Solomon Mbiti’s love of the game inspires academia

 

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Solomon Mbiti in his OBU soccer uniform.

Nick Dingus, Sports Editor

Stepping off the airplane at five feet, five inches tall and 110 pounds, Solomon Mbiti does not strike the eye as a collegiate athlete. Just as his 2,000 classmates at Oklahoma Baptist University, Mbiti has a story as to how he ended up in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Mbiti’s story began nearly 9,000 miles away in Nairobi, Kenya where he grew up. From a very early age he fell in love with soccer, Mbiti said.

“My mom says that I started playing soccer in her womb so I think I’ve always been in love with it.”

Not only was he in love with the game, but became a standout in the game while studying at the Arya Boys Secondary School in Nairobi. Mbiti said that it took years of practice and dedication to play at the level he does today. Surprisingly, he said that all the hard work is part of what caused him to fall in love with the game.

“I believe everything, be it soccer, music, or paintings; anything done to an elite level is simply the manifestation of Gods beauty. I fell in love with soccer after feeling such an adrenaline rush that occurred when I put in so much work into something and saw it manifest into something I couldn’t even comprehend was amazing.”

 

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Solomon Mbiti plays soccer on a muddy field in Nairobi, Kenya. Courtesy Photo / Solomon Mbiti

Despite playing soccer at a high level in high school, initially none of Mbiti’s plans to continue his education while simultaneously furthering his soccer career worked out. Finding no success, he had finally run out of options until an old friend of his father intervened. Tom Odhiambo, a former soccer player and coach at Oklahoma Christian University took matters into his own hands and sent videos of Mbiti to OBU soccer coach Anthony Yousey. Mbiti give’s God the credit for the whole situation.

“For a while we had no plan-b, but God has His way of showing his children that he is in control so we kept the faith… he [Odhiambo] sent my videos to about four coaches in schools here in Oklahoma and of the four Coach Yousey shoot me a text and here I stand today. It’s the Lords doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.”

Mbiti studies Theology, which he said was a part of God’s plan, not his own.
“I really wanted to study petroleum engineering and do a minor in theology, but since OBU doesn’t offer it [petroleum engineering], I saw it as a sign that God wants me to be here in OBU doing theology while also playing soccer.”

According to his coach, one of the first things that people notice about Mbiti is his bubbly personality and joyful demeanor.

“Solomon seems to be very polite and respectful young man who is here for a good purpose. He has a very strong character and a fun attitude.  I think he is going to be a lot of fun to watch for the next four years.”

 

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