Last week, Bonheur Mugisha signed a two-year contract with APR after impressing last season with the army side which finished the campaign without losing a single match.
The 20-year-old is one of the graduates of Heroes football academy in Mayange-Bugesera District.
The young star joined the academy at the age of 15 and after impressing the coaches, he was promoted to the senior team after two years. The senior team is in the second division.
“In the second division, one gets an opportunity to play against clubs in the first division in cup tournaments like the Peace cup and this is where I guess my coaches and other football officials started noticing my skills,” he says.
In 2019, during his first year in the second division, he helped the team to finish in fourth position. The following season they finished in second position and the team was promoted to the top flight league.
Heros was relegated in the 2019/20 season after a poor run of results and Mugisha who is currently a senior six student moved to Mukura victory sport on loan.
According to Fidel Kanamugire, the president of Heroes football club, Mugisha has a lot to offer and regards him one of the most talented young defensive midfielders in the country.
“After the end of last season, he was selected to join the under 23 Amavubi national team but the team later opted out of the tournament due to a surge in coronavirus cases. Also this is when he got an opportunity to be signed by APR last week,” he says.
Kanamugire believes discipline and hardwork have earned Mugisha success.
“He is very confident and aggressive at the same time, something that has attracted the biggest club in the country.”
About the academy
Heros football academy started in 2015 with the vision of giving opportunities to the Rwandan young stars who dream to become professional football players, and also a chance to develop their talents.
Kanamugire says when selecting the players, 60 percent of the talented boys come from poor backgrounds.
Apart from football skills, the young talents are also provided with education and good nutrition at the same time, which is very crucial and goes hand in hand with their career
As of now, Heroes football Academy has been able to produce 13 players who are playing in the first division league in Rwanda.
Passionate about football at a young age
When he was young, Mugisha enjoyed watching and playing football, something that made him pick interest in the game.
In a family of seven, the twenty-year-old says he is the only one passionate about football but is thankful for the support he gets from his family.
Because of his skills and talent in football, he was lucky enough to be recognized by a coach known as Vianney Nkeshimana, who spotted him playing in Busanza-Kicukiro.
With the support of the coach, he joined Heros academy at the age of 15 years, and since then, he started honing his football skills.
In the academy, Mugisha played for 2 years before joining the second division then moved to the first division after two years.
“I believe it was through the hard work that I kept moving from one step to another within the shortest time possible. Also, my coaches believed in me due to my determination,” he says.