ormer Gor Mahia forward Jacques Tuyisenge has said the prolonged spell off the pitch owing to coronavirus pandemic has left him bored.
The Rwandan hitman enjoyed a successful three-year spell with the 18-time Kenyan champions before completing a record rwf351.5 million transfer to Angola’s Girabola side Petro Atletico mid-last year
And in an exclusive interview with Nation Sport from Luanda, Tuyisenge also took the time to compare life in Kenya and Angola, while also heaping praise on the Kenyan media for helping transform him into a player of repute in Africa.
“The coronavirus has affected everyone in the world. It has changed everything,” explained the 28-year-old.
“Life without football for those of us who survive from playing the game is boring. The league here (in Angola) is suspended since March 25. I just sit indoors and at times train alone. We have weekly meetings where the players and coaches meet on WhatsApp or video link and from where instructions on how to train are communicated.”
“My colleagues from other countries share their financial struggles but I am thankful because we still receive our salaries promptly and in full here. It is partly because this is a professionally run club.”
Tuyisenge who previously featured for Police FC in his native Rwanda, also highlighted the communication challenges he faces in Lusophone Angola which predominantly speaks Portuguese, and how his club is helping him to settle down.
“Very few people speak English here. At the club, only two of my teammates from Ghana can communicate in English. It is very hard for me to settle down. Thankfully, the managers brought in a teacher to help the foreign players learn Portuguese. We would learn for two hours a day, three times every week.”
Tuyisenge also recalls his spell in Kenya with pride and looks forward to a meeting on the pitch with his Kenyan ‘brothers’ when Harambee Stars meet Rwanda’s Amavubi in the 2022 World Cup qualification matches later this year.
“Gor Mahia made me the player that I am today. The (Confederation Cup) game against Zamalek was my best every match in a Gor shirt. I look at the highlights even today and feel proud of myself. My performances in these matches and the hype from Kenyan media really helped Petro to know me and follow my performances. I miss the Kenyan fans.”
“I got along well with all players but I was so close to (Ernest) Wendo. (Francis) Kahata was the most talented Kenyan player I worked with. It will be very tough when Rwanda face Kenya in the World Cup matches because Kenya is a big team and will start as the favourites.”
Uganda and Mali are the other teams in Kenya’s group.
“I have been amazed by the professionalism here. All sportsmen are respected and are taken care of well by their clubs. I hope this is will be the case all over Africa because this is what we deserve. Things are not very okay in Kenya but it can be better.”
Tuyisenge is the second Kenyan Premier League player, after Allan Wanga, to move to Angola, where he reportedly takes home rwf6.1million a month on top of a rwf87,9 million loyalty bonus
He has scored five times in twelve league matches.