Comfortable is far from describing Waka Fitness, a new Kigali upscale independent fitness club, in the perspective of Pearl Umuhoza who is found working out at the gym one recent evening.
She says that from her gym experience in Rwanda, there has never been anything close to what Waka offers, only comparing to international fitness clubs she has seen abroad.
“First the fact that the club is independent meaning not attached to another sort of facility like a hotel as is normally the case makes it a better place to go to when needing fitness lessons. But also, the kinds of services offered at Waka are a new style in working out in Rwanda.” Umuhoza offered that style of a work-out (fitness) club presented by the new facility located in Kimihurura, one of Kigali’s suburbs, begins another chapter for Rwandan gym enthusiasts.
“This place puts more purpose in fitness activities for one does not just come to randomly get their bodies sweaty. We are facilitated to take up the exact kind of exercises that are important for us to achieve the fitness goals we have set, which is far different from going into a gym, working out without feeling any kind of obligation to achieve set goals since you in the first place never shared those with anyone.”For Wilson Smith, yet another gym enthusiast whose keen eye has already spotted Waka, the facility has as a major distinguishing characteristic, space. “Most gyms I have been to are packed and have little breathing and exercising space. You find everyone stuffed up with machines and its imaginable how much inconveniencing that can be.”
Smith who talked as he went on with his ropes quickly added through a heavy breath, “The equipments here are also many and of high quality.
You do not have to spend a lot of time in the queue waiting for your turn on a machine you need.” While the club members appreciate the facility and the services they are receiving, the question to worry about becomes sustaining the standards and ensuring that Waka Fitness maintains the reputation it seems to be associated with, in its toddler days. Jeannetta Craigwell Graham the Marketing Director at Waka played down on the worries to sustain the standards that the fitness club seems to be setting for Rwanda and most especially upscale Kigali.
“We are continuously seeking after improving the facility even though it is just starting because we want to offer the difference that anyone interested in fitness would look for.” For instance, waka will soon have dietitians (nutritionists) who will assist the club members interested in developing special diet in order to achieve their set fitness targets.
Also, the club is employing highly qualified staff in the fitness world, and keeps them in check to improve by engaging in continuous additional training to make sure they give to their members as much as they should. One such iconic members of the Waka team is Patrick Gerenge who boasts 17 years of experience as a fitness trainer and has run fitness clubs in his native country of Kenya.
Gerenge says that fitness is in fact for everyone and not for particular sections of people as often misconceived; those who are overweight and what to bring their sizes to manageable range or those who want to gain some weight. “Everybody needs to be fit for fitness equals to health. However each individual has different goals, which is what we work on together to achieve at Waka.”
Unlike the usual case where trainers in gyms are men with heavy muscles to set the trend for trainees, Gerenge is a relatively short and slim fellow. This he says is what is fit for his size and settles well with the body’s needs. “It is the body needs that determine what is fit for a particular individual.”
He added, “But whatever your goals, we are ready to help you achieve them using a set of techniques which have proved their worth over time in regards to fitness pursuits.” The lead trainer’s view on the variation in fitness needs concurs with Dennis Dybdal’s philosophical pondering that, “Our bodies are tools, they require to be cared for since when they brake you cannot fix them.”
Dybdal is the Managing Director and co-founder of Waka Fitness together with Jeannetta Graham. But even as it may be referred to as an upscale facility, Waka Fitness if weighed comparably with other gyms has fairer pricing. Annual membership to the club is paid USD1200 which translates into about Rwf 800,000 while for monthly subscription, the pay is 150 Dollars. Also to further make the gym’s services affordable, Waka’s management has designed installment structures where for instance the annual subscription can be paid in four parts.
Inasmuch as walk-ins into the gym are allowed, Jeannetta said the club is most interested in memberships owing to the need to develop individualized services, which seek to achieve each member’s fitness goals. Also the need to ensure that the facility does not get stuffed discourages walk-ins. “I know that achieving fitness goals relatively require one to invest a lot of efforts but more than ever before, I feel on the right track to getting my weight in check and above all keep my body in good shape to face daily demands,” Muhoza noted.
The ambitious forward-looking nature portrayed in Muhoza is in part what defines Waka Fitness as a place to have your body management goals achieved, and perfected.