A YOUNG cyclist Josephine Landa sets her ambition to become among top elite cyclists after for a second year in a row managing to finish among 71 riders in the so-called ‘Twende Butiama’ race that took place to honour and commemorate Tanzanian founding president, the late Julius Kambarage Nyerere who died on October 14 in 1999.
Josephine, a ten years old girl was among cyclists who concluded a 1400km distance riding from Msasani ‘Nyerere residence’ in Dar es Salaam heading to Nyerere birth village Mwitongo, Butiama District of Mara region on October 14 this year.
She was overjoyed to conclude the race again and fulfill her dream saying: “I’m very happy and proud to manage this long cycling, everything went really well, “ “It was a fantastic experience and I urge fellow riders to show up in a good number in the coming events.”
Josephine stressed that her ambition is to become a doctor and also a renowned cyclist who will compete in the international stages.
Her father Gabriel Landa, the race coordinator from Twende Butiama Club was also proud for a brave girl’s stunning performance.
Landa complements all participants from Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Coast Region, Morogoro, Dodoma, Iringa, Mbeya, Singida, Tabora, Shinyanga, Kagera and Mara who took part in the event.
“We started with 98 riders at Msasani, but remained only 57 when we reached Dumila in Morogoro and more riders joined as we moved on to see 71 reach the final point,” he said.
Apart from honouring the late Nyerere and boost sports tourism, the race is also aimed at promoting Tree Planting through ‘Miti kwa Umri’ campaign, which emphasizes on the importance of planting trees among Tanzanians.
Nyerere’s son Madaraka received the riders at Butiama and was thrilled with the idea of honouring Mwalimu through cycling. He was quoted as saying: “I’m thrilled to see riders from different parts of Tanzania,” “Cycling is better for health and I also enjoy riding,” “I ever rode from Butiama to Dodoma to have the experience in my life ,” added Madaraka.
Zawadi Mwambi and Joshua Malanda who were among oldest participants were also happy to be part of challenge saying to honour Nyerere is to be a patriotic.