When you think of UoN there are several things that come to mind like how it is ‘THE UNIVERSITY’ , to its academic excellence and how almost everyone who is anyone is from the University of Nairobi. And when it comes to sports if there is any one team that is well known, loved and feared depending on whether you are a supporter or opponent it has to be Mean Machine, UoN’s rugby team and a rugby club by its own right
When the University of Nairobi is mentioned in any fora, a lot comes to mind. From the fiery student leaders to the obnoxious comrades, from great academicians to the rich history and culture embedded in the university. I won’t go on ranting praises and throwing jibes at this institution of higher learning, we shall have ample time for that in another forum.
Established in 1977, University of Nairobi representatives in the world of rugby “MEAN MACHINE” are a force to reckon. During the time when rugby in Kenya was predominantly played by white settlers and expatriates, the team was formed and In their inaugural year they won the Kenya Cup, no mean feat to achieve for starters and intellects at a time when rugby was still in its formative years.
Mean Machine is arguably the most popular club team especially among the comrades. It is Kenya’s richest rugby mine having produced several of Kenya’s best players; Mean Machine has been among’st the top teams in Kenya since its formation, however, in the recent past, the team fell on hard times as other teams moved towards increasingly professional structures. The team train 3 times a week; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:00 pm.
However the team is facing a lot of challenges in the recent past, the rise of Strathmore Leos and the professional structures being adopted by rival teams have seen to the decline of Mean machine. It is no longer a charged affair when they take on Blak Blad of KU in the University derby, the two teams now a pale shadow of their glory days. As the drift wood 7’s nears, Mean Machine find themselves languishing in the second division tier, the team will be licking its wounds as they remember with nostalgia days gone by, as they watch their perennial rivals Blak Blad (KU) and Strathmore Leos battle it out in the top division. The big question however will be, what happened to the varsity rugby team? What next for Mean Machine?