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They are not the ones crossing the finish line, but they are the ones making it possible

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Can you feel the excitement in the air during the week of Tour du Rwanda? It’s contagious! From the bustling streets to the rolling hills, Rwandans come together to cheer on their favorite racers, each one vying for that sweet victory.

But behind the scenes, there’s a whole army of people making it all possible. From the tireless athletes who climb mountains and overcome obstacles, to the dedicated crew who ensures that every detail is taken care of, there’s a lot that goes into making this event successful.

And let’s not forget about the bike mechanics! These unsung heroes work tirelessly to ensure that the racers’ bikes are in top-notch condition, ready to tackle any challenge that comes their way. It’s a job that requires skill, patience, and a lot of elbow grease – but these mechanics are up for the challenge.

Meet Rafiki, the bike mechanic extraordinaire of Tour du Rwanda. With a twinkle in his eye and a grease-stained apron tied tightly around his waist, Rafiki is the man behind the scenes who keeps the wheels turning – literally.


As a bike mechanic, Rafiki plays a crucial role in the success of Tour du Rwanda. When the riders are out there, battling the elements and pushing their bodies to the limit, Rafiki is the one who ensures their bikes are in tip-top shape, ready to tackle the next stage of the race.

And let me tell you, Rafiki takes his job seriously. He’s up at the crack of dawn, sipping on a strong cup of coffee and inspecting every single bike in the race. He’s like a superhero, armed with a trusty set of Allen keys and a can-do attitude.

Rafiki Jean de Dieu has been a cyclist for a long time, but retired and got into mechanics.In his conversation with us he explained how he got into this profession, and the opportunities that young people have in cycling.

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Rafiki used to be a cyclist but later retired he still “wanted to contribute to the cause” so he shifted his career to working on bikes and making fixes here and there whenever it is needed.

But it’s not just about fixing bikes. Rafiki and his team are also responsible for ensuring the safety of the riders. They inspect helmets, check brakes and make sure that every single component of each bike is in perfect working order. It’s a big job, the team is up for the challenge.


Other than working on bikes, they also donate materials to young players. To him it is a way of recognising who you used to be.

He said, “ Cyclists always use new equipment, we donate the other ones to younger people who only need a start.”

“You never know, you might be helping another Jean Bosco or Moise Mugisha,” he added.

They also offer training to young people who visit their training center located in Musanze. He said that in sports tourism there are many opportunities for young people and that they must be willing to start small.

“To do this job you have to enter the industry early on,” he said adding that “You have to be willing to start small and grow. You can’t start from there and get here instantly.”

Rafiki and his team are an integral part of Tour du Rwanda. Without them, the race simply wouldn’t be possible.

So the next time you’re cheering on your favorite rider, spare a thought for the unsung heroes behind the scenes – Rafiki and his team of bike mechanics. They may not be the ones crossing the finish line first, but they’re certainly the ones making it possible for the riders to get there.


Straight out of Twitter