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Can a football player have another career outside the playground?

Many people think that being in a certain sport as a player is a career that can’t permit you to have any other thing to partake in. However, being multitalented is never prohibited and yes, a sports person/player can have some other careers outside the playground.

Lionel Ndizeye, aka Lionel Sentore is a Rwandan football player based in Belgium. He recently tied the knot with a Rwandan celebrity in the cinema industry, Aline Munezero commonly known as Bijoux. Apart from being a football player, Sentore is also a musician. To know more about his journey, read the excerpts below:

1. May you please tell us about yourself?

I am Lionel Ndizeye also known as Lionel Sentore in music, a Belgium-based Football player in SK Londerzeel. I was born in Burundi and raised in Rwanda.

2. When did you start your career playing football?

I can hardly tell the exact year in which I became a football player since I used to do so since my childhood. However, when I was in senior three that is when I became a professional player in some recognized teams by then.

3. How was the experience when you started playing football?

By then, I was a student at Lycee de Nyanza, Batsinda. It was not that easy to be a football player as well as a student. I went to Coste and the journey continued, not easy still. However, challenging it was, again it was possible at least on my side.

4. Was your family happy with your decision of becoming a football player?

Sincerely speaking, my family didn’t buy my idea. Remember, I was still in secondary school and they were worried that I could have poor performance in class due to football. So, they were not happy with my decision until I proved them wrong and performed well in class. That is when they blessed my journey.

5. If you remember some team you played in, first may you please share with us? Let’s know how your journey continued too.

The team I first played in was Pipinier FC and it was in Division Two back then. I was also part of a team that was called SORWATE by then, the team later changed the name and I don’t know how it is now called.

6. Now that you are a Rwandan, living in Belgium and playing in SK Londerzeel, how did you manage to get on that team?

Which division is the team in? When I got here, my talent couldn’t get lost. I showcased my ability

and so the team was glad to recruit me. SK Londerzeel is one of the Football Clubs in Belgium which are in Division Four.

Sentore famous song YARIGENDEYE.

7. Apart from being a football player, Sentore is also a musician, how did that come?

Yes, you said it right. I am a Traditional Genre singer. I actually got it from my family. I got the name ‘Sentore’ from my grandfather, Athanase Sentore who was an amazing singer and Inanga instrument

player. I grew up loving the Rwandan traditional culture and I was always willing to compose some songs and when I got to Belgium, I became an artist doing traditional songs and so far so good I enjoy it way more.

8. How do you manage to be an artist and a football player? Is there any challenge that comes with it?

It is so challenging especially when I have some concert to attend or perform in and there is some team training or a game to play. However, it all depends on one’s planning ability. I schedule in advance and know how to manage them all without getting off track. For I know what I want and I enjoy them both. So, communication comes first in my team and in my music. If I happen to not be available on one, I communicate before the due date comes in.

9. What can you tell people who think that a football player can’t do any other thing apart from just playing?

I don’t know why they can say that yet we have so many football players in other different careers, artists, bankers, doctors, and journalists just to mention a few. Being a player of any sport (name them) can’t stop you from doing anything else. Know your dream career and plan how to make them come true. It is doable, we have so many good examples to look at.

10. May, you please tell us how being a football player and a husband to a celebrity feels? Aline Munezero (Bijoux) is a big deal in the Rwandan Cinema industry! Oooh, that question caught me off guard, lol. However, being a husband, itself is such an amazing thing. Having this journey with a celebrity as you mentioned, Bijoux feels so nice not because of the fame, but because of the mutual love that we both share. So, I am a very happy married man, and I can surely say that my career in both football and music will grow further with her by my side.

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