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My Journey to a higher service

One of the best movies I have ever seen is “Peaceful Warrior”. It is such an inspiring movie that I’d like you to see it. I promise not to give the movie away and I won’t talk about it for that matter. The only thing I will mention is the part in the movie where they say: “There is no higher purpose than service to others”. I couldn’t agree more.

I did one higher service without even noticing. I coached Basketball (did you expect something else?)

Just this morning, I was thinking about my former players and what they have become. Let’s see. We have a journalist in South Africa and she is with our team captain who now works for the UN. We have a Doctor in Germany, another one finished her studies in China and the list goes on and on. Many of them are wonderful mothers and wives (Ama, I am not naming names lol). Was I not a good coach?

I am very proud of all my players. Really. However, there is one who deserves a standing ovation. Can you do this with me? Thanks for your applause (I hope you included me in your cheers).

This player is one of the founding members of the team. For a number of seasons she was our best player. Her two sisters also played on the team.

And then tragedy struck. Her dad (a single parent) died while she was in high school.

She had to find a way to raise her younger siblings (the two sisters and two brothers).

Did she give up Basketball? Not a bit. In addition to raising her siblings, she kept playing and she kept going to the Scout meetings while working a job (yes, she gave up her studies). She was my hero.

That was over 10 years ago. How about now? Let’s see. One of her sisters finished university and worked in the media field, worked for the UN and is now working as a consultant. One of her brothers is in France studying. The younger brother is now a happily married man and works in the hotel industry.

Do you have a day or two? I can talk about her youngest sister. She is an actress, a radio host and a top model. To top it all, she just got her degree in TV production. How about that!!! Now you get why I was asking for a standing ovation. I am not saying she did all that because she had an amazing Basketball coach. Maybe I might have something to do with it. Standing ovation for me too, please.

When I went home in 2008, I visited them. What a joy. We talked and laughed, it was so great.

Then, the younger sister (do you remember the top model?) told me about her dream. Now you see where this is going, don’t you?

Yes. She just wrapped up a documentary about the life of former refugees in the South of the country (Burundi). She was enormously moved to tears throughout the making of this documentary and she wants to do something about it. She wants to make a change using her talents as a movie producer.

Upon hearing this I had to do something. I felt the urge to help although I still had to figure how. Then the thought came to me that I could raise money to offer her a scholarship and bring her to Canada for training in Film production. Isn’t that a great idea?

I found one of the best institutes in North America and registered her in that program. It’s now down to finding the money to pay for the tuition. I would like her to produce the best movies possible about issues of poverty, hunger and other issues facing my country (and other countries around the world). I want her to raise awareness about what these countries are going through. Above all, I want to pay tribute to my player who succeeded in raising her siblings through tough times. She deserves it. Would you help me accomplish that mission? Here is how.

In a few weeks, my book will be out. Not only would I like you to purchase a copy, but I would so very much appreciate it if you could promote it to your friends as well (didn’t I tell you I have started a movement?). Can we do this together? Would you join me? A big part of the money will go towards my friend’s scholarship. And then, I want to go back to Mali next year to pursue my mission of helping kids. If there is any money left, I will treat you all to lunch in your favourite restaurant lol (hope you won’t be too hungry).

Moral of the story? Do you want to be of a higher service? Just coach Basketball. If you’re lucky you will meet a top model.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman


  1. Wow, loved reading about the success stories of the people you coached Patrick. And I wish you much success with raising money to help your friend and many others. You are a fantastic example of giving to others on the highest level!



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