Bidco Football Club striker Stephen Waruru has another passion: plumbing.
When he is not terrorizing goalkeepers from opposing teams in the Kenya Premier League (KPL), he is exercising his dexterity at fixing pipes.
”Strive to be proud of your hustle; don’t feel ashamed,” he recently told TV47 Digital. “Earn and save because one day, that small gain will add up to something major.”
Waruru was the top scorer in the 2011-2012 KPL season, with 12 goals under his boots.
In 2017, Waruru was playing for Ulinzi Stars, a team comprising of members of the Kenya Defense Forces. It is here that he acquired skills that were the bedrock of his plumbing business.
“I was a humble boy with huge dreams of making it to a professional level,” he says.
Growing up in Thika, a cosmopolitan town famous for pineapple production, Waruru sold pineapples for subsistence. “It was not easy,” he says.
Once his playing time was deemed surplus by then Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso, Waruru decided to use the off-pitch skills he had acquired while with the cllub: Plumbing; exhauster services, septic tank cleaning.
Six years down the line, he says this is the best decision he has ever made. Now, he has curved a niche in Thika town.
When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the wisdom in this decision came to the fore. Waruru was among 10 players axed by KCB. When the league resumed, he trotted back to the pitch in a Bidco United FC jersey.
Waruru has climbed up the ranks to captain the team.
Besides plumbing, Waruru also owns a fleet of Matatu’s that ply the Thika-Nairobi route. “Courage and willingness to venture into something new is the secret to success,” he says.