Sunday Magazine

Diaspoman: When visitors came with hot air

  • By Mark Diaspoman
  • 11th Feb 12

There is a time during the mid 90s when Aggrey and I faced real poverty. We had just lost our jobs. Our houseboy had also fled from our home after several nights sleeping on an empty stomach. Also Bea’s joint could no longer accommodate our lies. Then amidst all this misery, we received some relatives from Uganda who had come over to search for jobs. These relatives from Uganda had learnt that Rwanda was a land of so many opportunities. They had learnt that Aggrey and I were loaded with so many US dollars and that we changed cars everyday.

That is why they decided to cross the border during those mid 90s in search of dollars. Since they were penniless, they could not afford spending nights in a hotel. So they made their research and eventually got directions to our modest home at the poor section of Kiyovu.

 When Aggrey and I reached home on that fateful evening, we were pleased to receive visitors from Uganda. Wow! Aggrey and I were very sure that these visitors would give us a good time at Béa’s joint. What we did not know was that the visitors were even much poorer than ourselves. We hugged and chatted for a while. We asked them a lot of questions about Kampala life. Their responses suggested to us that these fellows were loaded with lots of cash. This is because they kept telling us about the night life of Kampala and how they spent their weekends dancing away in Angé Noir and Club Silk.

By look of things, we were convinced that our relatives had come to enjoy life here by spending their cash at the likes of Black & White plus Kigali Night discotheques. For us, it was an opportunity to wet our very thirsty throats at their expense. So Aggrey asked them “Guys it seems you have been enjoying life in Kampala! Do you want to also taste the night life in Kigali? We can take you around so that you compare with the Kampala night spots. May I suggest that we first visit our local pub here in Kiyovu? Its called Béa’s joint” At the mention of the word ‘pub’, our relatives jumped up in unison “Yeah! Let’s go! In any case life is short, isn’t it?”

We then hit the road. At Béa’s joint there were a lot of activities as patrons danced away, enjoying the Congolese Rhumba music. When Béa set her eyes on us, she started to scold us for not having paid our long outstanding bills. But then we whispered to her that we had come with visitors from Uganda who were loaded with cash. “These guys sell Gold. They are from Uganda. Do you want us to take them to another pub?” No no, she prayed! Please come in and enjoy. What will you drink? Our relatives from Kampala proceeded to order for Heinekens plus plates of roasted chicken and chips. Wow! Heineken? These guys were surely loaded with kwacha!

By midnight, we had got zonked enough. Then our visitors started to pour out their hearts. They told us that life in Kampala had become so monkey for them. That is why they were in Kigali to look for jobs “We want to be like you guys. We want to be able to take visitors out and drown them with so much booze like you have done for us” What? Aggrey and I sobered up immediately. It slowly dawned upon us that these were not rich visitors who had taken us out for a nice drink. No way! These were lousy poor relatives who had come with hot air just. What were we going to tell Béa? Aggrey then suggested that we flee for our lives. We picked up our shoes and run away leaving behind our visitors to face the wrath from the one and only Béa…

Contact email: diaspoman[at]

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