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Douglas Wakiihuri gives a guest lecture at Strathmore

Students studying Japanese class were in for a surprise, as Douglas Wakiihuri walked into their class, on invitation of their lecturer, Ms. Kahumbura. Mr. Wakiihuri was trained in Japan under a renowned coach, Kiyoshi Nakamura, who had previously trained the reputable marathoner, Toshihiko Seko.

After a brief introductory session by the lecturer, Mr. Wakiihuri took the floor, eliciting great interest from his audience as he shared his story. Born on 26 Sep 1963, the Mombasa born Olympian has been in active athletics for thirty years.


Wakiihuri had a captive audience as the holder of three gold medals, two championship medals and three consecutive gold medal wins in the London Marathon ‘89, the New York city marathon and Commonwealth games marathon, both  in ’90, narrated his story.


He shared with students how he learnt the language, emphasizing that taking up Japanese lessons is not enough, one needs to understand Japan’s rich culture and be committed to the demands of learning another culture. In his lecture, he also emphasized on the trait of decisiveness and as aspect that forms the foundation of one’s character.


Drawing his arguments from the 24 hour’s day-span, and the four seasons which characterise a year, he urged students to maximize the time available, for optimal results. He shared his daily schedule to enable students visualise the essence effective time management. Every week, he runs approximately 280 kilometres, which implies that out of his busy schedule, he has to slot adequate time to cover 40 Km daily run.  


He was empathic on the importance of nurturing ones talent as well as adequate care health wise to enable one maximize on talent. Having been a coach of first Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the London Marathon, he shared that coaching requires one to become a therapist; a coach must understand his student’s character, before executing a training regime.


Besides athletics, Mr. Wakiihuri is also a vocalist who composes music in Japanese. This has seen the release of an album titled ‘Ganbare’– Japanese idiom, which in its simplest translation means, ‘don’t give up.’  In summary, he defined success as a step towards one’s desire, and to gain it, one must embrace discipline as part of a lifestyle