The life of a gambler

Gambling could be named among the easiest ways of earning quick money, but those who have ventured in this ‘luck’ business, have lots to say.Most of the stories are related to violence, shaky earnings, and the risk of losing hard earned cash.Dan Ngoboka, a Nyamirambo resident, has been playing billiard for as long as he remembers.
Gambling has its fare share of benefits and disadvantages.
Gambling has its fare share of benefits and disadvantages.

Gambling could be named among the easiest ways of earning quick money, but those who have ventured in this ‘luck’ business, have lots to say.

Most of the stories are related to violence, shaky earnings, and the risk of losing hard earned cash.Dan Ngoboka, a Nyamirambo resident, has been playing billiard for as long as he remembers.

The 22-year-old youth says he was inspired by his close uncle who lived as a country legend in his billiard career.

“He was loved by many girls for his popularity and big earnings. He sometimes went abroad for pool competitions,” he says.

Ngoboka was convinced that he would gamble his way to America where his kind of career is better paid. Today he is a die-hard billiard professional.

“I now play with the country’s biggest billiard players and rich men who have at least Rwf100,000 to lay for a bet.  Most often I win, but sometimes I lose,” he says.

He has once won Rwf1million while in his latest lucky win, he walked away with Rwf700,000.

However, Ngoboka says he is not comfortable with his job even with the huge sums of money.

He adds, “Our money comes in one night, and disappears in another. Sometimes, you win about Rwf500,000 one night but lose 300,000 to another player the following day; then it takes another week to win big.” 

He also tells of violence after a win. He has been attacked twice on his way home, after winning. He was injured once and threatened with a knife once by an assailant who wanted the bundle of money he had won. 

“When you win, bad guys want your dime too, and can do anything to take it away.  We have started playing online poker, or betting in the VIP formula, where only the involved players can know the winner.”

Gambling is also discouraged by most governments. Sometimes respectable personalities can be found in the casinos testing luck.

Small size gamblers are rated as idlers and illegal. Some of them dislike their lives or become criminals because of being chased around by authorities.

“No one enjoys illegal business of course; sometimes we are stopped by local authorities or arrested, though we insist on continuing for the lack of job options,” says Boubou- londa Musafiri who earns a living from playing magic cards.

Researchers note that gambling breeds addiction—this is the major disadvantage of the habit. Other than that, luck is what counts to win big.

emma.mprince@gmail.com

 

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