Disney’s new Film #Queen Of Katwe is a beautiful movie about the true-life story of ““Phiona Mutesi” and her determination to rise from the rural streets of Uganda to becoming an international chess champion.
Her journey to accomplishing her dreams is incredible. However, I believe it wouldn’t have been possible if she did not have the support of her coach Robert Katende. A man despite having a young family of his own had a heart big enough to look beyond where she came from to see her potential.
I thought, I would share with you a few highlights from our interview, where Mr. Katende provided some powerful insight on mentoring kids. That I feel that parents, grandparents, teacher and caregivers of kids can benefit from. Please feel free to share with your friends.
Lesson 1 – There are several lessons kids can learn from the game of chess
In a child’s life, you can involve them well to the platform of chess. You can tackle abstractive thinking, problem-solving, decision making, weighing options, and even responsibility because of chess kind of mentors you in finding value and where you have to get comfortable with your decisions. You should have a plan, you should have an objective, an activity objective. It gives you an opportunity to where you can have ideas and try to figure out how to bring them to reality. So you must get input in the integration of these values and principles from the game into your lifestyle.” ~ Robert Katende
Lesson 2 – Mentoring kids is a community investment
When it comes to the programs, it’s not so much entailed on chess but it’s more of focusing on an individual. And if the child is different- they have different abilities; different perspectives of life, and . . . you have to look at each child as an individual. And to me, it’s more of a community investment. You really choose to be in there and see how this important to them. ” ~ Robert Katende
Lesson 3 – True mentorship often takes you beyond the actual child, and going people involved with the child, to get an understanding of their surrounding.
But I remember ten years back, … this young boy who volunteered to keep our chess support current from the beginning. and then one time, almost like six months, he came on and said, “Coach, I think we need to find somewhere else to keep our board.”
Why? And then he said, “No, when my uncle comes back home, he comes back drunk, and he fights with auntie, and so they will break our board.” Now, this really hit me and I almost shed tears because for him, it was for the board, and me, I was moved to, what kind of trauma does this child go through at home? So it takes you beyond what you think, and that sometimes you, even you go- when it comes to mentorship, I’ve many times find myself going beyond the actual child, and going even to the people behind the child.
Because some of the issues are actually, imagine, from the guardian, or the uncle, or the auntie, they have that role that they play. Sometimes what you see a child going through, they’re just symptoms, and they have a cause behind it. … and that forces you to go beyond, and then reach out to even the guardians.” ~ Robert Katende
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QUEEN OF KATWE opens in theaters this Friday, September 23rd!