When Kwibuka Came Of Age And Tanzania’s Victorious Debut

When Kwibuka Came Of Age And Tanzania’s Victorious Debut

By Innocent Ndawula

Kwibuka Women’s Twenty20 Tournament

Individual Award Winners

Player of Tournament

Diane Mary Bimenyimana (Rwanda)

155 runs, 7 wickets and 2 catches

Best Batter

Rita Musamali of Uganda

189 runs, Avg. 94, SR. 108, H.S 103*

Best Bowler

Joyce Mary Apio of Uganda

10 wickets for 57 runs, Econ. 2.95. Best Bowling: 4/2 in 4

Best Fielder

Rita Musamali of Uganda

7 fielding dismissals

Final Day Results

Mali 14/10 Uganda 18/0

Uganda won by 10 wickets

Tanzania 125/7 Rwanda 55/9

Tanzania won by 70 runs


Final – Table Standings 































Kwibuka – Champions Roster

2014: Uganda

2015: Kenya

2016: Uganda

2017: Kenya

2018: Kenya

2019: Tanzania

Records tumbled at the sixth edition of the Kwibuka Women’s Twenty20 Tournament, June 15-23,  at the beautiful Gahanga International Cricket Stadium in Rwanda. But that was far from the only thing that happened in the land of a thousand hills and a million smiles.

The tournament that is played in the memory of more than one million people that got slaughtered in 100 days on the account of political strife – hence the terminology genocide – in 1994, more than lived up to its billing.

From a Bi-lateral Series, between host-nation Uganda and Rwanda, when the event was first hosted by Rwanda Cricket Association (RCA) at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) at the Kicukiro Campus in Kigali 2017, the event has now grown leaps and bounds to the amazement of the hosts.

Mali Cricket's contingent led by their president Berthe, coach Cissoko and captain Sangare will live to remember their first international outing at the Kwibuka Women's T20 Tournament despite the unfathomable defeat margins they suffered. They justifiably cried after receiving the Fair Play Award trophy and full kit-bag from RCA's General Manager Emma Byiringiro.

The Story of Mali

Debutants Mali, on their first-ever international tour, braved the baptism of fire unleashed on them by each of the other three competing nations as justified by the colossal defeat margins they suffered.

During the awards and closing ceremony, they poured out their emotions for all to see and wept when RCA General Manager Emma Byiringiro handed over the Fair Play Award trophy to their captain Youma Sangare.

“We are happy our efforts to come out of our comfort zone have been recognized in a special way,” said Sangare, the 25-year-old who is a doctor by profession after Byiringiro explained that he believed the award would act as motivation to the rookie side and pump them up to practice harder and improve in all aspects of the game.

Federation Maliene de Cricket president Kawory Berthe and Team Manager/Coach Demba Cissoko, highlighted further on the level of the game back in their country.

“We started playing cricket as a nation in 2003. But the major focus was on the men’s game. But the ladies need our intention too and we know what to do when we go back,” said Berthe.

Cissoko added; “We only have three girls’ schools and three institutions that play the game back home. Most the girls we got are from other sports disciplines. Now we know that we have to get a proper coach who can work with girls and also get younger players who are fit to train and learn the basics of the game.”

Byiringiro also presented a kit bag to the predominantly French-speaking side that momentarily stormed the podium for selfies before breaking into dance and later shedding tears of joy.

Rwanda Cricket Association General Manager Emma Byiringiro handing over the Fair Play Award Trophy to Youma Sangare of Mali. The Mali captain is a doctor by profession.

After their tribulations on Day One when they set a target of six runs against Rwanda enroute a record-breaking 10-wicket win for the tourists, Byiringiro appointed Adelin Tuyizere; another upcoming coach/cricketer from RCA’s youthful structure to coach the Malians and there was justifiable gradual improvement in the subsequent matches in terms of ground fielding and bowling of extras. The runs will certainly come in the near future - hope springs eternal!

“It’s Berthe (Mali Cricket president) who contacted us that they wanted to play against us. And when we told them about the Kwibuka Women’s T20, they showed more zeal to play. It has been tough for them but they live with many good memories as they have seen how the game is played. We look forward to seeing them again in the near future,” Byiringiro, a former Sportsman of the Year during his heyday at Kiira College Butiki – Jinja, replied when questioned about how Mali got to Rwanda.

Mali started paying special attention to women’s cricket only two years ago and their tough initiation alongside the Fair Play Award trophy will surely be the motivation they need to re-ignite their passionate careers and country’s Second Coming onto the international stage.

Champions Tanzania break into dance soon after beating Rwanda by 70 runs in the tournament's final game to complete their clean sweep of the sixth edition.

