Six months ago, 19-year-old Bryan Mutua never dreamt that his aspiration to represent Kenya at major tournament would become a reality in short time. But on Tuesday January 23, the Mwala High School student stood in front of the crème-de-la-crème in Kenyan media as one of the two flagbearers of Kenya at the 2018 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup.

Also, having watched his idol – Aruna Quadri (NGR) from afar, the youngster would have the chance to draw inspiration from the Nigerian when the tournament serves off on March 1 to 3 in Nairobi.

For the teenager, it is a dream comes true. “It is such a privilege to represent the country in such a tournament and at this point I just thank the Lord,” he said.

Bryan Mutua is a product of Kenya Table Tennis Association (KTTA)’s “Tucheze Tebo” (Swahili for Let’s play Table Tennis) and he is one of the fast rising youngsters.

The prodigy of the evergreen Mwala High School production line in the Eastern part of Kenya admitted that picking the slot did not come on a platter of gold.

“I would like to say that it was not that easy provided that there are also good players in the country. It was a long term struggle and I hope to give my best as well as try and play in the highest level possible.”

Brian Mutua made his international debut for Kenya during the Eastern African regional tournament in Mauritius and said “It has not been quite easy making my debut for the national team last year in the regional tournament in Mauritius and attaining 6th position was not quite easy. My age won’t limit me in giving out the best against the continent’s best and I believe I will perform even beyond my expectations,” he said.

Like a good student, Brian Mutua is ready to learn, “I look forward to learn from the top players and gain as much as I can in terms of skills to be able to challenge and win against them in future events.”

Brian Mutua is a good admirer of Aruna Quadri who he hopes to meet for the first time during the tournament in Nairobi. “I like Aruna Quadri’s style of play and this tournament will afford me the opportunity to be able to challenge myself against him and the rest. I think it is indeed a rare privilege for me. Also hosting the tournament in Kenya will allow people to understand the sport better and this will be of positive impact on Kenya,” he enthused.