Rwanda Day celebrations, wherever they take place, have now become truly an occasion where Rwandans in the Diaspora engage in an intense communion (in the original sense of the word) with their national leadership, and specifically with their President, and where they are able to renew their sacred connection to their motherland.
All Diaspora Rwandans, wherever they may be, want to be part of this almost spiritual fellowship, to bask in their renewed sense of Rwandanness, and the clear mutual recognition by themselves and their country that both represent a priceless value to each other.
The enthusiasm of the Diaspora Rwandans for Rwanda Day events, with Rwanda Government representative missions acting only in supportive roles, is a testament to the new-found pride Diaspora Rwandans have in their country and its leadership.
And the more shrill the denigrators, often arrogant foreigners who claim to speak in the name of Rwandans (I don’t know under what mandate) and very few noisy Rwandan auxiliaries, the more determined Diaspora Rwandans are to coalesce around their nation’s leadership and to demonstrate by their overwhelming presence their wholehearted support to the direction our nation has taken since the dark days of the institutionalised discrimination and the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
We have traveled far.
We also know that the remaining distance to a destination that one never really reaches (because development is a never-ending journey, not a destination) is long and likely to be arduous. But the knowledge that we are united, that we know the direction we want to take and our unshakable determination never to cede to any interloper the sovereign right to make our own decisions about our future, gives us all assurance that we shall succeed!
And so fellow Rwandans in the Diaspora, let us begin to plan the next Rwandaful Day!
Mwene Kalinda, Kigali
Reaction to the pictorial, “From New York, Kagame lights up Rwanda Day in Toronto”, (The New Times, September 30)