The Real Jadhah Rests!
“A rugby man is one who is so consumed by rugby’s core values – integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect – that they permeate every aspect of his life until he becomes one with them, and I’ve known one such man Richard Otieno Sidindi ‘Real Jadhah Power.’ Rest in peace brother!”
Bob Asiyo. (Chairman Impala Rugby)
“We have been fortunate to have been helped in one way or the other, that way we have to give back to someone else. That’s what I learned from Jadhah, you were a real gem. Rest in Love.“
Nick Abok (Former Impala coach)
“SIDINDI.. May you rest and fly with the Angels brother. I have never met a man who went out of his way for all of us like you. Now who will we turn to? Till we meet again. Chonjooo!“
Martin Kariuki (Impala).
To tell the story of this man Richard Sidindi, I had to first find out what this name we all fondly referred to him as, really meant.
‘Jadhah’ by what I gather from my Luo council of experts means ‘my guy,’ yaani ‘mtu yangu,’ it is a term of endearment between people who hold each other very close, more than an ‘osiepa’ or friend.
That was Sidindi, above all else, he was more than a friend, he was the real friend, a passionate man who was dedicated to whatever he set out to do, always armed with that great big smile.
Jadhah was a real charming fellow and seemed to have a special bond with everyone he met, no matter how big or small they were.
You could have not had a complete conversation with Sidindi, as long as you were around a rugby pitch in Kenya, there was always someone who knew him..”Ah niaje Jadhah?” And he would respond in a way only he could.
I can’t quite remember how or when we met, but we kicked it off immediately, we had a special greeting, where we would shake hands firmly like the old village men, “Lakini Jadhah weh si wa juzi..” I’d imply, then in that light stammer he would remark…”Cheki mimi ni wa juzi tu hapa, mi ni kijana wa miaka 16 hata ni shule namaliza..” Then we’d wrap it up with a harmonious “Chonjo!”
On a random Saturday morning, a few years back, we were with Jadhah and Wambiri Chege at the Impala club and a lady passed by, Wambiri stood up and politely walked to the lady, “Naomba nikusalimie, ama ukona shida?” And that was it…Jadhah and myself were sprawling on the floor in laughter.
From that day, this phrase became our greeting..”Ah Poghie niaje, amaa uko na shida, or do you have a problem?” We’d laugh like mad old midgets then catch up on anything and everything.
Jadhah was among the few players who never shied away from banter be it before or after a match and always gave an honest opinion. After Impala’s dismal showing at the sevens series last year, he found me at the Impala club on a random evening, and called me to the side, in an unfamiliar straight face.
I got up, went to him with a surprised gaze, wondering what was going on..”Bwana Poghie,” he started in a concerned tone, “Naskia siku hizi ati ukipatana na msee wa Impala, unamsalimia hivi (Shows two fingers as is in the peace sign), “Ati ju tulienda Mombasa kuchukua point mbili…” You had to be there to see just how hard I laughed..”Tulia una choma bwana…wazee wataskia.” He said as we laughed.
That was Jadhah…to everyone he met, he was an absolute joy to have!
On the rugby pitch, Sidindi was a BEAST, while his diminutive stature might have fooled many at first impressions, from Yala, Kisumu, Impala and as far as Singapore and Malaysia.
Sidindi was a very rare breed, he was dedicated, hard working, as tough as nails and blessed with a serious set of wheels coupled with a clear understanding of the game.
His talent and dedication meant he was able to play across the back line from 9 through to 15. In his latter years he specialized at 15 and 14, in the short code he was as devastating at sweeper as he was at hooker, a position from which he made our 2017 dream team.
True to his selfless nature, Jadhah was always ready to teach and pass on his knowledge to his young team mates. Always encouraging them to play their best, despite the hurdles they might face.
Testament to his dedication, he used to give pointers after every match to the young players, especially at half back and the back three.
On one occasion in 2016, having being dropped for a match against Nondies, one of his team mates, Xavier Kipng’etich had been named to start at Fly half in the ESS game. This was Xavier’s first start at the position, having always played at scrum half.
After watching the game, he wrote down notes for X, on his thoughts on the game and later on handed them to him. Mid last year, X shared a snapshot of the notes, and they were a true gem, in a way only Jadhah could put down.
Heaven RFC just got itself a real warrior, but above all else they have a true friend!
Rest well mtu yangu!