Jovia Nkurunziza is the managing director of Spiderman Games Centre at Makuza Peace Plaza, a centre for kids that provides a wide range of indoor games. She also organised the first edition of the Kids Christmas Festival last year, a two-day event that involved fun activities like singing, dancing, modelling, poetry, reading and art competitions, and featured musician Aline Gahongayire and author Peace Kwizera as entertainers.
She spoke to Women Today’s Sharon Kantengwa about the inspiration behind this initiative and why she’s passionate about keeping kids happy.
How did you come up with the idea of a kids gaming centre?
My whole life I have always loved kids because of their innocence and I have always loved to see them happy. I also chose to specialise in kids’ stuff due to my experience as a mother. After three of years of marriage, I couldn’t find fun places for indoor games to take my kids and that is when the idea to start my own came up. After my business research, I went to China to get the equipment and we have been operating for two years.
Have your expectations to address these issues been met so far?
They haven’t been fully met, because some parents do not understand the value of taking kids to gaming centres to experience the fun, they are still trying to understand the concept. They need to understand that these games also help parents to identify their children’s talents. Children are gifted with different talents and the sooner they are identified the sooner they will be exploited.
How important are indoor games to children?
Indoor games for children are essential in giving children a balanced growth. Because they involve physical and mental activity, they help kids to develop major vital traits needed in life including, patience, perseverance, success, aspirations, and disappointment, and can also impact educational knowledge in preschool kids.
What do you attribute the achievements of this business to?
It is hard work and the good leadership. Being able to support women in business has enabled not only me, but also other women out there to become successful.
You hosted the Kid’s Christmas Festival last year. What was the inspiration behind the initiative?
Christmas is one of the few annual joyous occasions that we have and gift distribution is one of the most common activities during this festival. With the current pace of modern life, many parents do not have time for their kids. I came up with the idea of utilising the Festive Season to help parents bond with their kids and also, give the kids stories to tell, through socialising with other kids. We also gave out free gifts, because through giving gifts, children learn how to share. I want children to find love, which is why we involved children from various NGOs to experience the fun, with Santa and Spiderman and also, musician Aline Gahongayire and author of Children’s books, Peace Kwizera who entertained the children.
What are your future plans in regards to your line of work?
My plan is to provide a venue in which the entire family can really enjoy their leisure time by participating in fun and competitive activities. I want to help families find time to come together, relax and enjoy. It shouldn’t only be about the kids. I also intend to host a kid’s party every year.
Any message you’d like to pass on?
It is essential that parents take every opportunity to bond with their families, particularly the kids. Parents should see games as a practical field where all discipline instilled into their children is portrayed. For instance, games like board games that involve winning and losing build up in children and encourage the ability to graciously win or try again.