Rotaract’s 46 years and still loading!!

Tributes are most popular when dispensed with the vigour of youth or fame- that is true, yet minus fame, they lack but gloss. They still get to remain authentic. So, as we entered into the Rotaract Week (for the uninitiated, this is the week when Rotary International as a family celebrates the charter of the very first Rotaract Club {take the quiz and find its name to win yourself a Blackberry phone from District 9150’s incoming DRR} way back in 1968). See, the action wing of Rotary International was introduced for the specific purpose of doing especially the hands on that the largely older Rotarians couldn’t do due to age, time or both and this wing has since prospered- getting almost as much attention as the sponsors.

So, in celebration of ingenuity, Rotary calls upon everyone in the family to- for one week only- pay tribute to the work of the NEXT generation by way of sports, charity, and entertainment among others on an annual basis.

Not to be left out, The Rotaract Club of Kigali City- as is the norm- joined fellow Rotaractors in Rwanda in celebrations to mark the 46th Rotaract Week.

They didn't hurt us
They didn’t hurt our girls

The week was largely marked by joint meetings at all three clubs in Rwanda to discuss and plan how best to close out the week. Discussions were made, ideas received and on Saturday 15th/ March/ 2014 executed to the letter.

Read on; don’t doze off just yet.

Made in Kayonza- i told u
Made in Kayonza- i told u

So, on 15th Mar, one section of Rotaractors headed to Kayonza District to launch/ open a

new school library in conjunction with ‘grace Rwanda’. Rotary Rwanda has consistently been trying to spread literacy policies in Rwanda as evidenced by the construction of the famous Kigali public Library.  The Kayonza leg was the second mega launch. Anyway, the Rotaractors present arranged the library, aligning magazines, novels and other reading material and after that settled down to some entertainment from the kids (showing off karate and ball dribbling skills). The chaps even did a modelling routine with the books, a thing that made us proud before a Rotary team from Canada and Britain (of course the kid who modelled with his English grammar book held and read upside down represented but the task we face in our fight against illiteracy. Made the whole thing original too).

There would also be entertainment from Kayonza’s finest, followed by a Rwandan superstar musician who all entertained the assembled guests to their fullest.

We later walked some two kilometres (yeah, that’s right) to a wide football pitch were strangely, the girl students slugged it out with the boy students on the football pitch. This women emancipation thing can be a thing of beauty sometimes. Nevertheless, the status quo of our ancestors was maintained when the boys beat the girls on penalties. On the other side of the pond (field actually), the Rotaractors put out their finest team (yours truly being proud captain) against the area’s very best eleven in a football match that lasted about two hours, with the Rotaractors punishing the village team 8-2, including a goal of such rare beauty that even Diego Maradona

Ok...i left out the part about mad dance moves
Ok…i left out the part about mad dance moves

would have been proud of in his pomp. Receiving the ball from inside his own half, Captain Peter King Oloo chested the ball down to his weaker left foot with the majesty of Zinedine Zidane and deftly transferred the ball to his right in the blink of an eye, leaving three markers stranded.

He continued to weave his way past four more defenders before looping the ball to the top left corner with a finish blessed by the gods. Needless to say, it appeared that the sun stood still for a minute as the crowd stood speechless- it will be ages before they see a more beautiful work of art.

Anyway, much later, after being treated to a VIP dinner, the Rotaractors headed back to Kigali to participate in a karaoke session where each mimed their favourite songs amid much joy and ululations from onlookers. Again, it will be a while before such marvels are ever seen again.

Closer to the family, a second set of Rotaractors on the same Saturday woke up and dusted their overalls as they descended upon FAWE Girls’ Interact Club to help them in cleaning the school as part of the celebrations of the Rotaract week. They would later join the team from Kayonza in participation at the karaoke session.

The week was nice, the gestures appreciated everywhere the rotaractors went and again, it ended with the ever familiar promise of more service. Next up, RYLA Rwanda 2014 which starts on……wait for it…..21st March 2014. You are probably reading this piece while I am comfortably ensconced in my seat at the event, sipping on a Guin….a soda!

No time to say goodbye.


Peter King Oloo

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