Rugby Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba will be remembered for putting Kenya in the global map after steering the 7’s team to its first-ever World series title in Singapore 2016 where Kenya, then regarded as underdogs, beat favourites Fiji 30 - 7 in a thrilling encounter.
Benjamin Ayimba is arguably Kenya’s most accomplished coach and player and is credited with Kenya’s best performance in the international sevens series. He succeeded his club coach Bill Githinji as the Kenya Sevens head in 2006, making him at 30 years old, the youngest coach on the IRB circuit and in Kenya’s history. Ayimba was Captain of both Kenya XV and Kenya 7’s, Coach of Kenya XV and also coach of Kenya Sevens, and remains to date the only coach to win a series.
Rugby is the only team sport where Kenya has consistently excelled in the world and it was during his tenure in 2009 that Kenya 7s reached their first ever World Series Cup Final in Adelaide.
It was a crowning career feat for Ayimba who in 2001 had captained Kenya to Argentina and returned to the 2005 RWC Sevens in Hong Kong as a player before guiding Kenya to the 2009 semi-finals as a coach. By leading Kenya to beating Fiji in the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai to automatically qualify for the next championship, coach Benjamin Ayimba made history by appearing at the three World Cups by Kenya.
He was named the coach of the year during the 2009 Soya Sports Awards. Additionally, Ayimba was in Dec 2010 awarded the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) award by President Mwai Kibaki.
Born August 27, 1976, Ayimba schooled at Olympic Primary School in Kibera, a slum district in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. He later joined Maseno School in Western Kenya, a bastion for the production of many of the modern stars of the game in Kenya. When Ayimba completed his high school, he was already ripe for recruitment into the big clubs.
Benjamin joined Impala RFC as a rookie in 1995 and went on to play for the Red Shirts till 2001 winning a couple of Kenya Cups, Enterprise Cups and Floodlit tournaments along the way. He joined Nondies RFC in 2002 where he went on to spend three seasons and later played for Cornish Pirates in England in the backrow position.
Benjamin was married to Frabrica Awuor. They had three sons; Brian, Gabriel and Ochieng
The 44-year-old succumbed to cerebral malaria on Friday 21 May 2021 while receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Date of Birth: 27/08/1976
Date of Death: 21/05/2021
Place of Death: Nairobi
Boys that was really a lovely show. I am a happy Kenyan. This is Kenya 7's