By Odior Aleakwe
The visit to Rwanda, the country of a thousand hills, changed my understanding and perception of Africa and what can be achieved if and only if we have structures of control, accountability and support by the government in collaboration with the people.
Rwanda has a population of 12.3 million according to worldometers, as of 19 December 2017 when this article was written. The country was marked by a dark history of genocide which exterminated about one million people and created a staggering two million refugees. However, this dark history has turned and is turning to be a blessing to this beautiful country and its people.
All through the country, from north to south, and east to west, there are well-organized genocide memorial centres. These centres contain remains of people who passed on prematurely to the after-life as a result of the genocide. The stories of their demise can give a brutal sensation, an experience of man’s inhumanity to man. However, the same people today demonstrate a great level of collaboration, hard work, a welcoming openness and a simple attitude to life. Rwanda is a home!
Beauty is a characteristic I experienced with these people. They possess not just a natural untainted physical beauty, but also a beauty that is embedded, inherent in their being human, and this is observed in their relationship with visitors. The smile and contentment one finds give a welcoming and at-home kind of impression.
Rwanda is indeed the country of a thousand hills. Nature has its way of speaking to the attentive of mind. The hilly country of Rwanda epitomizes nature’s attractive and serene character. One cannot stop to admire what is admirable and words are not always enough to express the aura of a country so blessed with calmness, friendliness, and trust.
Law and order is another reality in this beautiful country that kept me wishing to acquire citizenship. The police and law enforcement agencies are always there to help to create and enforce law and orderliness. Looking young and friendly, they are there on the major streets in their twos, attentive to what is going on around them. Citizens are well educated on the law so they are not found wanting or breaking the rules.
Cleanliness they say is next to godliness. If this is really the case, then, I suppose God may not find it difficult to find a physical home in Rwanda. I leave that to your imagination. The streets are so clean that you hardly find dry leaves on the ground. This is not just in the capital city, Kigali, but also in other parts of the country.
If I am not stopped, I might go on and on recounting the Correct Connect Africa Foundation experience of Rwanda. Permit me to stop here. However, before I stop hitting my keyboard, you may want to have a wonderful and adventurous experience for your holiday. Instead of cracking your head, thinking of where to spend your next holiday, we from CCAF suggest you give Rwanda a try. Your thoughts and impressions of the African continent might begin to change.