Oceans apart, in a faraway land, even distance could not break the ties of what was mine through inheritance. My birth rights told me I was Rwandan, yet I spent the greatest part of my life living outside my home. Circumstances beyond my control had brought me to where I was, a foreign land that became home. Still, the faraway cries of the homeland echoed and at one point almost disappeared. Wiped away from the world map, as some would have had it. Until that fateful day…the day the RPF marched in and liberated our country. Restored a nation, breathed life and hope into the land, rebuilt everything from scratch and turned Rwanda into a place all Rwandans far and wide could proudly call: HOME.
You see in the old Rwanda, I did not have a place, I did not belong. In the current Rwanda, I am alive and I am a dignified citizen. I cannot take for granted the story that led me here as it helps me appreciate just how far we’ve come and how much is at stake. Rwanda is truly blessed and to be living here during this transformative era is something magical. Everyday brings a new reason to be thankful, first and foremost for the peace and stability that we enjoy.
Inspired by my President, H.E. Paul Kagame and the rest of the leadership, I strive daily to achieve to the best of my ability. In the Rwanda I know everyone has a role to play towards achieving our common goal: unity, peace and prosperity for all. In the Rwanda I know, the leadership recognizes that people are the country’s greatest resources; voices are heard and ideas not taken for granted. In the Rwanda I know, security plays a pivotal role in social well-being; the country is safe and orderly. In the Rwanda I know, knowledge is power; services have been brought closer to the people and digitized so as to ensure accessibility. In the Rwanda I know hospitality, is our mainstay; a flourishing tourism sector with a robust strategy to attract more visitors. These are just few examples that capture the essence of what Rwanda stands for.
The just concluded campaign brought about new excitement, renewed commitment and anticipation for what is to come over the next 7 years. With a steady (and high!) starting point, we can only set the sky as our limit! Today, as we prepare to vote, the decision is obvious. I join millions in standing with the party that is responsible for all that Rwanda represents today, RPF.
This post was originally published on the Inkotanyi blog in August 2017
Photos: Akagera National Park (L. Garneau), Iliza boat (J. Mulinzi), Flag (RPF’s Flickr), Cows in Karongi & Nirvana Heights in Gisenyi (LMA)