Paul Wekesa: Minister's Son Who Made Tennis History

  • File image of Paul Wekesa in action
    File image of Paul Wekesa in action
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  • In 1995, Paul Wekesa made history when he became the first Kenyan to compete at Wimbledon, the elite tennis tournament.

    His list of accolades is full of firsts; as Wekesa was also the first Kenyan to achieve a world top 100 ranking.

    He was ranked at position 100 globally in May 1995, at the peak of his talents.

    Indeed, Wekesa paved the way for a new generation of sporting talents. Unknown to some, however, is his connection to Kibaki-era minister Noah Wekesa.

    File image of former Minister Noah Wekesa
    File image of former Minister Noah Wekesa
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    Wekesa had stints in the Cabinet as Minister of Education and Minister of Forestry.

    Tennis and sports always ran in the family.

    The senior Wekesa, a former rally driver, is also a former Chairman of the Kenya Lawn Tennis Association.

    He lost his parliamentary seat in 2013 to Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi.

    Paul's talent had always been noticed by peers in school but heĀ  proved himself to be a cut above the rest as a college student at Chapman University.

    As a student athlete, he won the Double's title at the Division II NC Men's Championships in 1987.

    He then turned professional and made strides at ATP, Grand Prix and Grand Slam levels.

    Wekesa has a professional record of 27 wins and 43 losses.

    He won a Bronze medal for Kenya in the 1987 All-Africa Games held in Nairobi.

    In 1992, Wekesa featured in the tour quarter-finals at the Australian Open.

    After his retirement, Wekesa had a short stint as the coach of Kenya's national tennis team.

    He was awarded in the 'Hall of Fame' category in the Kenya Sports Personality of the Year Awards in 2007, cementing his legacy.

    File image of Paul Wekesa in action
    File image of Paul Wekesa in action
    Twitter