Rwanda’s international referee Didier Shema-Maboko
Didier Shema-Maboko is a Rwandan international basketball referee who has dedicated his career to the sport.
He started playing basketball while in senior one at Saint Andre in 1992 and since then he never parted ways with the game. He started featuring for school’s O’level team as well as for A’level team at Ecole Zairwase.
Unfortunately he never won any notable title with any of his schools’ teams, “I never won anything with my schools’ teams. I picked interest in basketball since my first touch on the ball and I never backed-off ever since”
The dark-skinned Maboko also featured for former national basketball league side Kicukiro BBC in the 1997/1998 season.
Shema also used to play football but it was never his first choice or comparable to the passion he had for basketball.
Shema started his officiating career as a table official in national league and lower levels court referee like in inter-schools’ championship. As he continues to improve and impress his seniors, he caught attention and support from the then senior referees in the country.
Some of the important senior referees he found on the scene when he was coming up are: Innocent Rwabuhihi, Eugen Ntashongerwa and Straton Ahimana.
On May 20, 1999, Shema officiated his first league match (women league) as a central referee and since then he raised that match to be professional international referee he’s today.
“My first match as a central official was on May 20, 1999. The match was between Lycee de Kigali and Mirroir BBC staged at Impala café”he clearly recalls.
From 1999 to 2004, Shema was a local referee and only used to officiate locally-organized competitions until he made his debut on the international scene early.
His first international competition was the inter-East African cities championship staged in Kigali in February 2004.
His second and first competition out of the country he refereed in was the ANOCA U20 championships held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2006.
In September 2007, he officiated in the Fiba/Africa Zone V club championships held in Kigali, Rwanda.
In 2008, Shema earned an international refereeing license offered by international basketball federation (Fiba) and officiated in four international competitions namely: CAN U18-Zone V championship in Kampala in August, Fiba/Africa Zone V club championship staged in Addis-Abbaba, Ethiopia in October.
Others were: the 14th Africa women club championships held in Nairobi, Kenya and 23rd Africa Men’s club championships staged in Sousse, Tunisia in December.
In July 2009, the elite referee Shema of Rwanda was one of the few African officials that were selected to officiate at the Fiba/Europe U18 Eurobasket championships held in Metz, France and that is the only tournament he has officiated in out of Africa till today.
“2009 is a year that made up happy in career so far, officiating in tournament like Eurobasket U18 is chance that doesn’t reach anyone.
I’m looking to officiating in more and bigger competitions if God wills” he says.
In the same year, he refereed in Africa men’s basketball championship (Afrobasket) held in Benghazi and Tripoli, Libya in August and women’s Afrobasket staged in Antananarivo, Madagascar in October.
In December, he officiated at the 24th Africa club championship held in Rwanda. In 2010, he officiated at the Indian Ocean region’s champion’s league held in Antananarivo, Madascar.
In 2011, he officiated in four international competitions namely Afrobasket and all Africa games qualifiers held in Rwanda, Afrobasket 2011 in Madagascar, All Africa games in Maputo, Mozambique and Fiba/Africa Zone V club championship in Dar-es-Salaam , Tanzania.
In 2012, he officiated in three competitions namely Afrobasket U18 in Mozambique, Zone IV Afrobasket qualifiers in Bangui, and Central Africa Republic and Africa club championships in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
In 2013, he appeared in four international competitions namely Zone V club championship in Burundi, Afrobasket in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Club championship in Port-Louis, Maurice Island and Fiba/Africa Zone VI club championship in Lusaka, Zimbabwe. Recently, he officiated at the Zone V U18 championships in Kampala, Uganda.
Since 2004, Shema has officiated in over twenty five international competitions.
His ambitions include officiating at the World championships and Olympic Games.
When he retires, he wants to become a Fiba instructor, “becoming an instructor of Fiba is what I want to be after refereeing career. I never want to go away from basketball, I like and enjoy it”
Some of his memorable games he officiated in are: 2011 All Africa games semi-final between Mozambique and Algeria, 2011 Afrobasket quarter-final between Angola and Cameroun, Fiba/Europe U18 match between Germany and Russia among others.
Rwanda’s international Shema apart from officiating, he is the technical director of Rwanda basketball federation (Ferwaba) since September 2012 and he was a member of the executive committee of the federation a year in 2011-2012.
Who is Shema-Maboko?
Born to Augustin Ndarusanzwe (RIP) and Genevieve Musabyemariya on March 15, 1980 in Nyarugenge district, City of Kigali, Shema is the second born from a family of four children (three boys and one girl).
The 34-year old Maboko is married to Hermine E’Geirma with whom they have two daughters (one is 15 year-old and another one is 4-month-old).
He attended camp Kigali primary school before going to Nyamirambo-based Saint Andre for O’level and Ecole Zairwase for A’level pursuing primary teaching that he finished in 1999.
He furthered his studies and Kigali institute of education (K.I.E) from where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Physical and Sport Education in 2007.
Much as he’s a basketball lover and game’s referee, Shema has no particular team or club he supports but has got a taste of a player he likes. Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant is the man he supports and takes Michael Jordan the legend of the game.