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Student Spotlight: All-Round Student Hugh Ayara on His Outstanding Versatility

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is a maxim that fosters Hugh Ayara, a passionate basketball player. Being part of Strathmore’s Basketball Team where he plays the center position has modeled him not only at the pitch, but also in his academics. His passion for basketball has seen him take home several achievements, key among them, acquiring a Strathmore University basketball scholarship.


The 24- year old admits that joining Strathmore was one of the best decisions he made because he has been able to network from the various avenues created by the school. The talented basketball player currently works at Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC) and in his final year of study.   

What is your Family and Education Background?

I am the first born in a family of four children, who live in Malindi.


I studied my high scool at St. Joseph’s Rapogi Secondary School in Migori County, where I attained a B plain in K.C.S.E.


After high school I joined Strathmore to undertake a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the School of Management and Commerce (SMC).

How did you learn about Strathmore?

My love for basketball dawned back in high school, where I played for my high school’s basketball team. During the provincial games in form 3, somebody recommended me for the Strathmore basketball scholarship.


I was later called for trials where I performed well and I subsequently received the scholarship to study at the university. 

How did you end up at SERC?

Previously I worked as an intern at NIC bank in the bank assurance department, after which I got a contract and moved to the personal banking department. The contract was terminated in July and it was then when I offered to assist with social media during events for the Communications department in Strathmore. Later an opportunity opened up at SERC and my boss at the communications department recommended me for the position and I was lucky to receive it. I work at SERC as a communication strategist, as well as promoting the brand.

How do you balance sports, work and academics?

I have come up with a schedule that I follow through the guidance of my coach, who is also my mentor. The schedule comprises of morning trainings twice a week- usually on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and then I spend the rest of the time working at SERC and studying.

What challenges do you face as a student and a basketball player?

Balancing school and basketball. At first it was very hard for me because I had to perform well in my studies and also in sports since I am on scholarship. I no longer face the challenge after my basketball coach assisted me in scheduling my activities.

How has your experience at SERC been like so far?

I would confess that I have the best colleagues at SERC. They promote team work and through that, we have been able to work together and achieve a lot. I have been able to learn a lot from them as they are ready to assist whenever I need them, and give advice on life matters.


There is also a lot to learn in the energy sector which SERC is at the forefront off, I have learnt a lot on energy. I love doing what I do, and driven by passion, I have been able to perform my duties with excellence.

Where do you draw your motivation from?

My family especially my parents. Being there for me and always praying for me keeps me going and encourages me to  work even harder.

Who is your role model?   

My dad is my role model. I admire his leadership qualities especially when it comes to family. He has rich qualities, and he perseveres through the challenges he faces.

Outside of studies, sports and work what do you enjoy doing for your spare time?

I love photography so during my free time I attend events and take pictures.


I also love artwork; I used to draw in primary and secondary, but it is something I can as well do now. I cannot pursue art though because I want to perfect on brand creation, marketing and communications, which is what I will do for my masters God willing.


I also love cooking, therefore am always trying out new recipes when am not doing photography.

What are your 5 year plans after school?

I come from Malindi which is also referred to as Small Italy due to the tourism activities. Due to this, most of the youth end up as beach boys and some engage in drugs, with a majority having not been able to acquire education. For that reason I plan to start a rehabilitation center that will help in reforming the affected.


I will engage in activities such as football, which is a major sport in Malindi and also art work, specifically photography which is appreciated in the tourist dominated town.


I also plan to start my masters in either Brand creation, marketing or communications.