"Former Kenya Rugby Head Coach"

Mr Ayimba Benjamin

Born: Friday, 27th August 1976

Died: Friday, 21st May 2021

Location: Nairobi City County

Ayimba's Life Slogan

"Do not be afraid; only believe. Mark 5:36"

THE STORY

Age, Place of Birth, Cause of Death

Benjamin Ayimba died on May 21st, 2021 at 44 years, in Nairobi Kenya. He succumbed to Cerebral Malaria while receiving treatment at a Nairobi Hospital.

Family

A celebrated Kenyan rugby international during his playing days and a successful national team coach afterward, Benjamin was the son of Joachim Ayimba, Esther Akinyi Ayimba & Mama Benta Apondi Ayimba. Husband of Caroline Waswa and dedicated father to Brian, Gabriel, Keenan, and Eli Benjamin Ayimba.

Education and Career Journey

The multi-talented Ayimba, who tried his hands and legs at multiple sports while at Olympic Primary School, Nairobi, began his rugby career at Maseno School. Ayimba later played for Impala as a rookie (back row) in 1995 after completing his secondary school studies and went on to captain the Red Shirts to two Kenya Cups, Enterprise Cups, and Floodlit tournaments in 2000 and 2001. He also inspired the team to win three National Sevens Circuit titles between 1999 and 2001.

He then moved to Nondescripts in 2002 before joining English side Cornish Pirates the following year.

Before venturing into coaching, Ayimba had featured for the Kenya Rugby 7s national team, Shujaa at the 1998,2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2001 and 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments in Argentina and Hong Kong respectively. He had a short coach/player stint for the Simbas before serving as Shujaa’s coach between 2006 and 2011.

The former Kenya Sevens and 15’s captain’s legend grew to international reverence in 2016 when he masterminded Kenya’s Main Cup triumph at Singapore Sevens. Shujaa pulled off a shocking 30-7 victory over Olympic champions Fiji to clinch their first-ever World Sevens Series title on Ayimba’s second stint as the national team coach.

Before the Singapore triumph, Ayimba had masterminded Kenya’s first-ever World Series final in 2009 in Adelaide followed by a maiden semifinal appearance at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai. But it is at the historic Singapore Sevens that Ayimba left an imprint in the game after literally killing three birds with one stone during his second short spell.

Shujaa’s current coach Innocent ‘Namcos’ Simiyu, captain Andrew Amonde and his former teacher cum rugby coach at Maseno School Milton Nyangaga, all described Ayimba as a true servant of the game. While paying tribute to his predecessor and former coach, who introduced him to the international level, Simiyu urged the government to give Ayimba a state funeral.

He is a trailblazer who will forever be remembered for his contribution. Fare thee well Coach.

 

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