Kenyan presence in kabaddi

Last Updated: Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 18:31

Kolkata: Simon Maina Kibura is a Kenyan kabaddi professional and is the only player from the African nation to play in the franchise-league Pro Kabaddi, representing Puneri Paltans.

The 25-year-old looks like any other Kenyan -- a tall frame of 6 feet 2 inches with long legs but he`s not here to run but to raid.

A national-level discus thrower and sprinter for his Nairobi province, Kibura did not know what kabaddi is till his friend, who plays taekwondo, explained the Indian sport.

"I would first say `Kadibba`, `Kabadda`... As it took some time to get the name correct. It sounded to me like rugby, some kind of a physical sport," the business management student told PTI in an interview.

"From childhood I always fancied to play contact sport like rugby, wrestling... And, I fell in love with the sport at first sight -- (from) YouTube," the Kenyan said recalling taking kabaddi lessons from the popular video site.

He`s yet to play a match for the Puneri Paltans who lost to Bengal Warriors in a hard-fought battle.

"I`m learning the nuances of the game but my time will surely come. I`m happy cheering from the sidelines," he added.

Kibura, however, has been a favourite in his team and teaching Kenyan dance steps to his teammates.
"They all call me `bhai`, first I didn`t know what it was. Now I`m enjoying every moment of my stay."

During last night`s match, a Pune raider found himelf in a spot as he did not have a jersey number and Kibura showed great camaraderie removing his No 2 jersey and handing over to his teammate.

He goes on to add that his younger brother too has taken a liking to the sport

"I`m sure there will be more and more Kenyans next year. People back home now know me as a kabaddi player. They say, `wow, you play kabaddi!"


Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.

First Published: Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 18:31

More from zeenews

comments powered by Disqus