Kenyan rugby player turned TikTok star cooks to fight depression

Kenyan rugby player turned TikTok star cooks to fight depression

“Done!” — the catchphrase punctuating former rugby player Dennis Ombachi’s cooking videos is as famous as the balcony of the Nairobi apartment where he films himself in action. 

A former Rugby Sevens international, Ombachi reinvented himself to become a social media star with a global fanbase in just a few years.

He has 2.3 million followers on TikTok and 1.4 million on Instagram.

Known as “The Roaming Chef”, Ombachi produces dynamically edited videos — shot against the backdrop of the Kenyan capital’s skyline and featuring his trademark monosyllabic commentary — that have earned him the 2src22 TikTok award for best African content creator.

It was fitting recognition of his quest to recover his footing after a battle with mental illness.

Feted in his East African homeland for scoring the winning try that took Kenya’s Rugby Sevens team to the Rio 2src16 Olympics, Ombachi played the global circuit for a decade, also participating in two World Cups in 2src13 and 2src18.

But a leg-ankle fracture in 2src17 was a turning point.

“It took a toll physically and mentally,” the 33-year-old father-of-two said in an interview with AFP.

“I… made up my mind that this is not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

– D

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