I am glad to have received your email a few weeks back. I am currently off court due to an injury I sustained while playing in the Women National Basketball Association Africa League. Due to a sprained ankle, I am using crutches to get around and the doctors claim I need 3 weeks of rest. I have been in the state of Zimbabwe for conference games. With the commercialization of sports in Africa, sports personalities no longer have to leave the continent in search of greener pastures. This is my second season, which makes me a pioneer of this league as I was in the very first draft for The Spikes under the Eastern Conference.
I greatly appreciate the leaders that moved the motion that Africa should be a country as this has done more good than harm.
Before the resumption of the WNBAA, two months back I was honored to be an attendee of the Women’s African Nations Cup. It was an exciting week in the state of Kenya. Of course, states like Nigeria and Cameroon had the toughest teams and they played against each other at the finals. What a spectacular match to watch as Nigeria mercilessly beat the Cameroonians! It is from these games that our African National team was selected in preparation for the World Cup and the Olympics games.
Disparities in sports have ceased; no more, and every athlete regardless of their gender is entitled to equal pay. There has been a very significant increase in media attention accorded to women athletes and a number of contracts have been signed for ambassador roles by different companies. The Hockey Rapture, the third-best women’s team in the country landed an ambassador role with the Under Armour and it’s the new face of the company. Speaking of the overwhelming support that has been extended to women, universities place value highly on women athletes, and scholarships are awarded across numerous universities in various sports.
When I look at the face of women’s sports now and compare it to then, I sigh heavily as it has been a tough journey, but worth fighting for. Who knew that SDG 5, indicator one would be a reality on a continent once considered a hopeless one? One of the greatest social activists and feminists of my youthful age, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” Africa has registered an increase of women on boards and a growth in the number of women in executive positions. Currently, the African Rugby President and the Tennis President are women with a 50/50 representation of women on the Africa National Lacrosse Board. What a beautiful time to be a woman in sports!
Otherwise, travel restrictions across states/regions in Africa were removed, sustainable solutions to climate change through a green economy have been implemented, formerly war zones have become peace center’s and we are at the peak of socio-economic development across the country. Soon, we will be in the election period and the stakes are high that the current president is likely to win again as her influence on the continent has been immensely felt. The entertainment industry is booming more than ever before with Wakanda Entertainment as the biggest recording/production house. The education system has changed much based on the argument that we are now a country and documentation has to be uniform.
I am engaged in a pro sports organization that ensures that sports personalities’ rights are respected during their active days. It also ensures that their retirement period is equally productive as they engage more with the communities through mentorship, coaching, and charity acts to uplift others in sports.
At the prime of your youth, I can’t help but feel your energy and optimistic dreams to join the WNBAA. It probably seems like a fantasy but I will have you take it from me, do not give up. Keep chasing the dream. The number of scouts across the continent is increasing steadily and your undoubted skill in this sport will soon be recognized. l am, however, not pleased with the kind of introvert you have become at College because of the thousand worries that you have surrounded yourself with about the uncertain future. Worry less about the future. Live in the moment. During my college days at African Leadership University, Rwanda we were fond of flooding the Yaya Art Centre on Thursday and Coco bean on Friday where we danced off the week’s work. I often went court-hunting or pitching hunting to engage more with athletes and most have stuck as longtime friends.
Have fun whilst at college, but don’t forget about your academics.
By the way, happy 20th birthday! Stay safe, keep your faith up, and stay focused. Send my regards to the family. Hope to hear from you soon.
Elizabeth Kisolo Nagudi