I am writing this post from Kabuga Youth Empowerment for Global Opportunities (YEGO) Center located in Rusororo Sector, Gasabo District. I am here to deliver copies of my own book titled Memories: Reminiscence Amid Travel Hiatus. The books are donated by Jalia Garden, a local business that feels the need to give back to the community.
It has come to my attention that the sub title of this book sounds Latin. Well, I wrote it when #reminiscence and #hiatus were trending on platforms connecting travel enthusiasts from around the globe. Stuck at home, leisure travelers were reminiscing about their pre-Covid era adventures amid uncertainties.
After delivering the books, courtesy of Jalia Garden, I stroll around the premises. When I step on the basketball court, I feel like lacing up my sneakers and turning back the hands of time. I can’t resist the temptation to play. It’s about to rain cats and dogs. Every body is running for shelter. That means there is no one to play with but I want to play nevertheless.
Decades ago, my younger self used to run to the basketball court at 5 every morning. The running part enabled me to warm up but there was more to that run than simply warming up. It felt like running away from something or running to catch something. There was desperation in that run. Since 5 a.m. is an odd hour, I would end up shooting hoops alone. It’s amazing how deep one can get into the game while playing alone.
Unleashing highlight reels, losing imaginary defenders with ankle-breaking crossovers and nailing buzzer beaters over and over again. Challenged by the outstretched hands of ghost defenders, I would put up hundreds of shots before sunrise. Hopefully, I haven’t lost you like the aforementioned defenders. If you are wondering what kind of lines am I dropping today, this is hoops talk. If it sounds Latin, bear with me. Adventure is a multicultural phenomenon. It comes in different traditional outfits.
The power of imagination makes solo ballers feel like they are hitting game-winning shots, in the Kigali Arena, in front of 10,000 fans screaming their lungs out. For the young pro aspirants, this is how dreams of a glamorous future are conceived.
As mentioned above, I am here to donate books. The youngsters who play here need to read too. As the saying goes, reading is to the mind what exercising is to the body. Participating in sports and reading books are vital in physical and cognitive development.
Kabuga YEGO Center is one of thirty-two youth friendly centers built around the country for the benefit of our own children. By providing free access to sports facilities, innovation tools and libraries, these centers are empowering the youth significantly.
Found in every district of Rwanda, YEGO centers are strategically located to ease the process of youth mobilization. Their coordinators play a big role in identifying and developing talent. Through this growing network of youth centers, the infrastructure for the promotion of sports, public health, entrepreneurship, ICT, literacy, culture and civic education is built.
The author is an adventurer on a tour of all 30 districts and 416 sectors of Rwanda. Follow his awe-inspiring journey on Twitter @GeoExposure.