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Peter Waweru: The JKUAT Pure Mathematics Lecturer Making History As Top Referee In Africa

In Summary

  • Peter Waweru also doubles up as a Pure Mathematics lecturer is arguably one of the best referees in Kenya.
  • Waweru is a member of the 20 pioneer group for CAF/FIFA professional referees since 2020.

In 2019, Peter Kamaku Waweru made history as he became the first referee to arbitrate at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the continent’s biggest football tournament. He is arguably the best referee in Kenya and also doubles up as a senior lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

Waweru began refereeing in lower Kenyan leagues as he slowly learnt the trade and first officiated in the FKF Premier League in 2013. Currently 41 year old, he has maintained high fitness levels and one can easily mistake him for a 30 year old.

Here is his story as told by WoK:

A decorated curriculum vitae 

Waweru schooled at Gatheri Primary School and Kirogo High School. He then matriculated at JKUAT for a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2006.

He attained a Masters of Science in Pure Mathematics from the same institution two years later. In 2013, he secured a PhD in Pure Mathematics, again from JKUAT.

Additionally, Dr. Waweru holds a postgraduate diploma in Education Technology from University of Cape Town.

He currently works as a lecturer in JKUAT where he previously was employed as an academic teaching assistant and tutorial fellow.

A former goalkeeper

Waweru has always been excited with being active. Previously, he played as a goalkeeper but dropped this ambition as he realized his diminutive physique was a hindrance to becoming a professional goalkeeper.

“Physically, I am not well gifted and if you look at international levels, goalkeepers are big,” he said in a past interview.

Waweru also felt age was catching up on him. He enrolled for a basic course in match officiating at Kayole. As he finished his PhD in 2013, he decided to dedicate his energies into match officiating.

That same year, he began refereeing at the FKF Premier League and in 2017 became a FIFA listed referee as his career took a tremendous upward trajectory.

Illustrious career

The JKUAT don has officiated in various high profile tournaments. In 2019, he was in charge at the U17 World Cup, the AFCON and the U20 AFCON. He has also been a prominent figure at the CAF Champions League.

In 2021, Waweru yet again officiated at AFCON that was held in Cameroon. In early 2023, Waweru was selected to arbitrate at the CAF Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) that was held in Algeria.

Missing out on Qatar World Cup

In 2022, Waweru missed out on the Qatar World Cup because Kenya had been banned from football competitions by FIFA. This was due to alleged government interference. Unfortunately the ban affected him on the basis of being a Kenyan.

Peter Waweru: The JKUAT Pure Mathematics Lecturer Making History As Top Referee In Africa
Peter Waweru in a past photo [Photo|Twitter]

Waweru says that the major challenges facing upcoming match officials is financial constraints. Concerning the match-fixing menace, he opines that it should be criminalized just as doping is in athletics. Currently, he is on a mission of mentoring young referees from Kenya.

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