Written by Zim Director of Operations, Ngoni Mukukula
We started on our Basketball Education for teachers from the beginning of March, 2011. Mufakose was our first stop and then it was Mabvuku, Dzivarasekwa and Harare Central in that order. 126 Teachers were the happy recipients of the Hoops 4 Hope certificates. It was all smiles from the many a Rabi, some of them old enough to be my mother.
‘I was very nervous when I came here in the morning. Because of my age I did not know what to expect. But in the end I had a lot of fun and am happy I just passed the test,’ said Mrs. Kuruneri – one of the older participants.
Our Strike Team is so good at what they do now! They made light work of the four clinics right through the month of March. I feel Martin and Norest are the most passionate of the group. They are becoming good teachers of the game after having been good students for close to 7 years now.
Norest reminds me a lot of myself eleven years ago when we made the bike ride to Risitu Mission in the most Eastern Part of Zimbabwe. There, in the year 2000, they assembled the school’s own basketball teams. I shared my presentation with Mark Crandall and Jeff Gamble. I remember getting lost in my own passion of the game as they explained the tactics. Jeff called me ‘Professor Ngoni’, as I took forever to finish. It is so easy to get carried away in these clinics.
Now, Norest is the new ‘Professor’. It was tough to keep all of the Mufakose participants on their feet mostly because they were of an older generation. But by far the most exciting group was the Mabvuku one. They enjoyed both days, passed the exam with flying colors, and still wanted more. They were the only ones to buy me a generous present for a thank you which i appreciated so much. A representative from the Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, a Mrs. Makwaza had great words to say to Hoops 4 Hope. She said, ‘I have watched most of these men and women in Hoops 4 Hope grow in the past 7 years. I have followed their work with a lot of interest. I am proud of the product they have made and the Ministry is a proud recipient of that product. Keep it up Ngoni and your team’!
They say money is the greatest motivator but honestly words like these can keep an organization like ours going too! It is our view that when Hoops 4 Hope educates teachers, we educate the nation because of the sheer number of kids that pass through their hands.Now what is crucial is to see whether the new graduates of the beautiful game, invented by James Naismith, will have the confidence to stand up in front of kids and teach. These teachers are now in our database and we will be monitoring their progress.