The family of former Kenya Sevens coach Benjamin Ayimba and Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) has announced his passing on.
Ayimba died on Friday evening, May 21 at Kenyatta National Hospital where he was receiving treatment for cerebral malaria.
"Benjamin succumbed to multiple complications he was being treated for over the past couple of months," Oscar Osir, the family's spokesman said.
The 44 year old is a veteran rugby player and coach who is celebrated for guiding Kenya to its first-ever World Rugby Sevens Series Cup title in 2016 at the Singapore 7s.
Kenyans among them ODM party leader Raila Odinga joined Ayimba's family in mourning the passing on of the late Kenya Sevens rugby Head Coach.
"We have lost a great patriot in Benjamin Ayimba. Prior to taking up coaching he had an illustrious career as a Rugby 15s and 7s international.
As coach he led Kenya to their first World Sevens Series title when they beat Fiji at the Singapore Sevens in 2016," Raila said in a statement.
"Benjamin Ayimba was an incredibly special part of rugby in Kenya, he will forever be remembered for his outstanding pace and skill, his strength as a player and coach, and his kind and genuine nature both on and off the field. May his soul rest in peace," Siaya Senator James Orengo said in a tweet.
"On the pitch, you did not try, you scored many TRIES. On the touch line, you inspired many with your coaching skills & ensured we excelled out there. Off-pitch, you nurtured many talents. Generally, you helped grow rugby in Kenya. We shall miss you Benjamin Ayimba," ODM party mourned.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr said Benjamin Ayimba will be remembered for his service to the nation as a player and coach of the 7s team. "Rest In Peace bro . Our condolences to family, friends and the rugby fraternity," Kilonzo said.
"A warrior rests. We join the Ayimba family and the entire rugby and sporting fraternity in mourning legendary backrow and former KenyaSevens Head Coach Ben Ayimba who passed away on Friday 21 May 2021," KRU said in a statement.
"I join the sports fraternity in mourning the passing of legendary rugby coach Benjamin Ayimba.
"Ayimba had an illustrious career as the Kenya Rugby Sevens head coach, leading the country to its first World Series Cup Final. My condolences to his family and friends," Nairobi Woman Rep Esther Pssaris said.
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu in her statement remembered Ayimba for the role he played in the facilitation of the Kitui 7s.
"Benjamin Ayimba came through for us in our first ever successful Kitui 7s in 2018. He become a dependable partner and an integral part of the tournament.
As head coach, he led Kenya to its first ever World 7s Series title in 2016 in Singapore. Kenya trounced Fiji in the finals," Ngilu said.