Kabras Sugar made headlines last October when they announced the signing of South African Ntabeni Dukisa from PRO14 side Southern Kings.
Dukisa became the first ever player to join Kenya Cup from the high-profile league that involves top rugby sides from the Northern Hemisphere.
PRO14 is an annual rugby union competition involving professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales. The league is one of the three major professional leagues in Europe (along with the English Premiership and the French Top 14).
Dukisa, a natural 10 with great mind and a 12 at a push, tells Raga House he had to make the hard decision as he “wanted to be close to home as much as possible.”
“My contract expired at Southern Kings after the Pro14 season. I got a call from the chairman (Kabras Sugar’s) and I had some personal issues and stuff so I chose to be close to home,” says Dukisa.
“I had made a decision as I wanted to be close to South Africa as much as possible.”
Dukisa came through the Border youth system and played for the Border U21 in the 2008 and 2009 Under-21 Provincial Championships.
He joined Southern Kings in 2017 going ahead to make 19 appearances and scoring 36 points and has played once for South Africa Barbarian, in 2012, against England where he came on as a substitute just after half-time and scored a try a few minutes later as the Barbarians lost 26–54 to the touring side.
Playing PRO14 in 2018 and Kenya Cup in 2019, a lot can indeed happen in a year. How’s Dukisa adapting to the Kenyan environment?
“This is a different environment and situation. You just need to adapt yourself; I have been through so much so I have to adapt, even in difficult situations. I can I say I have enjoyed myself here.”
“PRO14 is a difficult competition because you play against top sides from the Northern hemisphere. It’s a little bit slow but they do the basics very well, they put you under pressure and are more structured.”
The man from East London has taken Kenya Cup by storm scoring 133 points from six tries, 47 conversions and three penalties. Only team mate Jone Kubu(135) has scored more.
“Kenya Cup is challenging. I got to say it’s more difficult, you need to be at your best. We try by all means to keep things simple. We just let results take care of themselves. I’ve heard what happened last season; it’s a long season but we’ll keep pushing.”
Dukisa says he’s been welcome well in Western adding “Kakamega town is an affordable place compared to where I come from.”
“Being around the guys makes you happy. I can’t complain. For now, I’m just playing rugby after the season we’ll see about the rest.”
Kabras Sugar are already in Kenya Cup semis -put on hold for 30 days due to Corona Virus- awaiting the winner of Mwamba vs Impala.