Earlier this week in Student Stories, we caught up with Pascal-Claudien Hakizimana about how ASYV has helped nurture his artistic talents. Today, we spoke with Aimable Ngabo, a Senior 5 student studying PCB (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) and the captain of the district cup winning boys football team.
Aimable joined ASYV as a young man who had always been passionate about football. His favorite team is Manchester United but he can name just about every player from any team playing in the EuropeanChampions League.
"I have been playing football for over fourteen years and the player who inspires me more than any other is Cristiano Ronaldo. When I am on the field, I feel focused and this helps me to de-stress. Football makes me happy."
Upon arriving in the Village, Aimable made it a personal goal of his to break into the Village football team. But with ASYV already having a very strong squad, it was always going to be difficult.
From the very first training session, Aimable showed both enthusiasm and raw talent. It was clear from his first kick of the ball that he was determined to earn his place in central midfield. Despite not being selected to start in the first few games of the season, Aimable attended every training, including 5 a.m sessions three days per week and afternoon sessions on another two.
"ASYV has helped me to improve my talent because before arriving here I had to play with poor equipment. The Village provided me with football boots and taught me how to live in harmony with others. I also learned about the importance of respect and integrity. Furthermore, my confidence has increased dramatically."
After showing excellent commitment and a string of first-class performances in training, Aimable finally got his opportunity to start n central midfield alongside another promising enrichment year talent, Jean-Damascene Rutagengwa. Since then, he has never looked back.
"When I joined the ASYV football team, I was a substitute for the first two matches. I put in some good displays and soon began to realize that if I worked hard and attended all practices then I might break into the first team. I followed advice from my coaches and senior players such as Dieudonne, Jack, and Baptiste and put all of my energy into achieving my goal. My efforts paid off as I became a first-team regular and was soon thereafter appointed vice-captain. I am now in Senior 5 and was recently promoted to captain."
Within a few months of his promotion, Aimable led the ASYV boys team to their first ever district cup. And his achievements don't end there because Aimable has won accolades from outside the Village too! During vacations, he is selected to play semi-professionally for a team near his hometown of Butare, with the money he earns from pursuing his passion helping him to support himself and his family.
"I'm now involved with an organization called United Talent Centre and also represent my sector. After each match, they feed the players and we also earn around 2000-2500 Rwandan Francs."
His story is an example to all of us how hard work, commitment, and determination really does pay off. In two years, Aimable went from being a fringe player to captaining a district cup winning team and utilizing his talent to support his family.
Congratulations to Aimable for his amazing achievements. He is an inspiration to us all!
Submitted by Leigh Woods, Village Fellow 2016