As a child, Emery Bayisenge, both the Captain of Rwanda’s U-20 National Football Team and Isonga Football Club, always dreamt of wearing a National Football jersey.
Born on November 2nd, 1994 in Rubavu District, he is the fourth child in a family of five.
“I started playing football in Primary school. However, I always admired and wanted to be a football player like my older brother Eric Ndahayo who plays for Police Football Club,” he said.
When he was in Senior 2, he joined the Ferwafa Football Academy and he says that is when his football career begun.
“I felt so much joy every time I watched the Senior National Team (Amavubi) standing in the middle of the pitch singing the National Anthem before a game and always wished I could be like them one day. I’m grateful to God that I get to do it today,” the i8-year-old captain said.
He further said that he spent close to three years in the academy.
“When Rwanda was selected to host the 2011 African Under-17 Championship football tournament, I was also selected to be part of the Rwanda U-17 National Football team and it was a dream come true,” Bayisenge explains.
He was the Captain of Rwanda’s Junior Wasps at the 2011 U-17 World Cup in Mexico.
“It’s hard to describe how I felt while playing at the World Cup tournament. It’s a once in a life opportunity and it felt beyond normal for me. It was so amazing,” he expresses.
Although the team dropped out during the group stages, when they returned home they were grromed into the U-20 National Football team. Most of them are also pioneers of the newly formed, Isonga FC.
Isonga FC started participating in the Primus National Football League tournament last year and are currently in the sixth position. They have won several games and are a challenge to the strong teams in the league like Rayon Sport and APR FC. Primus National Football League giant APR FC, lost against the youngsters during the second leg of the tournament.
“In football, there is always a winner and a loser. We feel bad when we lose but we make it a point to learn from the mistakes we make in a particular game so that we scoop a better result in the future,” Bayisenge explains.
He further attributes their current position in the league to great team work.
He said: “We are lucky because we all use the same language which makes us easily understand one another. We also have the same objective which is being a great team and we were all trained in the same football academy.”
The quite shy and soft-spoken Bayisenge is optimistic that they will win during this weekend’s Africa U-20 Championship qualifier against Namibia.
“We have had different effective training sessions and I believe we will win the game,” he says.
The team trains daily every evening at 4p.m.
According to Emery Kamanzi, Manager of the U-17, U-20 National Football teams and Isonga FC, Bayisenge is a hardworking teenager.
“He is exemplary both at school and during football trainings. He is disciplined and has an element of prosperity at a young age,” Kamanzi explains.
Bayisenge’s other wish is to play professional football in his favourite English Premier League side Arsenal FC.
“If I played along Laurent Koscielny, it would feel great because he is my favourite international football player.
Bayisenge is currently a senior five student at APE Ruguga and studies History, Economics and Geography.
“Besides having to work very hard, I always advise my peers to be disciplined if they are to attain their goals in life. They have to also respect advice from older people because they have gone through what we are going through now and know better,” Bayisenge emphasises.
Dish: - Rice
Music: - Hip Hop
Colour: - Black