Last updated 3 months ago | By Washington Onyango
Max Adaka was born a leader.
Starting his journey in sports as a goalkeeper during his teenage years, the Kabras Sugar captain has gone on to triumph both at the club and national team.
Off the pitch, Adaka is Police Constable in the General Service Unit (GSU).
We caught up with the 34-year-old hooker/eighth man for this interview as he reveals how he made it to rugby and his plans for the future, once he’s done playing.
Who is Max Adaka and how did you get into rugby?
Max Adaka is just a normal person. I am 34-years-old. I began playing rugby while in high school. Actually, it’s a friend of mine (Seth Machuki), who convinced me to begin playing this sport. Before that, I was a goalkeeper.
What made you stop playing football?
Back then, rugby players in our school (Lenana School) were really respected. So when I learnt that I was actually good at it, I decided to ditch football for rugby.
What rugby team did you support back then?
I knew nothing about rugby while growing up. I was busy playing football until high school, then became an England fan.
Which Kenyan rugby club did you hear of first?
Nondies. We used to jog along Ngong Road and train with them since it was the closest club to our school.
Who has been of great help in your career?
George King taught me the basics of rugby while I was in Form One, then came Mitch Ocholla, the current coach of Impala. Everything changed when we went to play in the Vodacom Cup in South Africa with Jerome Paarwaters.
What’s your most memorable match?
I can say is when we won a match against the Eastern Province Kings of South Africa, in 2014, while playing for the national 15s team, Simbas. Nobody really expected us to win that match, not even ourselves.
Which player have you admired most in your career?
Fijian Nemani Nadolo. He is a winger in a prop’s body with other skills too. He is just phenomenal.
Which player has been your most difficult opponent?
The Namibian hard-man Jacques Burger. But in Kenya, it was the late Mike Okombe
Between Kabras and KCB, where do you feel most at home?
This is a tough one! But in rugby, a brother is he who fights next to you. KCB will always be home, but right now, it’s Kabras Sugar all the way.
What is your favorite meal?
My wife knows it’s ugali and beef, but I’d kill for chapo dondo
Which player is the most gigantic in your squad this season?
Have you seen Asuman Mugerwa? That’s a walking tank
What else do you do apart from playing rugby?
Apart from rugby, I am a Police Constable in the General Service Unit (GSU), a farmer and also trying my luck in the business world.
Your most embarrassing moment in your life?
Ripped my jeans when trying to board a matatu in Nairobi CBD
Do you think Kabras will reclaim the title you last won in 2016?
Yes. With the firepower we have right now, anything is possible; we just have to tick the right boxes. Hope all will be well after the Coronavirus pandemic
How do you rate your coach Du Plessis and the former tactician Cardovilis?
Coach Cardovilis is a great coach, he moulded some young players from scratch and he’s easy to approach. But for coach Henley, he is strict, composed, knows his stuff, and did I mention strict?. He is all about discipline
What are your plans when done with playing?
To be a head coach. I am already done with my level 1 strength and conditioning. I am due to start my level 2 course