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Brian Tanga: How The Smallest Kenyan Rugby Player Became A Key Figure For The National Team And Kabras RFC

In summary

  • Despite having a diminutive figure, Tanga’s gusto and determination has made him one of the most prominent figures for Kabras Sugar and the Shujaa.
  • The Ambira High School old boy is a four-time Kenya Cup victor and possesses diverse skills that make him the best scrum-half in Kenya.

Brian Tanga is a man who describes himself as a small man with a big heart; and this is exactly what he does when he is in rugby action.

Despite weighing only around 67 kgs, he is unfazed by the fact that all of his opponents are significantly bigger and better built than him.

And his diminutive figure makes him a potential target for a ‘stool’.

But playing in the scrum-half position, Tanga has remained as strong as an oak and as unbridled as a honey badger.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Former volleyballer

While in Ambira High School, Tanga played volleyball before shifting to Rugby while in form three.

Most of his schoolmates found him to be a little cheeky while the rugby coach wanted to utilize his pace and sneaky tendencies.

“I started rugby in 2011. I used to play volleyball but it was not thing so I shifted to rugby and played it for two years in high school,” he said in a past interview.

Joining the mighty Kabras Sugar

Photo: NMG: https://nation.africa/kenya/sports/rugby/brian-tanga-jack-of-all-trades-but-master-of-the-scrum-half-3310434

After secondary school education, Tanga joined an amateur team in Busia named Western Vampire. It is his resilient spirit and hard work that saw him continue training with fellow players.

Tanga recalls that most of his colleagues encouraged him to continue playing and this lifted his spirit high.

They were encouraging me and telling me that size is not an issue in rugby. I used to go there (in the field) every evening to just work on my skills,” he recalls.

Armed with calculative passes, acerbic wit and great kicking skills, he presented himself for Kabras Sugar trials and was picked up by the millers.

Back then, the club played in a lower league but they defied all odds to earn a promotion to the Kenyan Cup in the 2014/15 season.

It was the time for Kabras to claim a big scalp as they reached the finals in their maiden season. However, they lost to KCB.

Kabras then claimed their maiden victory in the 2015/16 season. This defining moment of history made Brian Tanga receive a callup into the national side, the Shujaa.

Under the late Benjamin Ayimba, Tanga was named the player of the tournament for the Safari 7’s.

While the fans cheered him on, Tanga became like a turbocharged machine for the Kenya 7’s where he helped the team reach the finals of the World 7’s series in Canada and Hong Kong in the 2017/18 season.


  • Name: Brian Tanga
  • Age: 28 years old.
  • Position: scrum-half
  • Club: Kabras Sugar
  • Achievements: Kenya Cup winner (4 times)
  • Education: Ambira High School, MMUST
  • Profession: Rugby player, Public Relations.