So, where has this Wild West ‘cowboy’ sprung from, guns blazing, to aptly come to our rescue? Were we not beginning to miss these passionate protectors of ours, no tongue-in-cheek? For information, ‘cowboy’ is in inverted commas because Rwandan civility forbids calling anybody ‘cowgirl’. Moreover, the lady referred to is “professor of sport management and tourism studies,” no less, by the hitherto-unseen name of L.D. Neirotti. Intriguing, no, “sport management and tourism studies”? Lucky compatriots may be familiar with this ‘sport-tourism’ wonder lady. Befuddled old geezer that I be, I’d never had the privilege of accessing views of this grand guru, who seemingly knows best how to catapult this country into a tourism dreamland. Prof LDN, where have you been all our lives? Don’t say you were not yet born when Rwanda rose from the pit and, confounding all who thought her dead and gone, started growing exponentially as an economy of a united society. Imagine if we’d had you as professorial counsellor. Wouldn’t we be high up there, in the clouds? Writing in The East African (June 16 –22, 2018), this sagacious professor offers this tip, among others: “….in developing countries, up to 90% of the tourism dollars spent by each tourist does not stay in the country, a situation referred to as ‘leakage’”. How eye-opening! And all along we thought our tourism earnings had surpassed all export earnings. That’s crap, swears our king…er…queen-fish, because those earnings and the impressive rise in living standards that we and the rest of the world see are only “leakage”. And, avers our perceptive pundit, we are doomed to forever harvest “leakage” unless we overcome our handicaps. Among which, that of all of us being simply Rwandan and, therefore, incapable of adopting the “Batwa Experience which consists of a hike into the forest with the Batwa pygmies, the first people of the forest.” Maybe some bright mind out there could decipher for me who these “…pigmies, first people of the forest” are and how lacking them only earns us tourism “leakage”! Plus, how does advertising with Arsenal FC compound our handicaps? Mute mind that I am, it’s beyond me. “Destination marketing through sport sponsorship” has been successful with countries like Mexico, she contends, but alas! That’s not for us: “it is widely known that the president of Rwanda is an avid fan of the team”. And her penetrating intelligence sees that as killing the targeted fan viewership as a marketing strategy. Well, I’ll be buggered! As naïve citizens, though, what else can we be except damned? But hold your horses! Am I the only one smelling a rotten fish in the views of this “sport-tourism management’ czar? With analysis confidence similar to that of a part of her that defied God’s order to get a lid, only to be ‘wasp-stung’ a few steps away, why does she rely purely on the observations of others? (Disclaimer: the ‘lid’ adage is from a local language in a part of Uganda). Quoting what others observe as “raising eyebrows”, as “widely known” or what “many people have….expressed….”? Second-had wisdom? An expert it does not make, if you ask me. Familiarity with the ground and having facts at your ‘classroom’ fingertips does. Seek facts, else you’ll end up in the dump pool of professor trolls on Rwanda who found themselves turned into clowns for their careers! They were a dime a dozen. Filip Reyntjens, the constitution-expert hoax. Peter Erlinder, the rights-defending fraud. And sundry other quacks of the ilk, too many to waste ink on. They trashed Gacaca; it astounded with justice and reconciliation delivered in record time. They rubbished Umuganda; then saw their countries starting to adopt it. They lambasted Girinka; now see our healthy citizens. Mitweri, Imihigo, Umushyikirano, Umwiherero, Abunzi, Itorero, …. They tried to pick holes in them all but drew blanks, cheap chaps. Cool your heels then, armchair commentator. Rwanda has seen the likes of you all and showed you up for the phonies that you are. Tell you what, self-trumpeted “tourism studies” Swami, why don’t you consult your compatriot, Ms. Laura Powell of Skift, lest you imagine we are blowing our trumpet? She’ll tell you a thing or twenty about Rwanda’s approach to tourism. And it’ll sure yank you down to earth, from your cloud nine. She will impress it upon you that instead of exposing tourists to the dangers of killer animals and wasps, your unsolicited advice, “Rwanda is setting itself up as Africa’s new big luxury tourist destination.” To the lack of hospitality facilities you bemoan, she’ll tell you “a spate of international luxury hospitality operators are opening nature resorts in the countryside” to complement the many luxury and other hotels in Kigali. LDN, innovative ideas like advertising with Arsenal FC are responsible for today’s buzz: “Rwanda, the next new seat of luxury tourism’”. For laughing out loud, you may wish your editor hadn’t so splashily mocked your “flashy own goal” opinion! That apart, a plea to our respectable local news outlets: please don’t allow yourselves to be used as conduits of vilification messages by such trolls. Africa is alive with generators of factual opinion. Why outsource lopsided opinion from the ‘Wild West’? Twitter: @butamire butamire.wordpress.com The views expressed in this article are of the author.