Taiwanese nationals rescue struggling Kenyan athlete selling socks in Taiwan

Thomas Muli
Thomas Muli in Taiwan. [Taiwan News]

Taiwanese nationals rescue Kenyan athlete selling socks in town to generate revenue

A Kenyan athlete who relocated to Taiwan for studies, Thomas Muli has thanked Taiwan nationals for saving him from misery after he was forced to hawk socks in the streets to generate income.

Muli, 36, left Kenya for Taiwan in 2018. He went to Taiwan to study the Chinese language at the National United University’s Chinese Language Center.

For the period he has been living in Taiwan, he has been living on marathon races which give him the income to pay his fees and support his family back in Kenya.

Muli has been hawking socks at Miaoli Zhunan Sports Park after coronavirus disrupted his income-generating ventures.

No marathon or sports events have been going on in Taiwan.

According to, Taiwan nationals sympathised with Muli and fundraised to help him push through.

“Muli said that his parents and siblings are in Kenya and that selling socks is just a temporary solution, as he still needs to return to his country to help his family. He hoped that the pandemic will slow down and road running events across the country will resume sometime soon so he can continue winning prize money and finish his studies.

“Nevertheless, he remarked that he felt the passion and hospitality of Taiwanese people during this particularly challenging time and he couldn’t help giving a thumbs up to praise the Taiwanese,” Taiwan state-Owned Central News Agency (CNA) stated.

Muli in a separate interview described Taiwan nationals as “very good people”.

He has since been given a job as a marathon coach to help him raise money to cater to his needs.

Although Taiwan has only recorded 447 COVID-19 cases, it is cautious and has not opened its economy fully.

Muli says he will pursue his studies to the end and then return to Kenya.

Meanwhile, he is looking forward to race again once the Taiwan government opens races.

Among his notable races is one in Kenya where he finished at 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 3 seconds and a half marathon in France in 1 hour, 7 minutes, and 9 seconds.

In 2019, he won the Shengang and Sun Moon Lake Marathons in Taiwan.