Name: Tasiku Aviruku Jerome

Nickname: T.J

Weight: 72 kgs

Height: 171 cm

Current club: Impis Rugby club

National engagements: none

Background

Jerome Tasiku is part of a very passionate Impis set up that has won the hearts of many this season. He is a Ugandan aged 24 from Moyo district, currently residing in Nakuwadde (Wakiso district).

He had his primary education at Sir Apollo Kaggwa Primary School Mengo and Mugwanya Preparatory School Kabojja. He then went to Seeta High School Mukono and Merryland High School.

Uganda Institute of Allied Health and Management Sciences and API respectively. 

My rugby journey

“Tasiku Jerome was a soccer player back in Seeta High and I played some basketball and swimming too. Rugby wasn’t as popular as the others or even as organized in fact I thought  it was a kind of wrestling.”

“My best friend, Shem Ononge, really inspired me to give the game a go. He was really short and small in stature but he defied the odds playing rugby. I watched him tackle players four times his size again and again.”

Witnessing his best friend in action showed him the true meaning of passion and heart. Jerry decided to hit the pitch the very next day and the rest was history.

Courtesy Photo : The Impis Rugby team celebrating a great moment

Jerry mentions current Buffaloes fly half Donald Oketayot as one of his mentors. The former Impis halfback took Jerry to watch his first game outside school – it was life at Kyadondo rugby grounds; Namilyango college (2013) vs High school Barbarians (a select team of various schools) – Namilyango won the game.

In his senior six vacations, Jerry began training with Impis, and before long he started getting some game time with Impis’ B side. Despite the results, he always tried to get better with each challenge that came his way, progressing with every match day. He recognizes Doni (Toyota buffaloes), Pato (former team manager at Impis), Stalon Arinaitwe (Toyota buffaloes), Ortega Danny (kobs), and Beyi (Impis) who pushed him hard to get better and get promoted to the first team.

Life outside rugby

“I work as a swimming instructor and lifeguard as I wait to start a career in dentistry.”

“I serve God with my life as a living sacrifice. I lead worship, do spoken word(poetry), write songs, play guitar and piano. I love music.”

Favorite rugby moment

In 2019, Impis winning the game against Gulu Elephants to return to the league from the championship.

Worst rugby moment

“Impis vs Jinja Hippos game at the graveyard in Makerere. My teammate Isaac Onyango had to be rushed to the spinal ward after sustaining a nasty neck/spinal injury.”

Life role model

Aviruku Florence (my mother)

Favorite rugby players; local and international

Jonathan Luhoni (Impis) and TJ Perenara (Hurricanes)

Rugby aspirations

“To win the league with Impis”

Rugby boots available

Message to upcoming rugby players

“Fall seven times rise up seven and repeat”

Message to the fans

“On behalf of Impis, thank you for standing with us through winter, through the valleys and through the tunnel – we now see the light and are reaching steadily for it. We honor every effort you have put towards the sport and club. You are at heart and God bless you.”