Rwanda: Richard Karimba – Tributes Pour in for Fallen Patriots Founding Member

Patriots Basketball Club confirmed on Saturday, January 1, the death of Richard ‘Richo’ Karimba – one of its founding members.

According to the club’s statement, Karimba breathed his last on Friday night after a long fight with cancer.

“‘Richo’ was a brother to all our players and the biggest supporter way beyond the court. Our thoughts are with his family,” it read.

Speaking to Times Sport, Brian Kirungi, President of the club, described Karimba as the big brother of the team.

“He gave us very considered wise counsel in a very calm way all the time. He was there from the start,” he noted.

“When Richard was around, you didn’t need 1,000 men. He would take care of the hard and soft part of every problem,” he added.

Kirungi has significant memories of Karimba’s love for the club, for example, taking on the duties of a bus driver for the players when the driver got socially impaired from one basketball outing upcountry.

“(He) served food to players at functions when he thought the servers had delayed, and at the same time he put us in line when he felt there was need. He was a giant on whose shoulders I will forever stand,” he further noted.

He added: Now I believe in immortality. He will forever live with us. I will miss him dearly. Fare thee well, you fought like the giant we knew. A true patriot in the true sense of the word.”

Commenting on the news of Karimba’s death; Liza Mills, a former coach of Patriots Basketball Club, who is now the head coach of the Kenyan national team said, via social media: “Very sad news indeed. Condolences to Richard’s family and friends, as well as to the Patriots family. He will be sorely missed.”