Oscar Dennis: From a Grinding Halt of Rugby Career, 12 Surgeries, To Launching a Modern Flooring Venture

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Photos: World Rugby and Oscar Dennis

Oscar Dennis, a former Kenyan rugby player announced his retirement from the sport he so much cherished on 2nd August, 2022. The news led to an outpouring of emotions from his fans as Dennis detailed how he had been through the most difficult 21 months where he was undergoing treatment in South Africa. Nicknamed ‘Odiero‘ (white man in dholuo) Dennis suffered a road accident which saw his rugby career slip like sand through the hourglass.

It’s fair to say that these past 21 months have been the hardest of my life but also the most rewarding in a weird way…it comes with a heavy heart that I have taken the step to retire from rugby and finally hang the old boots once and for all,” he posted on Instagram.

November 10th in 2020 is a day Dennis wishes to forget as he was involved in a nasty crash in Karen, Nairobi. That morning, ‘White Maasai,’ as he is popularly known had just jetted from Bermuda where he had clinched victory playing for a South African side in the World 10s Series Cup.  In the evening, Dennis took a ride and narrates how he was T-boned by a motorist who was overtaking.

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As I turned onto the Quarry Lane, a car was overtaking from behind. As I went right, it came and crushed my leg. I also went over the roof of the car and I recall waking up on the side of the road winded and unconscious. I later understood it was a hit and run,” he told scrummage.

12 Surgeries, Almost got Amputated 

Dennis was stabilised at Karen Hospital and was later referred to the Agha Khan Hospital before being airlifted to South Africa. He had a 21 month stay and underwent 12 surgeries including skin grafting, external fixation, tendon reconstruction and replacement among others. He went for amputation twice but the surgeon changed his mind and opted to try save his leg.

Dennis while in South Africa. [Photo|Oscar Dennis|Instagram]

With the matter weighing down on him, Dennis says he benefited from counselling sessions with a therapist who helped him as he healed. The sportsman linked up with South African rugby player James Murphy whom he met in the 2019 World 7’s Series. Murphy was a true friend at a time of need and even offered him accomodation.

By the time Dennis was flying back to Kenya, his bill had accrued to over 60 million shillings but was paid by Nanyuki-based medical insurer, Now International. Dennis can now walk but is unable to run. However, the 29 year old hopes to return back to rugby action as a coach.

Launching a Flooring Venture 

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Oscar Dennis has partnered with his friend Murphy and the two are behind Element Flooring Company. The firm imports and sells quality tiles which are custom-made Stone Plastic Composite (SPC). The company ventured into Kenya after conducting research and getting positive results of a market niche in Kenya. Unlike normal tiles used for construction, the firm says that their tiles are designed to ‘feel like natural wood’ hence giving a long-lasting finish.

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