Thousands of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda are already settled as they wait to interact with Rwandan officials including the Head of State President Paul Kagame in Bonn – Germany.
It is Rwanda Day.
“Following Brussels in 2010, Chicago, Paris in 2011, Boston in 2012, London and Toronto in 2013, Atlanta in 2014, Amsterdam in 2015, San Francisco in 2016 and Ghent in 2017; Rwanda Day is coming to Bonn! On the agenda: patriotism, culture, heritage, innovation and global connection,” writes Olivier Nduhungirehe, Minister of State in charge of East African Community at Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A lot is expected; pitching projects that intend to improve country development, proposing approaches that would change the old narratives in handling issues that hamper country development.
As the event starts, Vedaste Musoni, the chairman of the Rwanda diaspora in Bonn welcomes an estimate 4000 Rwandans from as far as China and other countries in all corners of the world.
He said that Rwandans in Germany are very much concerned with the country development. In this context, he said, we support several development projects. For example, we raised Rwf 800 millions to support social development activities including construction of schools.”
As he never disappoints, Edouard Bamporiki, the chairman of Itorero program started the first session with very deep explanation of the Rwandan origins, colonization and the bad it brought to Rwanda, thus, attracting the attention of the audience.
He first cracked jokes before talking about Rwanda’s richest culture.
‘When a Rwandan is on duty, on front line, they never retire nor take a lunch break before they deal with the enemy,” he said.
“There are people who really diverted from the right way. Help them to, at least show their children the right path to follow.”
Carole Karemera speaking in French shared her story when she was five years old in Bujumbura. Her father asked her to put traditional garment – umushanana, then took her across the city. The Rwandan community in Bujumbura was playing drama, very excited to talk about culture.
“This inspired me, and today, I ended up an artiste. But you know what? I grew up seing the Muyangos, Kayirebwas. Etc. It was igitaramo at my home every day.”
She said at first she had a challenge, like any Rwandan refugee, of not having a country. That’s how she struggled until acquiring Belgium Nationality, but every year, I had to dedicate two months to Rwanda.
As a soldier, Lt. Colonel Lauzanne Ingabire Nsengimana also another speaker said military is a noble job, reason why she accepted to endure what it takes to serve.
For example, she said, I once was obliged to leave a toddler at home with father, and thanks to God, all went well. I came back, found them doing well.
Serving the Rwanda Defence Force(RDF), Lauzanne said she was lucky to do her cadet courses in Belgium and back home, she served the country in different capacities.
She told the youth that Rwanda needs their hand where they can come and serve in several capacities, including the army.
When he took the floor, Professor Anastase Shyaka, Minister of Local Government explained how “Rwanda is sweet, Rwanda Day even sweetier.”
To defend his statement, Shyaka said Rwanda is the only country that has now achieved a 12% growth.
He said the country is smart enough and is able to conduct survey and to show statistically how the country is standing, “without depending on foreign support.”
Shyaka said security in Rwanda is outstanding, mainly because the citizen and its army are in harmony.
Minister Shyaka said, Rwanda’s model of democracy is unique where, during and after elections, every candidate is a winner.
Despite recurrent resignations in local government, Shyaka rather said, “In local government, we are not ashamed. We are soon having a balance in terms of gender balance – more like the parliament.”
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs now secretary general of the Francophonie organization said it all when she took the floor. She said some Rwandans shy away when it comes to attending public gathering.
“Some say; for me I am half Rwandan, half something. Please! We don’t have half Rwandan, full Rwandan. We are all Rwandans.”
Mushikiwabo suggested that after Rwanda Day, “discussions about the Rwandanness may start in diaspora.”
A participant from Luxumberg diaspora supported the idea where he said, that indeed, “some Rwandans are even shy to teach their children the mother tongue, which is shame. We should be proud of our country.”
Eric Twagirimana from Liege Diaspora said that on October 19,2019, they have a session that will talk about Rwandans in diaspora.
Twagirimana further said, that in his diaspora community, they have started Umuco school which teaches Kinyarwanda.
“All Parents are welcome. Bring your children,” he said.