Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Akanzu vs TTC Bicumbi football match

Every now and then the huge Group Scolaire School next door to the TTC, GS Akanzu,  which has about 3000 students from P1 (about 7 years old) to S3 (about 16 years old) takes on the TTC students in a football match. It was serious today as it was the district competition. Classes were suspended in honour of the match so I thought I’d go to soak up the atmosphere and cheer on my TTC team.

The TTC Bicumbi team were in black and the Akanzu team were in any other colour. There was a fairly good turn out of people with loads of villagers, kids from the group scolaire school, students and tutors from the TTC, police officials and basically anyone who is anyone in Nzige was there. I have to say aside from the football it was a great people watching experience. Most of the time people were not really phased by my presence which was interesting. It seems that after a year perhaps I have become less of a curiosity. Now when I got my camera out I was suddenly very interesting as you can see by the cute kid pics but I was expecting that...I just couldn’t resist capturing the experience, I have been wanting to take photos at the stadium for ages but I was waiting for the right occasion.  

You see I am actually quite shy about getting my camera out in the village. I like to have an ‘excuse’ such as taking pictures for the students to see or pictures at work. I am always worried that people think I am prying on them and its difficult to explain to people sometimes as most of the kids (and many of the adults) out here have never seen one before. But it is always easier when there is something going on, ‘an occasion’ that allows me to feel that I can get away with it without upsetting anyone. Most Rwandans understand why you would want to take photos when it is an occasion so I find I can be more voyeuristic and just snap away. 

Now I have never actually taken photos at a football match and I found out its actually quite difficult. The ball keeps moving and so do all of the players. That combined with a big pitch so the players are often some distance away and fading light did make it difficult. Mind you to be honest I was more interested in photographing the crowds of onlookers than the football. Teens rode their bikes through the stadium with little ones on the back, little kids pushed homemade toys out of junk and women swept the track and the stands in honour of important visitors coming for international women’s day tomorrow (I daresay that will be the next blog post).  

Unfortunately the TTC team lost, and the excuse that was given by my handy student commentator who was keen to practice his English was that the Akanzu kids were less serious about studying and so had more time to practice...hmmm....not sure I believe that entirely but it’s a good angle to take! It was one of those great unexpected afternoons in the village. In fact the good times here are always unexpected and ad hoc. You can never predict when you will have one, but if you are here long enough they come by now and then and remind you how privileged you are to live somewhere so different and interesting. I wouldn’t have swapped this afternoon for any amount of hot showers, chocolate fudge cake or brie. An afternoon spent in the sunshine in a stadium amongst the banana trees in the company of lovely young people beats freezing to death back home any day.

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