It is said that for there to be order, the strong must rule over the weak, and this seems to be the exact lesson that Kenyan rugby player Alvin Otieno instills to opponents, especially the unworthy ones.
The 94 kg, six feet tall has earned the moniker ‘buffalo’ or simply ‘buffa’ and sends chills down the spines of rival players by his style of play in which he shoves them off, unleashes hefty handoffs and sometimes hands them the ‘stool’ that leaves them heavily crushing by the glutes. Such was witnessed recently in the just concluded world rugby series in Canada when Spanish defender Emilion Cabale was embarrassingly left seated on the ground after attempting to stop ‘buffa’ from scoring a try.
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Otieno was born in Ugunja, Siaya county. His father is an architect while the mother is a secondary school teacher.
A tear dropping story that Alvin had kept under tight wraps is that his father kicked him out of their home apparently because he wanted him to concentrate on academics and quit rugby.
“My dad wasn’t happy with me playing rugby, he wanted me to concentrate on studies. One day (in 2014) I asked him for fare to go and play rugby; he shrugged off, telling me if I dared leave, then I shouldn’t come back home,” an emotional Alvin told journalist Fred Arocho.
- Read Also: Fred Arocho Biography, Age, Family & Career.
As they say, every dark cloud has a silver lining, Alvin left and returned home 2 years later a proud conqueror who was part of the Kenyan team that won the Singapore 7s circuit in 2016.
When he was away, his club, Homeboyz offered him accommodation.
Currently, Otieno is married to Wanyika Ochieng. The couple is yet to have their first born.
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Alvin studied at Mukumu Boys High School, in Kakamega before he was ‘poached’ to Kakamega High School rugby team that is nicknamed the Barbarians.
Buffa is currently 27 years old
While in Kakamega High School, Otieno had always idolized Kenya 7s players Willy Ambaka and Oscar Ayodi. At the back of his mind, he was optimistic that at one time he was going to play for the national team. He began his career at Homeboyz under coach Paul Murunga in 2013 and his career scaled to new heights when he made his maiden national team at the Singapore 7s circuit in which Kenya emerged champions. The team was coached by the late Benjamin Ayimba.
In 2017, Otieno suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear that saw him miss out of the Rio Olympics.
Otieno returned back in 2019, saying he had learnt important life lessons while on the sidelines, key of them looking for an alternative source of income.
Tokyo 2021 and Successful World 7s Series
Otieno says Kenyas dismal performance at the Tokyo Olympics was as a result of minor errors that led to small margin loses.
“It was a learning experience, we wanted good results, we didn’t give a very impressive show, but you notice we were losing by small margins. As a team, minor errors let us down,” he said.
However in the recent concluded rugby 7s tournament in Canada, Otieno proved to have risen up the rugby ladder.
And as the 2021 world 7s series came to an end, Otieno was ranked 3rd on the DHL Impact player having accumulated 99 points.