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Dr. Mombi Thairu

Gail Choice | 3/25/2009, 5 p.m.

Los Angeles, CA -- When Dr. Mombi Thairu makes up her mind to go after something, she doesn't stop until she masters it, and then she's on to the next level. When you first encounter this petite, beautiful woman you think, "That's Dr. Mombi?" You speedily read her credentials again, and chastise yourself for thinking like a man.

Dr. Mombi Thairu is President of RKE Sports and Entertainment, one of the world's premiere international sports management companies. A native of Kenya, "Dr. Mombi," as she is affectionately known by everyone who encounters her, not only can manage athletes, but she can, for the most part, fix what ails them. She didn't set out to become what she is today, it just kind of happened by accident.

Mombi began her career and interests in sports at Southern California University of Health Sciences as a chiropractic student. This decision came after attending UCLA where she majored in biochemistry. A year before she was to graduate, she started thinking in terms of a career. She said she knew she didn't want to teach or be a researcher and that's pretty much what you do with a degree in biochemistry.

She returned to Kenya, and researched careers and eventually decided on becoming a chiropractor. For her it was a logical move, because in Kenya nearly all of the chiropractors are trained abroad and have very lucrative practices in Kenya.

Apparently when Dr. Mombi gets to the root of her dreams she then builds up. During her clinical internship, she focused on treating athletic injuries. She joined the Sports Injury Council and assisted team physicians at various sporting events, from high school football games and swimming competitions to karate and Little League Soccer. And she began running herself, participating in 5K races. It was at one of these events, her career plans took yet another detour.

While at a track event Dr. Mombi was approached by one of the runners from Kenya who asked her to manage him. She agreed without taking into account that she'd never managed a runner before. But her passion for running and love of sports ushered her into new territory, not really peopled by women, especially on an international scale, she became an 'elite-coordinator' in a world where marathons are big business.

In typical Dr. Mombi fashion, she began to learn the ins and outs of selecting and managing runners. Making frequent trips to Kenya, and learning by her mistakes, she began putting a team of individuals together who could help her keep things going on two fronts and in international competitions. For the past five years she's been working with a great team of professionals.

Mombi's firm RKE Sports & Entertainment currently represents close to thirty athletes, ten of which are elite marathoners engaged in competitions all over the world, while the other two-thirds represent talented up-and-comers with, according to Dr. Mombi, "amazing potential, who are poised to take the world stage by storm."

Now that Mombi is firmly entrenched in the international world of marathon competition, she's turning her attention to soccer. Her interest in soccer encompasses her traveling to Kenya on an on-going basis, in order to recruit its pool of highly talented and motivated soccer players ready to take their brand global.

And she's hoping girls and young women here in America will get the soccer fever.

Currently Dr. Mombi is the Southern California liaison and Women Draft/Recruiter for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), and the Black Soccer Coaches Committee (BSCC). She's already started the groundwork.

Dr. Mombi is determined to bring quality talent and athleticism to the sports community here and abroad. When she sets her mind to a task, she generally comes out a winner.

- Gail Choice can be reached at gailchoice@strictlyhollywood.com.