From St. Peter’s to Kenya Cup Glory: The Remarkable Journey of Dan Angwech with Kabras

Kabras RFC Dan Angwech in action. Photo Courtesy/CMony Images.
Kabras RFC Dan Angwech in action. Photo Courtesy/CMony Images.

The 2022/23 season proved to be a breakthrough for Dan Angwech as he secured more starting berths in the Kabras RFC jersey and ended the season with an unbeaten run and two titles.

Throughout his six years at the club, Angwech has achieved remarkable success, including three Enterprise Cup trophies, two Kenya Cup titles, and a Mwamba Cup.

Dan Angwech passion

Born in Kisumu, Kenya, Angwech developed a passion for rugby at a young age. His cousins, who were key figures for Kisumu RFC, introduced him to the sport. Initially starting as a hooker, his journey took a turn when he had the opportunity to train with Kisumu RFC and met Coach Sheilan Nyawira, who converted him into a scrumhalf.

“I started rugby as a hooker, at one point I got a chance to train with Kisumu RFC, I met coach Sheilan Nyawira who converted me to scrumhalf” he told the Scrummage Africa.

Angwech attended MM Shah Primary School in Kisumu before joining Kisumu Day, where he began his rugby career. His exceptional skills and athleticism caught the attention of scouts, leading to a full scholarship offer from St. Peter’s Mumias. This opportunity came at a crucial time when Angwech faced financial challenges that affected his school attendance. Libondo Shimenga, the former head coach of St. Peter’s, played a significant role in facilitating this opportunity.

The St Peter's 2016 squad. Photo Courtesy/ Libondo Shimenga
The St Peter’s 2016 squad. Photo Courtesy/ Libondo Shimenga

His time in high school proved to be a pivotal period. Participating in the national secondary school championships and the East Africa (EA) Games, Angwech’s crowning achievement was winning the EA Sevens, which opened doors to exciting opportunities.

“High school was amazing. I went to the national secondary school championships and later we proceeded to East Africa (EA) games. I won the EA Sevens, and winning it opened up many opportunities for me. Especially the chance to join Kabras and secure a full college scholarship,” the ICT student said.

Start off Kabras life

In 2016, following the completion of his secondary education, Angwech made a significant leap in his rugby career by joining Kabras RFC after being scouted by Coach Edwin Achayo. He made his Kenya Cup debut in 2017 against Mwamba RFC and later impressed as the top point scorer in the Eric Shirley Shield side in 2019 and 2020.

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Though he has had playtime in the Kenya Cup in previous season, 2022/23 season marked a turning point for Angwech as Coach Carlos Katywa rewarded his remarkable performances with more starting berths in the Kenya Cup squad.

With 23 Kenya Cup caps, 7 Enterprise Cup appearances, and 8 sevens tournaments under his belt, Angwech has scored an impressive total of 21 tries for the Lurambi based side.

Kabras Dan Angwech  races away from Quins defence, Photo Courtesy/ Lesnsah Image.
Kabras Dan Angwech races away from Quins defence, Photo Courtesy/ Lesnsah Image.

Angwech attributes his breakthrough to his dedication to putting in extra effort and believes that participating in the National Sevens Circuit will further enhance his skills and fitness as he prepares for the upcoming 15s season.

“Going for extras really helped me a lot. With the upcoming season of sevens, it will help me sharpen my skills and stay fit for the upcoming 15s season,” he said.

Acknowledging the individuals who have impacted his career, Angwech expresses gratitude to his current club tacticians, including Coach Mzingaye Nyathi, Carlos Kaytwa, Richard Ochieng, and Max Adaka. Additionally, he extends his heartfelt appreciation to Daniel Orongo, his first high school coach, Mr. Libondo Shimenga, who supported him during challenging times, and Mr. Anthony Ogot, who has played an influential role in his journey.

“I will forever remain indepted to Mr.Daniel Orongo,my first high school coach for setting the platform,Mr Libondo shimenga he took me under his wings when i had fee issues,and Mr.Athony Ogot am forever grateful to this gentlemen, ” Angwech said.

Among the players he admires, Angwech highlights his teammate and Kenya Sevens halfback, Brian Tanga, who continually encourages him to work hard and believe in himself.

“He (Tanga) always encourage me to work hard,he used to tell me that remember you are the best, believe in yourself ” he said.

While Angwech cherishes winning the 2022/23 Kenya Cup title and receiving a call-up to the National 15s Simbas team, he remains focused on his aspirations. His ultimate goals include representing his country and clinching victory in the National Sevens Circuit.

“My target is to represent my country and win the national circuit,” he stated.

Throughout his rugby journey, Dan Angwech has encountered his fair share of challenges, including injuries, setbacks, and fierce competition. Reflecting on these experiences, he acknowledges, “I have always had my lowest moments in this journey, injuries have been a part of it, and they have caused me to miss some crucial games. However, I’ve always found the strength to fight my way back.”

Bounce back

Angwech’s ability to bounce back from adversity exemplifies his mental fortitude and unwavering passion for the sport. Despite facing obstacles, he remains resilient, determined, and undeterred in pursuing his rugby dreams.

Acknowledging the crucial role played by the club’s loyal supporters, Angwech attributes the recent back-to-back successes to the unwavering support of the fans. He expresses his gratitude, stating, “The fans have played a major role in our triumphs. They have provided us with tremendous moral support, going above and beyond by coming together to gift me a new pair of boots. It’s a gesture that I will never forget. The only way I can repay them is by giving my best on the field and securing victories.”

With his sights set on representing the national team, Angwech aspires to don the national jersey and make his mark at the highest level.

He firmly believes in the importance of hard work, noting that it surpasses natural talent. His journey in rugby has taught him valuable lessons, and he embraces the mantra that dedication and perseverance are the keys to success.

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