Urukiramende could restore Rwanda’s sporting glory

Editor, RE: “How about a Rwandan javelin or high jump champion at the next IAAF Championships?” (The New Times, September 1).

Editor,

RE: How about a Rwandan javelin or high jump champion at the next IAAF Championships?” (The New Times, September 1).

Something seems to have been broken (hopefully not irremediably) in our competitive spirit over the long years of colonialism and post-colonial misrule; Rwandans also used to be unbeatable at urukiramende (high jump)!

We now seem reduced to sharing only vicariously in the joy of seeing our Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Eritrean and (occasionally) Ugandan brothers and sisters beat the rest of the world. But many of us have given up seeing a representative of Rwanda holding the topmost trophy at any international events meet.

Meantime, don’t knock the aptly named “deserters”— they are making an honest riyal, dirham or dinar from the adrenaline in their muscle tissue and the sweat on their brows.

Best of all, it beats making the dangerous trans-Mediterranean crossing on rickety overcrowded boats to an uncertain life in a cold-hearted Europe, if you are lucky enough to get there.

Mercenaries they may be, but I don’t doubt they are supporting whole clans of relatives back home from their remittances from the lands of petrodollar emirs. More returns to their natural talents, say I!

Mwene Kalinda

 

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