Rwanda: FERWABA Calls for More Investors in Local Basketball

Underlining the importance of ongoing investments in local basketball teams, local Basketball governing body (FERWABA) Vice-President Richard Nyirishema emphasized the need for supporting the league’s growth.

Nyirishema made the call on Friday, January 19, when business mogul Gael Karomba, also widely known as Coach Gael, and Rwandan artiste Bruce Melodie made their partnership with United Generation Basketball (UGB). The collaboration seeks to exemplify the mutual benefits that such alliances can bring to both the music and sports sectors.

Addressing the press, Nyirishema noted the importance of long-term investments for league development, emphasizing that, “investors are inherently seeking returns. Though not a business expert myself, I understand that returns follow an investment. To reap benefits, they must invest in something they genuinely believe in. The federation won’t shoulder all the work; having initial interest is crucial.”

“Expecting instant profits isn’t our model. We welcome both long-term and short-term investors, keeping our doors open. It’s a journey the federation, teams, and partners are undertaking. As we enhance our league, its monetary value will rise. Our shared objective is to attract even foreign investors, redirecting attention from Europe and other continents to invest in our basketball. Together, we aim to elevate this league,” he added.

According to Nyirishema, the federation’s progress aligns with the advancement of the league teams and he remains that the influence of financial backing will unlock possibilities for potential partners to contribute to the advancement of the basketball game in Rwanda.

“We strongly urge Rwandans, especially local enterprises to invest, seizing the opportunity to spotlight themselves and their products. This ensures that ownership and impact in our basketball remain rooted in our community, averting external entities from taking charge. As the federation, we pledge to cultivate an inclusive environment, welcoming a diverse array of investors,” he noted.

Explaining why he is investing in UGB, Coach Gael, who is a renowned investor in Rwanda’s music industry and founder of the 1:55 AM record label, said he and his team are “always seeking opportunities to invest in profitable sectors of our economy, and basketball is one of our favorites.”

“There’s an investment group, and Bruce is one of the partners. We are all contributing something or bringing something to the table. When you hear about Bruce’s team, understand that, like any successful artist, Bruce Melodie also has a business team looking out for his interests, and we are part of it,” Coach Gael said.

And Bruce Melodie, who is at the center of this collaboration, expressed personal significance to the new partnership with UGB and said, “this investment means a lot to me, given that I, at one point, wanted to become a professional basketball player.”


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