active in the game and their achievements after high school.

1. Soi Israel-Impala

Israel Soi was at Malava Boys between 2008 to 2011. After high school, he joined JKUAT Cougars as a winger and bagged the 2013 Mwamba Cup II.  Soi later signed for Impala Saracens and part of his career highlights include being a Kenya Cup finalist 2015/16 campaign, helping Homeboyz win the National 7s Circuit and Enterprise Cup in 2018 and representing the Deejayz in 2018 Dubai 7s.

After a short stint with the Deejays, Soi rejoined Impala where he helped them to a fifth-place finish in the National 7s Circuit and fourth place in the Kenya Cup campaign.

Centre Israel Soi during a Kenya Cup encount between Homeboyz and Impala. Photo Courtesy/Denis Acre-half.

2. Jacob Okumba-Quins

The winger/Centre was ushed into club rugby by Kakamega Rugby Club. After playing in the 2012/13 Nationwide, Okumba moved to Kabras RFC as it was formed in mid-2013. He featured for the side in the Nationwide campaign which they won and booked a slot in Kenya Cup. He got some playtime with ESS side, from 2014/15 season and broke into the first team under coach Charles Cardovillis. He won the National 7s Circuit title in 2017 with the Sugarmen.

Okumba also played for the Sugarmen under Henly Du Plessis’ first season at Kabras. He would later quit Kabras for Quins at the start of the 2019/20 season. At Quins, the back featured in the National 7s and Kenya Cup campaign which the Ngong Road-based side finished ninth.

Jacob Okumba in action for Kabras. Photo Courtesy/Eric Onchiri

3:Brave Mukoro- Impala

After High School, he moved to Blak Blad till the 2019 transfer window which saw him leave for Impala Saracens. His first season at Impala saw the side finish fourth in the Kenya Cup campaign.

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4.Edward Shitanda- Kenya Harlequins

Shitanda was also part of the class of 2011, he would start off his club rugby at Mombasa RFC. The backrower spent three seasons at Mombasa Sports Club and later moved to Kenya Harlequins. At Quins, he went on to be a cog member of the back row.

After a stint with the Ngong road-based side, he briefly moved to Homeboyz and played for them in 2019 National 7s Circuit.Shitanda then returned to Quins where and played the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

Edward Shitanda tries to offload in a past clash against Homeboyz. Photo Courtesy

5. Eliud Mulakoli- USIU

Mulakoli was part of the class of 2014 at Malava Boys and chose to join the likes of Okumba who were already at Kabras. He played for Kabras from the end of 2014 to 2016. He then proceeded to join USIU where he won the KUSA Title and captained them in the 2019/20 season.

The Centre was drafted in the 2019 Kenya Simbas squad with his debut coming against Zambia as Kenya won 31-16 at RFUEA Grounds. The 2018/2019 Championship top points scorer had also been named in the 2020 training squad before the year was interrupted due to COVID-19.

Read more on Mulakoli’s rugby journey here

Eliud Mulakoli fends off an opponent in a Kenya Simbas-Zambia clash. Photo Courtesy/Denis Acre-half.

6. Mmasi Timothy-Mmust

Mmasi finished his high school education in 2016. In his second last year, Mmasi helped the side to reach the Western Region 15s finals, losing to Kakamega School. He then had successful trials at Kabras and would win the National 7s Circuit title in 2017 with the side before decamping to MMUST.

At MMUST, Mmasi won the Nationwide title, KUSA 7s title in 2019 and was called to the National 7s team. Though he is yet to make it to the final squad for the World 7s Series, Mmasi has played for Kenya Morans in the Safari 7s and was part of the 2019 winning squad that beat South Africa 19-14 at RFUEA.

He finished the 2019/20 regular campaign as MMUST top scorer and helped the side to a second-place finish in the season. MMUST are set to play the winner of the clash against Mean Machine and Egerton Wasps. A win will see them qualify for Kenya Cup.

Read more on Mmasi’s Rugby journey here

Kenya Morans Timothy Mmasi races on for the Opening try. Photo Courtesy/Joachim Munene

7.Norbert Lumbwani-Mmust

Lumbwani also joined the Sugarmen and went on to win the 2017 National 7s Circuit under Charles Cardovillis. The fly-half also jumped ship to MMUST where he also won the Nationwide title, 2019 KUSA 7s title and he is eyeing Kenya Cup qualification with the varsity side.

Read more on Norbert’s Rugby journey here

Norbert Lubwani poses with KUSA 7s and UoN 7s trophies.

8. John Bahati- Mmust

Bahati had a stint at Kabras and also left for MMUST where he is now a key member of their squad. He has won the same number of silverware as Lumbwani, Mmasi and Mulongo.

John Bahati in past session. Photo Courtesy/MMUST

9. Mwikhali Vincent-Oilers

Mwikhali is another player that passed through the Kabras system, he later shifted to Oilers and he helped them reach the Floodies finals in 2019.  The frontrower was part of the 2019/20 squad that reached the playoffs for the first time.

10. Isaiah Mulongo-Mmust

He is currently at MMUST and has been part of the KUSA 7s and Nationwide success. He previously played for Kabras after high school before making a move to Nakuru.

11. Sirniel Agala– play for UoE Trojans

10.Edgar Auka – played for Moi University’s Arsonists

11.Rhyan Musotsi-plays for Maseno

12.Joram Makunda-plays for Nandi RfC

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