Nyantika Mayioro is a celebrated Kenyan athlete with a reputation for running barefoot to his championship. He remains a veteran sportsperson for his selflessness, persistence, and natural race track skills. Nyantika Mayioro biography sparks exclusive details about age, wives, children, career, and awards.
Nyantika Mayioro is a notable athlete in cross-border competitions. He is one of the earliest to cement Kenya as a nation with speed. Sure enough, Mayioro left a record that later marathoners such as Eliud Kipchoge and Hellen Obiri are struggling to break.
12 profile facts in Nyantika Mayioro biography
Top in the list of Gusii heroes is Nyandika Maiyoro with an untold life story worth retelling.
He may have died but his legacy lives on. Who was Nyantika Mayioro?
1. Nyantika Mayioro from Kiogoro died at 88 years
Maiyoro who was born in 1931 has an ancestral home in Nyataro village near the stately Kamel Park Hotel.
His home in Nyaribari Chache Constituency Kisii County is only meters away from the busy Kisii-Kilgoris road.
Nyantika Mayioro age was 88 years on February 24, 2019, when he succumbed to tuberculosis at the Christa Marianne Hospital in Kisii.
2. His real names are Nyandika Maiyoro
Olympian Nyantika Mayioro tribe is Kisii and real names are Nyandika Maiyoro.
Travelling the world gave rise to the pronunciation friendlier version of his official name.
In addition, are nicknames Nyantika Ebuse and Nyantika Ereru.
3. Mayioro studied at the Kenya Institute of Administration
Nyandika Maiyoro attended Nyakegogi Primary School between 1945 but dropped out five years later.
He allegedly left school to focus on his athletic talent. All the while, Nyandika ran after bicycles to sharpen his race track skills.
Luckily, he received a four-month scholarship at the Kenya Institute of Administration (KIA) in Kabete.
Thereafter, he worked briefly as a veterinary officer at a salary of Ksh. 25. The opportunity not only earned him a living but also spared him enough time for routine practices.
While a lack of proper formal education subsequently affected his career progress, it did not hinder him from becoming a worldwide sensation.
4. Nyantika Mayioro bio on polygamous family
Marathoner Nyantika married within months of dropping out of school and graduating from KIA.
He exchanged vows with Teresia Mogute in 1952 but would later marry his second wife Tabitha Gekondo in 1958.
While the first family lives at Nyataro, the second stays in Nyansiongo on a 50-acre piece of land that Jomo Kenyatta awarded Nyantika.
Nyantika Mayioro was succeeded by 20 children from both wives. Most importantly, apostle Ken Rodgers Maiyoro is lately a family spokesperson son.
5. Nyantika Maiyoro received mentorship from Chief, Musa Nyandusi
The powerful colonial Chief, Musa Nyandusi, mentored Nyandika in his early career days.
Even as a young man, the actively involved Nyantika took part in several local competitions, which eventually enabled him to cross the seas.
He started in Gusii land before opening his athletics territory to Kisumu, Uganda, and Tanzania.
Later on, Nyantika travelled to Madagascar, Australia, Italy, and Canada among other overseas athletics destinations.
6. Nyantika Mayioro biography on crossing Kenyan borders in 1949
Nyantika Mayioro was actively involved in school athletics, so much that he could no longer concentrate on academics.
A list of his major athletics competitions are;
- 1948 –All Cathedral Schools Athletics
- 1948 –Inter-district Championship at Gusii Stadium
- 1949 –Inter-School Championships in Uganda
- 1950 –Inter-School Championships in Tanzania
- 1950 –Kisumu Championships
- 1952 –Scholarship to Helsinki Finland
- 1953 –Indian Ocean Games in Madagascar
- 1953 –Northern Rhodesia Games, presently Zambia
- 1954 –Commonwealth Games, Vancouver Canada
- 1956 –Summer Olympics, Melbourne Australia
- 1956 –Commonwealth Games, Cardiff Wales
- 1958 –Commonwealth Games, Cardiff, Wales
- 1960 –Summer Olympics, Rome Italy
Nyantika Mayioro finished first in most of the races.
7. He is famous for winning the 1953 Indian Ocean Games
Madagascar held Indian Ocean Games ended with Nyandika Maiyoro on the headlines for winning the 5000m race barefoot.
Language barrier played its part in Nyandika’s mysterious story from the Indian Ocean Games.
Failing to recognise that 3 miles is the equivalent of 5000m saw Nyantika missing from the race.
When a coach who had rushed to the washroom came back, he was surprised to see Nyantika relaxing instead of running.
In response, the alarmed Nyantika entered the race track 100 meters late. Interestingly, he finished first and ahead of the immediate follower by 78 meters.
Marathoners from Mayioro’s time include the following;
- Arere Onentia
- Naftali Temu
- Charles Asati
- Ezekiel Nyamao
- Kipchoge Keino
- Julius Sang
- Robert Ouko
These old-timers are among the founders of Kenyan athletics.
8. Nyandika retired from active athletics in 1964
Mayioro who became a recognised runner in 1948 retired from running in 1964 at the age of 33 years.
His marathon career of at least 16 years is highly memorable, more so for being a pioneer Kenyan athlete in Commonwealth Games.
9. Nyantika Mayioro biography on becoming a referee
Upon his retirement, Mayioro became a sports officer in the Nyamira division. Besides, he worked as a football referee in Nyaribari FC.
Nyantika later became a Gusii Stadium manager alongside his age mate assistant Chrisantus Mekenye.
The retired marathoner replaced Monda, who was a founding manager in the stadium and served until 1998.
10. He is an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Kenyatta University
The famed Kenyatta University recognized Nyandika Maiyoro with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in the 1990s.
He did not go through school you may ask, well Honorary Degrees belong to icons regardless of their reading and writing skills.
11. Nyandika Maiyoro Wikipedia on properties
The talented Maiyoro engaged the Kisii Town Council for years over ownership of a house in which he lived within Gusii Stadium.
In exchange, authorities constructed for him a homely house in Nyanchwa Estate. The move was necessary to give room for the establishment of sports offices.
12. Nyantika Mayioro biography on awards
The athlete is remarkable with several awards under his name;
- Members of the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II
- 50 acre land in Nyansiongo Borabu from President Jomo Kenyatta
- Silver Star and Elder of the Burning Spear Awards from President Moi
A case from 2014 in which Maiyora was unable to settle the hospital bill of Ksh. 39,000 left many shocked.
Indeed, the starring runner gave more to the Kenyan society but never lived to enjoy the fruits of his selflessness.
Nyandika Maiyoro death news
Reverend Father Godfrey Ototo baptized Maiyoro into the Catholic Faith, giving him the name Yuvensius Nyandika Maiyoro.
He died two days later on February 24, 2019.
Nyantika Mayioro biography shares the accomplishments of Kenya’s first marathoner in intercontinental competitions. Sure enough, Mayioro will forever remain an admirable figure for his praiseworthy Madagascar record.