In September 2019, Stanbic Black Pirates were invited for the Kenya Harlequins for their Kenyan National Sevens Circuit leg, Christie Sevens, after emerging winning the 2018 National Sevens championship back home.
It was then that Solomon Okia, then with Kenya Harlequins, faced Pirates. The two had been drawn in pool B with Homeboyz and Impala in the tournament. Home sick and struggling for game time at Harlequins, Okia had a chat with Pirates and 16 months down the road he is in their ranks.
“We have been tracking Solomon’s performance for quite some time now. During the last Christie 7s, he casually expressed his desire to return home but not much was said at the time. But for us that was the light bulb moment,” Pirates coach Bobby Musinguzi told Daily Monitor.
Okia, a former student of Kyambogo College is a Kaydondo Rugby Club project, with stints at Stallions and Buffaloes before moving to Kenya. He is a gifted back three player with pace and ability to evade defenders on his day. Injuries have troubled his progress despite making the grade for both the sevens and test national sides whenever fit.
At Pirates, Okia gets a lifeline to re-ignite his career and compete at a high level on the local scene.
“Players of such quality are always courted by the top clubs in the region, so for Stanbic Black Pirates to be able to add him to the Pirates family underlines the fantastic work that the club is doing,” added Musinguzi.
Pirates stood tall in 2018 to complete a clean sweep before suffering a slump in the next two seasons.
New faces have come in and landing Okia is good business for the Sea Robbers as they take a shot at glory once again.
“Okia has clarity about our vision and knows what the club wants to achieve.
“As a person and a player, he is perfect for our culture which places an emphasis on personal development, discipline and high performance,” explains Musinguzi who is fond of helping players develop.
Positions: Fullback, Wing
Former Clubs: Toyota Buffaloes, Kenya Harlequins, Kyambogo
Milestones: Sevens Africa Cup winner (2017, 2019), Tier B U-19 Africa Cup winner (2014), National Sevens Circuit winner (2014)