Angella Okutoyi, Kenya’s First Tennis Player To Win A Wimbledon Title

Angella Okutoyi

18-year-old Kenyan tennis player, Angella Okutoyi is set to take over tennis. This year, the 18 years old became the first Kenyan in history to win a Wimbledon title.

On January 29, 2004, Kenya saw the birth of Angella Okutoyi. After their mother passed away during delivery, she and her twin sister Roselida were both raised by their grandmother Mary. Before being raised by their grandmother, Angella and her sister spent time in a Nairobi orphanage.

When she was approximately four years old, she started playing tennis, and in 2020, she made her ITF junior circuit debut.

“I loved it [tennis] from the first go,” said Okutoyi. “I knew this is my sport. It has been really hard. Growing up wasn’t the easiest for me. Sometimes we had to sleep without eating. It really strengthened me.”

While training at Loreto Convent Valley Road, a primary school in Nairobi, with trainers Joe Karanja and Allan Atola as a young player, Angella showed some potential. “She came to me at four years old and the first lesson I gave her was the ability to focus,” said Atola. “Even though the racket was almost as big as her, I had her take the ball right off the bounce and she did it so easily, it was innate timing. You can teach people timing, but it can be hard to take in.”

Author: Abu Bakarr Jalloh

Abu Bakarr Jalloh is a Sierra Leonean content writer, author, Neo Pan-African and founder of The African Dream, an online platform for inspiring, positive and compelling African stories. Contact: abubakarrjalloh@theafricandreamsl.com WhatsApp: +23276211583