At 20 years he is already a household name featuring locally and internationally, his prowess has earned him a temporary spot in the Kenya 15’s national team, Samuel Asati is a force to reckon within the game today.
The Scrummage managed to grab some time with this youngster who shared his journey and what he seeks to achieve in days to come.
“I started playing rugby in 2012 at my then primary school (Genesis Academy) courtesy of Shamas rugby foundation who visited our school and introduced us to the sport.”
Asati says since then he has never looked back, he would actually not tell his parents he had started playing rugby and not even the slight bruises would explain anything since he was known to be a naughty boy who got involved in fights often. It is until a year later that his folks had to know since he had to apply for a passport for a South African tour.
“They did not notice until one year later while applying for a passport for a South African tour. They used to see me come home bruised and ignored because they knew I was stubborn so fights were not new things.” Asati said.
Asati would then make his first international tour under the national colours in 2014 for the under 16 team to Germany, he attributes the majority of his younger days and skills to his then coach Bonalito Were who played for KCB then. Onto high school, the platform would even be widened and at Cardinal Otunga High school. He would further sharpen his skills making appearances for his school team right from form one till form four where he would skipper his team to the regional 15s aside games which took place in St.Marys Yala and to the National level in the 7s games.
In this four year period, he would play for the Nyanza select in 2014, in 2015 he would get recognised and awarded the best player in the Nyanza region games. 2016 saw him bag the most valuable player award in the Obama sevens tournament.
After high school he got a call up to Kenya under 20 teams popularly known as ‘Chipu’ while he played for Nothern Suburbs, a side he used to feature for even during school holidays in the nationwide league competition and the sevens circuit, he says this was the ladder to joining his current side KCB.
“I played for Nothern Surbubs for six months after high school before getting called up to join KCB.”
Asati has been with the under 20 national for three years and in 2019 he was named the assistant captain, helping the side to qualify for the World Junior trophy competition in Brazil. The side finished sixth in the competition.
After the Under 20 matches, the youngster got chance in the senior team and was awarded as the man of the match on his debut in the victoria Cup against Zambia at RFUEA Grounds.
“I have played for the senior side once in the Victoria Cup against Zambia where I got the player of the match award. It was a great feeling to earn the award on my debut.”
Asati says he looks up to Michael Wanjala a teammate in KCB and Impala’s Samson Onsomu who are also the Kenya Simbas scrum-halves.
Asati further says the journey is not rosy as there are a share of challenges: “Injuries are the greatest fear and pull back but they are part of the game so we try to cope.”
He describes his time in KCB as welcoming and a good platform to grow, under the bankers he has managed to scoop the outstanding back of the season award in 2018 while in 2019 he got second runners up for the most promising player.
He has won a Kenya Cup title, two Floodlit Tournaments and one National 7s Circuit title during his early days at Den .
Apart from the game Asati has other commitments he takes up. He is currently doing a course in Real Estate Management at Mount Kenya University and he urges his fellow youngsters to join the game, stay disciplined, work hard, and most of all stay prayerful.
Name: Samuel Asati
School: Cardinal Otunga
University: Mount Kenya
Course: Real Estate management
Clubs: Shamas, Northern Suburbs, KCB
National 15s Debut: Sep 21, 2019
Awards: MVP Obama 7s, MOTM Floodies final & Most Promising player 2018, MOTM Kenya vs Zambia
Other Achievements: Barthes Cup winner 2019, Kenya Cup winner 2019, National 7s winner 2019, Floodies winner 2019