Alvin Otieno, 27

Rugby Player

Kenya Rugby Sevens

In just four years on the trot with the Shujaa, the national seven-a-side team, Alvin has grown into one of the most feared players in the shorter version of rugby.

A lethal ball carrier who is not afraid to run straight at the biggest and strongest of opponents, Alvin is one of the individuals that have stepped up to fill the big shoes left behind by world-class players like Andrew Amonde, Humphrey Kayange, and Oscar Ouma.

The 27-year-old looks up to Oscar Ouma as a role model, but the toughest opponent he has gone up against is South Africa Sevens legend Seabelo Senatla.

Some call him ‘Buffa,’ short for buffalo. Others know him as Buff Daddy, a moniker cutting across the buffalo and billionaire rapper Sean Combs, formerly known as Puff Daddy.

The 94-kilogramme star played football and handball before joining Kakamega High School in 2010, where a full switch to rugby happened.

While in Form three, Alvin joined Kakamega’s Western Bulls where he spent two years.

Former Homeboyz Rugby coach Paul Murunga spotted Alvin’s potential and signed him for the Nairobi side.

At Homeboyz, it became difficult for national team selectors to ignore Alvin’s talent, and he earned a maiden call up to Shujaa for the Hong Kong Sevens in April, 2016. He helped Kenya exit at the Plate Semifinal stage after losing 0-33 to England.

He was part of the Shujaa side that would clinch Kenya’s first-ever World Rugby Sevens Series title in Singapore later that year.

Since then, he has hammered many an opponent on the way to scoring 22 tries in 58 games across several tournaments. This year alone, Alvin has scored 11 tries in 12 matches for Shujaa.

His contribution made Alvin one of the standout players in the seven-a-side World Rugby Sevens Series, where Shujaa finished third.

Brian Wasuna