Tennis isn’t the most popular sport in Kenya, but over the years, the country’s produced some players who achieved significant success. Today, Angella Okutoyi is carrying that mantle and is a rising star of the game. Where did it all start for her? Here’s the full story of Kenya’s tennis prodigy Angella Okutoyi.
Angella Okutoyi’s Profile Summary
Date of Birth: 29 January 2004
Age: 19 years old
Place of Birth: Kenya
Angella Okutoyi’s Early Life
Angella Okutoyi was born on 29 January 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. She has a sister, Roselida Okutoyi. They spent some time in the orphanage before their grandmother was responsible for raising them. Their mother passed away giving birth and details of their father remain unknown. She shared part of her story with Kenya’s broadcaster KTN News.
“Growing up we didn’t have much. My mum died while giving birth to me and my sister. I stayed with my grandmother in Loreto Convent Valley Road in a one-bedroom house.”
“Our grandmother took us to the orphanage because she found it hard to take care of us. But when she heard that we were about to be adopted, she took us back.”
Angella Okutoyi’s Education
Currently, Angella Okutoyi studies at Alabama University in the United States. She’s pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. How does she balance between books and tennis?
“My schedule is tight. When I was in Kenya, I did online studies which made things easier. That said, in the United States, I have to attend class physically. The good thing is that I have strategy meetings that help me with organising my schedule.”
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Angella Okutoyi’s Career
Angella Okutoyi started playing tennis at the age of four. Her uncle trained her and her sister as it served as a catharsis to their difficult upbringing. Even though they were students at Mbagathi Primary School, they were trained by Coach Karanja, who worked at Loreto Convent. Angella was impressive and was allowed to train with the senior players.
At the age of nine, her coach registered her with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) East Africa Regional Training Centre in Burundi. She began playing in tournaments. Angella’s first tournament was at the East Africa Zonal Championships.
Angella returned to Kenya due to civil strife and joined the ITF in Nairobi Club. Here, she’s played numerous tournaments and developed her game.
At 14, Angella won the Kenyan Open against three-time champion Shufaa Changawa and became the youngest player to do so.
In 2021, the birth became the first Kenyan to win the African Junior Championship in Tunisia. She beat Moroccan Aya El Anouni 6-3, 6-3 in the singles final in the Under-18 Championships,
In 2022, Angella became the first Kenyan to win in a junior girls’ Grand Slam at the Australian Open.
In the same year, Angella Okutoyi became the first Kenyan to win a Wimbledon title. After her victory, she talked about her ambitions to inspire Kenyans and the African continent.
“I’m now able to inspire most players from Kenya and Africa. I can put a belief in them that they can also achieve it.
“It doesn’t matter the background you come from or where you’ve been, it’s just the belief and the dream that you can achieve it. Now I believe that we’ll have more Kenyans here for sure.”
Recently, Angella stepped up to the senior level and bagged her first title. She won the W15 Montasir tournament and became the second Kenyan to win an ITF World Tour tennis singles event. Okutoyi vows that it’s not the last.
Away From the Court
Angella Okutoyi lives a quiet life and lets her tennis speak for her. That said, she’s a positive and upbeat individual. As she said with a local television program, her philosophy is “a negative mind will never give you a positive life” and she’s living up to it.
If Angella Okutoyi keeps up with the pace, she has the potential to reach greater heights. Perhaps, become the most successful tennis player the country’s ever had. Here are tennis equipment you can buy on Amazon for your kids.
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