It’s a story you couldn’t make up. A guy from South Carolina and a guy from Texas wind up doing business in Rwanda (in solar power and coffee, respectively) wind up hiring a motorcycle taxi in Rwanda and came up with the idea of playing polo on motorcycles, and four years later motopolo—the sport they invented—winds up in the New York Times.
There aren’t many horses in Rwanda, so motopolo has caught on, at least a little bit. The only real rules are that you can’t kick the banana-leaf ball with your feet, and you can’t stick your mallet into other riders’ wheels. Besides that, there isn’t much regulation. Five-a-side, goals at either end, and 15-minute quarters, and beer breaks between each one. It sounds like a riot.
The sport is refreshingly low-key. Records of game results aren’t kept, and Rwandans typically ride the motorcycles while expats ride on the back. Riders can make $20 a game, which far exceeds the average Rwandan salary of $3 per day.
Chameleon Ngirimana, who is one of the best motopolo pilots, said “I don’t know how I can tell you, but this game is so fun. First, we came for the money; now we just like it.” We kinda wish there was a motopolo scene in NYC.
Pictures and story from the New York Times