Tanzania’s Clean Sweep

For Tanzania, many a time poor travelers that prefer to stay in the confines of their Dar-es Salaam base, it was a fairy-tale debut at the Kwibuka Women’s T20 that saw them script a convincing clean sweep.

The Swahili-speaking girls played smart cricket, wore a smile on their faces even during the few pressure times they endured, their dugout was a sight of joy as they broke a leg to the blaring music for every boundary they hit and their coaches Hamisi Abdallah and Riziki Kiseto, both senior men national team stars of Tanzania, were faces of calm and strategy as they grew into the tournament.

The Tanzanians will cherish their gutsy five-run win over Uganda in the first-round that set up the platform of their dominance. In the second round, their main challengers; Uganda who were eyeing only their third Kwibuka title, paid the price for pressing the panic button after setting a defendable target of 109 for 4.  Tanzania crossed the line in the last over to ensure they would be champions with an encounter – against Rwanda – to  spare on Match Day Five.

Their team manager Eunice Mkimbo, alias Mama, was full of praise for RCA and maintained that they would be back to defend their title next year.  

“When we first played Rwanda, they were young girls. Now they are all grown and very competitive. I remember one particular match when they bowled 82 wides,” recalled Mkimbo as she send  everyone into a bout of laughter.

Uganda’s Individual Brilliance

Rwanda, who are yet to win their own showpiece, got a larger-than-life consolation prize when their all-rounder Diane Mary Bimenyimana scooped the Player of the Series accolade.

Bimenyimana not only etched into history books as the first Rwandan woman to score a Twenty20 International century with an unbeaten knock of 114 off 81 balls littered with 13 well-struck boundaries against Mali in the second round. But she also finished with seven wickets and two catches.

Uganda captain Rita Musamali (L) ensured her team took the runners-up gong with two individual diadems. She was adjudged the Best Fielder and Best Batter whereas her teammate Joyce Mary Apio (R) snared 10 wickets to finish as the Best Bowler.

But the individual awards were bossed by Uganda with their captain Rita Musamali notching the Best Batter and Best Fielder’s gongs. Musamali scored 189 runs at a jaw-dropping average of 94 in the six innings she played and was unbeaten four times. The 20-year-old also registered seven fielding dismissals; three direct run outs in the match against Rwanda and four catches to standout from her peers.

Musamali and her fellow opener Proscovia Alako also cranked up centuries, in the world-record breaking 304-run win over Mali in the first round to help Uganda shred the history books previously dominated by England and United Arab Emirates.

Tanzania captain Fatuma Omary Kibasu was the fourth centurion of the tournament with a 71-ball 106 knock that helped Tanzania set 268 for the loss of 1 wicket against the West Africans.

Right-arm medium pacer Joyce Mary Apio, wrapped up Uganda’s dominance of the individual diadems with 10 wickets to earn the Best Bowler’s Award. Apio’s 20 overs in the week-long showpiece cost only 57 runs at a parsimonious economy of 2.85 and an average of 5.70 with Best Bowling figures of 4 for 2 in 4 overs.

Rwanda were once again good hosts and showed remarkable improvement as unit. Captain Sarah Uwera and her teammates received medals and a trophy from Mali Cricket president Berthe for finishing third.

Uganda’s main undoing at the tournament were the slow starts and poor decision making in the games against Tanzania, especially. Coach Michael Ndiko must have be wishing that he could exchange the individual awards for the main trophy. The former Cricket Cranes top order batsman will also be itching to quickly right the wrongs of his new-look side that had eight players from the Soroti Cricket Academy stable with only a handful of core players from the main team that represented Uganda at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe recently.

Future is Bright

“I believe this tournament has progressed well,” said RCA president Eddie Balaba.

“We as RCA thank you for always honouring our invitations especially the debutants; Mali and Tanzania. For Uganda, we can neither thank you enough and nor can we take you for granted. You are our sisters and you always heed our calls. We started this (Kwibuka) together and we would like to keep it growing together. The purpose for which this tournament is surely playing a perfect role in healing hearts and reuniting the people of Rwanda through sport. We are proud that as RCA we are using Kwibuka to full effect. ”

Former RCA boss Charles Haba (R) presented souvenirs to the Play Control Team of the tournament led by Umpires Mentor John Trust Mayeku of Uganda (2nd R), Christian Gasana (C), Jackson Nzayisenga (2nd L) and Vicky Prajapati. PHOTOS BY FELIX NIYOSENGA/RCA

And with word rife that African champions Zimbabwe, fellow East Africans Kenya and West African giants Nigeria are good to go for the next edition after the International Cricket Council (ICC) fully endorsed it as Twenty20 International status ranking match, good things at the Kwibuka Women’s T20 Tournament are only getting started. Hop onto the bus, already!


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