Alfred Kibungei

Wafalme's Alfred Kibungei (right) spikes against teammate Joshua Kimaru on August 7, 2023 during their non-residential training at Nyayo Stadium.

| Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Kibungei chases glory for country and family

What you need to know:

  • He will lead the left attacking department together with Denis Omollo, Cornelius Kiplagat and Joshua Kimaru.
  • Away from volleyball, Kibungei says he plans to study theology.

During the Primary School Games at the Kimolwet Primary School in Nandi County in 1969, Eliud Kosgei and Tegla Kapting'ei met and fell in love.

Then Eliud was in Class Seven, while Tegla was in Class Six and both loved and played volleyball for their respective schools.

Eliud attended Kimolwet, while Tegla was at Cheptuiyet Primary School.
Tegla would stop schooling as she got married to Eliud who continued with his studies..

The couple was blessed with 11 children -- eight boys and three girls. Five boys -- Cosmas, Sila Kipruto, Aggrey Kibungei ‘“Pastor” and twins Dickson and Donald,  followed their parents path and ventured into volleyball.

Cosmas cut short his volleyball career after clearing secondary school Manor Secondary in Kitale.

Sila, a former Kenya international who played pro volleyball in Japan, is a member of former champions Kenya Prisons while twins Dickson and Donald feature for Andersen High School volleyball team that recently participated in the Federation of East Secondary Schools Sports Association Games in Rwanda.

Meanwhile, Kibungei is thriving in the National League with Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

Not surprising, he was named in the Kenya team for the African Nations Championship.

The biennial event is set for September 1-14 in Cairo, Egypt. The national team is scheduled to fly out of the country this morning.

Kibungei, 24, an outside hitter first received his national team call up in 2021 but failed to make the final cut for the 2021 African Nations Championship that was held in Rwanda.

Kenya finish ninth out of the 16 nations that p[participated.

Speaking yesterday after a morning training session at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, in Nairobi, “Pastor” as Kibungei is fondly known in the volleyball circles, wants to excel where his brother Sila faltered.

“We didn't have the best of the upbringing and our parents struggled to raise and school us.

You can imagine having 11 children to cater for. It was not easy but I thank Manor House Secondary School Principal Samuel Abraham for giving me a scholarship.

“When I joined Manor, I was good in reception and I played as a libero shortly before I moved to be an outside hitter. I remember we competed against Cheptil and Malaba Secondary Schools occasionally but we didn't go passed Regionals. When I cleared secondary school in 2017, I joined Equity Bank although on a short stint.”

Kibungei eventually joined KDF and is now eager to make the country proud and his volleyball loving family.

But when the results were announced, I had not performed well and I decided to go and repeat Form Four,” recollects the soft spoken player.
“I got better results in 2018 and luckily I joined KDF. It has not been easy but I’m glad I have the chance to represent the country.

My brother Sila, had a chance of a life time in 2014 when he went to Japan to play professionally but one thing led to another and I think things didn’t work out well for him and he came back to Kenya in 2015.

“ He has all the qualities that any player would wish for but things have never been the same again for him. He hasn’t represented the country the way he would have loved to but I want to make it better if not for myself but for him and our parents who are looking up to me to bring glory to the family through the sport they loved,” said Kibungei.

Kibungei reckons he is now a complete player.

“When I failed to make the cut in 2021, my strength was in reception but my blocks and attacks were poor. Now I’m a complete player and I know I have a lot to offer. I will work with my fellow players to ensure that we perform well,” said Kibungei.

He will lead the left attacking department together with Denis Omollo, Cornelius Kiplagat and Joshua Kimaru.

Away from volleyball, Kibungei says he plans to study theology.