Most people perceive Cricket as a man’s sport, however Rwanda’s women are leveling playing grounds at all fields in their quest to make gender equality a success story.
Rina Ntagonzera has risen up to the occasion and managed to become a leader in Cricket, a sport mainly dominated by men in the country.
At only 21 years, Ntagonzera is Rwanda’s Women Cricket Team captain. She started playing cricket in 2007.
“I don’t really care about the fact that there are very few female players in this sport. What matters is that it’s a game played by human beings,” said the soft spoken captain.
She was born to Mr.Ernest Ntagonzera and Mrs.Josee Bideri Murikanwa on 27th May 1992. Growing up, she said she played other largely male dominated games like football and basketball, before discovering her passion n Cricket.
Charles Haba, the President of the Rwanda Cricket Association said Ntagonzera is gifted with the “technique to mobilize and bring the team together.”
Ntagonzera explains her role as a captain as a serious matter.
“Sometimes I have to be serious and be the party pooper but it’s worthwhile because I have to remind them to keep the team and their game in perspective.
“Trying to relate to the players individually also helps out and I like it because they always respond positively, they are my friends—good friends. I always try to balance my role as a player and the responsibilities I have as a captain,” Ntagonzera said.
Anita Umunyana, her predecessor to the position said Ntagonzera is, “a natural team leader.”
“She is really a great person because she’s is selfless, she thinks about the team and loves seeing that everything is in order.”
It’s a well known fact that young people who impact their peers always look up to role models as their biggest sources of inspiration.
Ntagonzera says her icon is a lady with almost the same roles despite the fact that they are from different fields.
“My role model is Louise Mushikiwabo (Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister). She stands out in everything she does, she is strong-willed and does a good job in representing her country and I also love to do the same even though I’m in a different field of representation,” Ntagonzera said adding that, “My other role model is my family. They inspire me to be the best I’m supposed to be. I also can’t forget my friends who are always there for me.”
Whatever an individual’s role models are, they will try to live up to their expectations and philosophies.
“I always believe in the philosophy that I’m here because of the Almighty Father who guides me to do anything I want to do and makes me believe that everything is possible. God has taught me to be an opportunist; according to me, the glass is always half full,” Ntagonzera said.
“The Word clearly says that we are more than conquerors through Christ. So, I choose to live my life knowing that I am more than a conqueror and however strong the ball that life throws at me, I know I have a way out and I’ll come out stronger because I rely not on my strength but Christ’s,” the young woman cricketer stated.