It’s been six years since Fijian Jone Kubu arrived in Kenya. Safari 7s 2014 will remain in Kubu’s memoru as the weekend he started his journey to settling in Kenya.
Kubu arrived with Samurai Waimanu Naitasiri RC for the Safari 7s where he met Kabras Sugar officials. Kabras was in the process of coming up and sought Kubu’s signature.
“I came to Kenya in 2014 for Safari 7s. After that we made arrangement with Kabras Sugar so that we can come here. We’ve been here since then.”
Unlike most foreign players who play in Kenya for not more than two seasons, Kubu has carried on. He speaks Swahili in bits but is yet to master local dialect in Kakamega.
“I’m now going to my sixth year. It’s fun playing in Kenya, I enjoy being here feels like Fiji or home,” says Kubu after a training session in Kakamega.
“These guys are not only my brothers but have become family to me. I definitely miss Fiji but I love it here.”
Kubu was part of Fijia quartet that came to Kenya as part of a partnership between Kenya Rugby Union and Samurai for an eight month rugby session back in 2014.
“Apart from rugby, it’s quite challenging but I thank God I’m coping with lifestyle here in Kakamega.”
Kubu helped Kabras win the first ever Kenya Cup title in 2016 putting a man of the match performance against Impala Saracens at Impala Club.
He scored more than 12 tries and managed 135 points during the 2015/16 season, and walked away with the Man of the Match accolade during the Kenya Cup final.
Kubu was born in Navatuvula Village in the tikina of Vuna, Naitasiri in Fiji. Coach Sailosi Naiteqe Sr, who aims to unearth some new talents from the village, brought Fiji and three other(hooker Cava Racigi, fly-half Navuso Jone and flanker Apenisa Natabua) to Kenya.
“I dream to play for Fiji one day but it’s quite hard as we all see on TV. I have stayed here for five years maybe I can qualify to play for Kenya, whoever comes first.”
“I normally go home after the 15s season. I have had overseas clubs interested in me but I’m yet to speak to national team coaches.”
“I have three brothers and a sister. Only our youngest brother who plays Rugby like me. Rugby brought me to Kenya.”
Kabras Sugar are in Kenya Cup semis -put on hold for one month- hoping to deliver the title for the first time since 2016. They have since lost three consecutive finals to KCB. Two in Nairobi and one in Kakamega.
“We remember that. Last season was a painful experience to lose in the final (to KCB). We are working hard this season not to go through that pain.”
“Last season I had to juggle with injuries but right now I’m all good and ready to go.”