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Nassan Tunabaitamu

Will Clark

A Short Interview with Nassan

Nationality? Ugandan
Age? 21 yrs
How long have you been kayaking? 1 year
How did you start? Working at a campsite by the river, saw loads of guys
kayaking, wanted to have a go as it looked so cool, and jumped in head first
(after learning to swim!)
What are you learning now? Pan Am
What ambitions do you have with your white water adventures? Traveling and
kayaking on different rivers at home and abroad
How are you going to achieve them? Keep working with NRE, save my money,
and fingers crossed one day I'll get lucky.
Random fact.. He is actually called Nathan but his old boss mis-heard him when Nassan introduced himself. Nassan was too shy to correct Dave and only revealed the truth many months later when I asked him how to spell his name... by which time it was way too late!

 

Sam first met Nassan when he was working as a labourer for an old boss in Uganda. Nassan was honest, hard working and trustworthy and his English (and sense of humour) was excellent!

After hearing of Nassan's eagerness to learn kayaking, and some discussions with Nassan's boss a plan was born. They scrounged some rubbish kayaking kit, and Sam took Nassan under his wing for a couple months of kayak schools - Nassan took to it like a duck to water! Within two months he was running the main rafting lines of the mighty White Nile and has continued improving at an alarming rate since then. Over these two months, various paddlers from around the globe, impressed with his attitude on and off the water, donated some kit to him and Nassan is now working regularly as a raft guide and kayaker for NRE - the premier rafting company on the Nile.

Nassan has now got a partner in crime Henry Kitmeo, who has been paddling not much longer, and goes as hard as anyone on the river. These two thrive off each other's paddling, they are constantly improving and are great fun guys to be on the river with.

They were both presented with awards at the 2006 Nile Freestyle Festival, Henry for up and coming paddler and Nassan for best new paddler. Watch out world, because the new school of Ugandan paddlers are coming... and these two are leading the way!

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