A bouncer's job is protecting, not beating people

David Mushumba is the vice president of B-KGL (Kigali Bodyguard Ltd), a local bouncer, bodyguard and protocol service provider that hires out its personnel to private events organisers.
Mushumba lifts weights at the gym. (Moses Opobo)
Mushumba lifts weights at the gym. (Moses Opobo)

David Mushumba is the vice president of B-KGL (Kigali Bodyguard Ltd), a local bouncer, bodyguard and protocol service provider that hires out its personnel to private events organisers. Moses Opobo caught up with him between workout sessions at their gym in Gikondo.

How did B-KGL come into being?

The idea originated from the need to change the negative perception people had towards this job. In Rwanda, the work of a bouncer is characterised by low pay and negative public perceptions about the job.

In fact, many people still look at this job as something for school drop outs and drug addicts.

From the beginning, we realized that to achieve our target, we needed to inject a dose of professionalism into this work.

Our president, Boss Kanimba conceived the idea in 2012. He shared the idea with fellow bouncers in a similar situation, and the result was the now popular Kigali Bodyguard Ltd.

Who is in the group and where are you located? 

We are seventeen members in total, although we maintain an open-door policy with a plan to recruit more members. We have offices on Sulfo Road in downtown Kigali, but our real base is in Gikondo, where our gym is located. Here, we meet on a daily basis to keep our bodies in shape.

What kind of exercises do you do? 

Each member has to attend compulsory workout sessions from Mondays to Thursdays, from 6:00 am to noon. This usually involves a four-kilometre run, followed by stretch exercises, after which they go for the different martial arts drills.

So what is body-building all about? 

Body-building is about gaining physical weight and building power so that someone is intimidated by just looking at you. We lift weights to build power, we do squat exercises to be firm, because there are situations that need you to physically lift a client when there is trouble.

You try to be more prepared and fit than the trouble causer.

What’s the difference between a body guard and a bouncer? 

It’s basically the same thing only that people are more used to the word bouncer. We are bodyguards because we use our physical bodies, not weapons to guard. We just use our technical skills like karate, and boxing. The only machine we use is a metal detector, and radio calls at events and meetings. We use physical power combined with skill to save a situation where there is potential danger. A bouncer is not there to fight and beat up people.

What kind of foods do you eat?

Fruits, sweet potatoes, cassava, beans, and green vegetables. I stopped eating things like mayonnaise and matooke that don’t build the body.

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