Perhaps you do not imagine how you can have breakfast in Kigali City restaurants when you have only Rwf 100 but that is possible in Biryogo, a suburb in Kigali City’s Nyarugenge District.
Biryogo is located in Nyarugenge Sector, just a few walks away from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
It was in the evening last Thursday when I went to a small restaurant in Biryogo near Grace Apartments building and I started chatting with a Biryogo native and restaurant owner Moise Singirankabo.
He was preparing chapatti, bread, and tea as some clients were coming and buying whatever was ready. It is a very small and modest restaurant where low income people come to find something to eat at a very low price.
“Every coin counts here, you cannot go back without eating because you can afford to buy something to eat here,” Singirankabo said.
Biryogo now has some of the cheapest restaurants that can’t probably be found anywhere else in Kigali and many low income people often use them as a way to reduce the cost of living in the city.
What is specific and surprising is the availability of tea, chapatti, cooked beans and other kinds of meal at only Rwf 50.
Singirankabo said the restaurants are cheaper than the ones in other areas he knows like neighbouring Gitega and Cyahafi.
“Even Rwf 100 can afford you sugar here,” he said.
For some inhabitants like Vianney Ntibibuka alias Kajisho, their financial ability makes them use only the restaurants of Biryogo among other restaurants they know in Kigali.
A plate of meal in Biryogo is generally served at Rwf 500, Rwf 600, and above.
Dieudonné Usengimana, also from Biryogo, said some people often opt to have tea and chapatti for super.
In addition, he compares Biryogo’s cheap restaurants to those found in a place called ‘Kuri 40’ in Nyamirambo.
The Executive Secretary of Nyarugenge Sector, Felix Masengesho, admitted that the restaurants are cheap.
“The restaurants are cheap not because life is generally less expensive there, but it is because the inhabitants try to cook the meal reducing some ingredients that can make it expensive,” he said.
But an anonymous source who uses the restaurants believes they may have issues of hygiene, noting that the cheaper they are, the lesser hygienic standards they have.
That does not sound an alarm for the Executive Secretary of Nyarugenge Sector.
“Being very cheap does not at all reflect the poor hygiene,” Masengesho said. “Every restaurant is started after certification by relevant authorities and hygiene inspection is regularly done in Kigali City.”