A group of former and current national football team players, fans and sports journalists on Thursday afternoon handed Rwf1.7m in cash to former Amavubi center back Bonaventure ‘Gangi’ Hategekimana, who is in hospital battling tuberculosis.
The group includes former national team skippers Olivier Karekezi and Desire Mbonabucya. Other ex-players that contributed to the noble cause include; Jimmy Mulisa, Leandre Bizagwira, Julien Nsengiyumva, Valens Muvala, Francois Ndeze, Magnifique Ndikumana, Olivier Minco, Jean Lemi Bitana.
Current Amavubi skipper Haruna Niyonzima, midfielders Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza and Andrew Buteera, among others, also supported the fundraising effort that was initiated by the Association des Journalistes Sportifs du Rwanda (AJSPOR), an umbrella body for local sports journalists.
Former and current football players contributed about Rwf400,000, journalists Rwf200,000, Rayon Sports’ Gikundiro Forever Fans’ Club Rwf200,000 while supporters raised Rwf800,000 during the league match between Police and Rayon Sports and Rwf100,000 came from fans’ contributions.
Hategekimana, 36, is admitted at Rubavu Hospital in Rubavu District from where he told Sunday Sport that, “I am very thankful for what everyone has done for me. I can only ask God to repay everyone for the good heart you have shown me.”
Gangi retired from football in February last year after more than 15 years of stints in several local clubs including APR, Rayon Sports, Police, Marines, Etincelles, Musanze and the now-defunct Atraco.
The ailing former defender played for Amavubi mainly between 2002 and 2010. He’s been hospitalized for a couple of months now. Others, who are helping him include; Minister of Defence, Gen. James Kabarebe and FERWAFA president Vincent Nzamwita.
At the time of his retirement he was playing for Musanze FC. After undergoing a throat surgery, he decided to call time on my playing career because of illness.