Musings from my Trips: Rwanda

Rwandan Parliament
Rwandan Parliament

Series 2 of my Musings take us to Rwanda that beautiful country of a thousand hills, reduced to ashes 20 years ago by the most savage of man’s inhumanity to man! I found myself in Rwanda in my capacity as the African Regional Manager for the Women In Parliament Global Forum. This was ahead of our summer summit for female parliamentarians as co-hosted by the parliament of Rwanda.  That parliament holds the current world record of having 64% of seats occupied by women.

Rwandan Female MPS, female president of the Chamber of Deputies and female VP of the Senate
Rwandan Female MPS, female president of the Chamber of Deputies and female VP of the Senate

Their Path to Nation Building

From what I saw, from what l have been reading and from what l experienced during my one week stay there, a lot has been done to rebuild that country. There is no point for me to make any political or otherwise statements here, that has never been my intention on this blog. l can only admit that l was struck by the cleanliness of the city, and trust me to have gone even to their ghetto. l heard plastic sachets are forbidden and that there are specific days for nationwide clean up campaigns.

l also learnt of several social projects and Investment attractive program following our field visits to the Police Station which has a one stop center for victims of gender violence and Child Abuse. At the Rwandan Development Board, their young and dynamic COO, did a pretty presentation on their activities, achievements as well as challenges. She admitted they still had a long way to go but was glad of the progress made so far.

Breaking Down

I t would have been an outright ‘Miracle’ if l left Kigali without ‘breaking down’; and, not especially after we visited the Genocide Museum right? l mean it’s been 20 years and the skulls have all been buried in mass graves. But that is another thing that made me ‘break down’. We had to go there, go through the different presentations, and then leave a flower on those graves. I really could not understand what led mankind to such inhumanity. Did l say led as if it’s better now? Well, maybe no more genocide but other ‘human madness’.

The next day,

On the way to the ceremony, making sure l got my notes right!
On the way to the ceremony, making sure l got my notes right!

l was selected among our staff to accompany a delegation of our delegates to accompany the Rwandan First Lady as she inaugurated a new village for widows and orphans of the genocide. l couldn’t hold it no more. On our way back from there, l broke down so badly, as l have never done in public, and l wept until l choked. Fortunately, all the women present were so motherly and l literally became their daughter. l simply could not bring myself to attend their liberation day celebrations the next day so as to spare myself and they all further embarrassment.

Am standing there in the crowd
Am standing there in the crowd

My elder sister asked me yesterday if l could cry? l can’t blame her because l have always tried since my parents divorced, not to cry in the presence of anyone. Even when l lost my daughter, l would not cry in the hospital nor at my mum’s. l cried and hurt withing and hallucinated in my room or the Loo. Anyway, all is well that ends well given that l left Rwanda for Cameroon without any other incident. Ah, only that the plane almost stopped in the air; that is going to for musings 3 right?

Plain me in front of their Parliament
Plain me in front of their Parliament

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, hope you are having a good read. Your comments are always appreciated, yes even your likes mean so much to me.


4 thoughts on “Musings from my Trips: Rwanda”

  1. Ayo, thanks for that piece on the genocide and the process put in place for healing. I promise myself to visit that Country some day and maybe, God Willing contribute my widows mite even if it be in terms of prayers.
    You need not apologise for crying, it is also a way of expressing one’s feelings. Courage, my daughter!

    1. Dear Mam,

      Thanks for taking the time to hop by and leave this soulful comment.

      Indeed, sometimes we are so hard on ourselves and this attitudes become those dangerous habits we find difficult to let go or deal with otherwise.

      I hope you get to go there someday.

      Love, Ayo

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