Just like life, success in sports calls for hard work, dedication, commitment, and team work (including tennis). I’ve grown up in an environment where sports are not taken seriously due to the fact that a big number of those taking it seriously are not doing so well financially. Are they happy doing what they are doing? Yes, they seem happy. Are they getting rewarded fully for the effort they put into what they are doing? I don’t think so or not all of them do get the full reward. Rewards disappointments aside, I love sports, particularly basketball and I believe God brought it into my life for a purpose. Before basketball, I tried playing football also known as soccer, which did not work out so well, maybe because I didn’t put in enough work out time. I was introduced to basketball back in 2002 when my sister (Bituro) suggested that I try it out since it was a cooler sport than football (everyone is entitled to his/her opinion), so I tried it out. Something that really kept me eager to learn the game was the willingness of total strangers to help out where they could at the local play ground (University of Dar es salaam basketball court), starting with the right hand layups and later on progressing to the left hand layups, then the jump-shots and so forth.
Life and basketball was not so easy, it was tough in the beginning, from sausage fingers to hustling my dad for basketball shoes, since he had so many other things to pay for, including school fees for the six children in my family. Joining high school, still fresh in the new sport of basketball wasn’t easy either, trying to learn the game and making the team, two things that did not work out simultaneously; one had to come before the other. After two long years of sausage fingers, playing in my socks, not getting picked by the older players in school and getting into trouble for coming home late, my efforts started to bear fruit, at least I was getting some playing time in pickup games. After three years of hard work, I made it into my high school team in 2004 and eventually was selected captain in 2005. Throughout my basketball journey, whatever I learned on the court has translated to the life I am living now, thanks to the support of every individual in my life, even those who thought I wasn’t good enough.
Through basketball, I have learned that nothing comes easy in life, even if it does for now, there will be debts to be paid in the future. Due to late exposure to the game of basketball, I was forced to train harder than everyone else in the team so as to catch up, this instilled in me discipline that I still use up to this moment in my life. Whenever I need to learn something, the end result motivates me to work hard, knowing that the effort will eventually pay off. Just like basketball, different situations in life have prompted me to make decisions that have changed my life.
Through basketball, I have made so many friends from all walks of life. I know I still would have made friends, but it’s different because it has happened through something that I am truly passionate about. Through my basketball experience, I am sure that my purpose in life is to touch lives through this beautiful sport, although I am yet to figure out how that is to work out. The amount of effort you put into sharpening your skills in basketball, is the amount of output you are going to get on game nights or game days (where I live,) just like life.
25 years old, that is what I will be turning on March 6 2013. Am I happy doing what I am doing? Not entirely, but it’s working out for now, so I can’t complain. I can pay my rent, I can afford a cab, I can take my girlfriend out for dinner or ice cream or a movie. My basketball journey is not yet over, that is what I truly believe because I got myself a basketball yesterday, 7 January 2013, preparing for training for the upcoming basketball season and other basketball opportunities which will be thrown my way. From what I have experienced so far, basketball has brought in more good than harm in my life, and it something I want to be involved in for a long time coming. I am currently applying for a sports management program which will equip me with the skills I need to make a bigger impact in the general sports industry in my country, region, continent and the world at large. Is it too big of a dream? No, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Dadi Nyabiya Masesa is a 24 year old who currently resides in Nairobi and is working as an IT/Risk Consultant for KPMG Kenya. He loves the weather and can be found playing basketball whenever he has free time. Dadi is honored to live in a country that has, “so many unrealized and, untapped opportunities in all industries” and he’s a huge fan of the weather.