Imamu Sahala is the first beneficiary of the Orlando Rogers Foundation. Working in conjunction with Tanzania Optimist Dinghy Association (TODA) the trustees of the ORF have made a grant to ensure he gets some of life’s most basic necessities: a place to live and an education.
Imamu was 15 years old in May 2013. He was born in Tanga, Tanzania. Sadly his single mother passed away two years ago leaving Imamu alone and unsupported and he had to withdraw from schooling. He lives in the Msasani fishing village in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania where he is allowed access to an office after 5pm where he can sleep on the floor with a roll mat. Fortunately he met up with the good staff at TODA who taught him how to sail a dinghy – this enables him to earn a living by fishing. He earns about $2 per day when he is able to sell his catch at the local market. He has shown great spirit and determination despite his disadvantages. His ambition is to become Tanzania’s National Sailing Champion. In August 2012 Imamu was selected as one of the nationals sailing for Team Tanzania and was 3rd Tanzanian overall and in 34th position out of 73 sailors. He is a very intelligent and serious young man who never misses his sail training. With the limited education he has had the rules of sailing are not easy to comprehend although his practical skills are great.
Since receiving the grant, Imamu has been able to move from the temporary office accommodation into his own rented room. He has been able to resume his education, has done a two month computer course and is gradually learning English. As his command of English increases, Imamu will be able to continue coaching the younger Tanzanian children in the arts and science of sailing. The coaching training requires a basic level of English. His accommodation fees for 2014 amount to about £182 and this includes the cost of electricity.
His own sailing progress advances, he has recently moved from the Optimist section to the Laser sailing section. Part of him wanted to stay with the Optimist group and not grow up and change groups. He considers that the Optimist sailing has changed his life and made him a grateful person. In August 2013 he represented Tanzania along with 9 other sailors in the African Optimist Championships.
In his spare time he continues to go fishing with the local fishermen and earns his pocket money by selling his catch.
Imamu says ‘Asante Sana’ (thank you in Kiswahili) to all involved with Orlando Rogers Foundation and adds that he considers himself very lucky and feels to be his own person now.