Mean Machine RFC took the Kenya rugby scene by storm in 1989 and 1990. The team which at the time comprised entirely of students of the University of Nairobi. Rugby in Kenya had traditionally been dominated by teams like Nondescripts, Impala and later Mwamba. Prior to 1989 , Mean Machine were known to play a brand of rugby that was exciting , free flowing but not very structured.
. Led by the legendary Edward Rombo, Machine playing the excited free flowing brand of rugby that they had come to be associated with, won the Kenya cup in style. Rombo who played on the wing, combined breathtaking speed with a killer sidestep that came to be known in Kenya rugby circles as the Rombo jig.
But it was not just Rombo. There was also John Moore Ohaga at flyhalf, Oliver Khabure at second row, Martin Ndeda at scrum half along with others like Musalia Kihamba, Edwin Obuya and full back Ken Kanyi many of whom were the very best at their respective positions.
"My faith is build on nothing else but the spirit of mean machine,
going ahead to make a try, against all the other teams.
Ooh mean machine i ever trust,all other teams are sinking side...all other teams are sinking side."
However,MeanMachine has withstood the test of time over the past years,and that is Mean Machine RFC;the University of Nairobi’s rugby team.
Having been founded in 1977,Machine was the first team to be formed by indigenous kenyans.
During the 1980’s,the club was forced to shut down due to political instability in the country but later recovered and went on to win titles.
One cannot dispute the fact that it is Kenya’s richest talent hub having produced a good number of players who have gone on to feature for both the national 7s and 15s sides as well as representing other clubs.
A graduate of Journalism,the late Mutere will be remembered for his great contribution to the revolution of rugby in the country especially in the 70’s when the game was still considered a white man sport.Having graduated from the University of Nairobi,Mutere together with other teammates went on to form Mwamba RFC in 1978.
Former Mean Machine player Absalom Mutere
Commonly reffered to as JJ Masiga,he was among the first players who featured for the university side.Interestingly,Masiga doubled up as a soccer player and featured for Afc Leopards FC and Kenya Breweries(now Tusker FC) in the Kenyan league.
Martin Ndeda Ndeda featured at scrumhalf for Machine between 1989 to 1991,a period in which the students won 2 Kenya Cup titles.
Edward Rombo Legendary winger Edward Rombo is well remembered for his fascinating pace and wonderful sidesteps popularly known as ‘Rombo jig’.He led Machine to 2 Kenya Cup triumphs between 1989 to 1990.Rombo also featured for Mwamba RFC as well as Leeds RFC in the United Kingdom. Rombo(far right) in action for Leeds RFC
Definitely among the skillful number 10s that the country has ever produced.He consistently displayed wonderful skills ensuring that Machine won several accolades.Khakame also featured for the national 15s team as well as Kenya Harlequins.
Tolbert Onyango After leaving Nairobi school,the talented scrumhalf went on to join Mean Machine before switching to Mwamba.Onyango also donned national team colours for both 7s and 15s.He has recently had coaching stints in Uganda with varying degrees of success.
Kopondo Kenya Simbas skipper introduced himself to the Kenya rugby fraternity while at Machine.
Former Kenya Simbas captain Wilson Kopondo Kopondo was then handed a national 7s team call up by then coach Benjamin Ayimba and even captained the Shujaa at some of the international assignments.He currently turns up for Kenya Cup bigwigs Kenya Harlequins..
Here recognis indivituals and Institutions for their exceptional service and support they have shown both on and off the playing field, just to ensure the well being of the players and the growth of the team at large.
We recognise there important contributionse in their respective roles that have had a profound effect on the game.