Collins Injera: Day I almost quit rugby – VIDEO
Rugby star Collins Injera has opened up on some of the challenges he faced during the early days of his career, and specifically the disappointment of missing out on a dream move to South Africa.
He made these revelations during a TED Talk-esque Kenyan programme dubbed Engage.
In the video, Injera says was introduced to rugby by his elder brother Humphrey Khayange while at Vihiga High School.
He admits to developing passion for the game from the word go, and ended up joining then second division club Mwamba immediately he was done with his school
Despite the team competing in the lower league at the time, Injera’s performances was still good enough to earn him a call-up to the national team and thereafter, interest from Stormers.
“I got a call-up to try out with the Stormers club in South Africa. This is a big club, like the Manchester United of South Africa. I passed my medical (examination) and trained with the team for two weeks,” explained Injera.
His agreement with Mwamba was that he would return for the annual Sevens tournament which he did. The Stormers team manager advised him to carry all his luggage and at the airport, handed him a one way ticket to Nairobi. A naive Injera asked when he would get the return ticket. The manager promised that it would be sent.
After weeks of waiting, he got in touch with the club manager who later told him that he was too small to play rugby.
“Then the team manager started offering me excuse after excuse (as to why I cannot sign) a contract. The club later sends me a long email suggesting they were prepared to help me bulk up for six months but without earning a salary and still, there was no guarantee I would get a contract thereafter. I was disappointed.”
But this development also opened up another opportunity for Injera.
“I had a discussion with my dad about this and he explained to me that I needed to have a Plan ‘B’ in life. I agreed and joined college to study Public Relations (PR).”
The 32-year-old is considered one of the most talented rugby players in Kenya’s history mainly owing to his displays for the national team at the IRB Sevens Circuit series.