It is no news that involving yourself with a career that you are passionate about is fulfilling, and that is what inspired Michel Gashumba to follow his dreams in boxing.
Currently, at 39, Gashumba is a fitness trainer specialised in boxing. He offers classes to various groups of people, including foreigners.
He has been in boxing for the last 15 years, and has ever since ‘lived and breathed boxing’, and he had previously tried out other self-defense disciplines like karate.
Born in a family of 8 boys, Gashumba was not able to go to university after completing the secondary school level, which left him no choice but to invest all his effort into sports.
“I loved sports since I was a young child. I practiced karate for many years until I decided to fully focus on boxing,” he told Weekend Sport this week.
After finishing high school, the father of one joined Rwanda Amateur Boxing Association (RABA), and was with the federation until three years ago when he branched off and decided to start doing boxing on his own at a professional level, and training newcomers.
Besides his boxing passion, Gashumba says the sport also enables him to be physically fit and healthy since it is a great aerobic exercise.
“I have learned that in boxing, one can use it for self-defense and protecting those you lose because it trains you to strike at full power. Obviously, it helps me to be fit and lead a healthy life.”
In 2008, Gashumba traveled to Tunisia for a period of one year for professional training – both theory and fighting aspects, an experience he says shaped his skills and understanding of the game.
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His boxing journey
While at Rwanda Amateur Boxing Association, Gashumba managed to participate in different boxing competitions including the 2003 African Games in Nigeria where he managed to bring home a bronze medal.
Two years later, he emerged the silver medalist at the 2005 InterFit Boxing Games in Gabon.
Moving forward, in 2008 he as well participated in African Zone 4 Championships for French-speaking countries, held in Rwanda, where he beat other contestants to win the gold medal.
On top of winning medals, boxing has also enabled Gashumba to inspire younger generations to join the sport, including some members of his own family. It has become a purpose for him.
“It is fulfilling to see many people including my younger brother get inspired by my love for boxing because of sharing my personal experience. The decisions we make sometimes are bigger than just ourselves. Finding purpose in everything [we do] is very important,” he noted.
Apart from enjoying boxing as a game, Gashumba also earns a living out of it.
“I managed to build my own house from boxing, and it pays my bills.”