What stood out in 2018?

2018 has come to an end with its own set of ups and downs. Society Magazine’sDonah Mbabazi had a chat with a cross-section of people who shared views on what really stood out for them this year. Highlights range from Rwanda’s tourism deal with Arsenal, to the now red and white zebra crossings across Kigali streets, to Rwanda’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo’s new post as the Secretary-

General of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

Nice Budandi, Event organiser at Smart Africa Secretariat

Personally, as an event organiser, in 2018 we did the first edition of ‘Seka Festival’ which was the biggest festival ever in the arts industry in Kigali that attracted thousands of people. This stood out as a personal achievement for me and my partners at Arthur Nation. But in general, I think 2018 has seen the creative arts industry have a breakthrough, there have been many projects in arts taking place like the ‘Art Rwanda Ubuhanzi’ which has gone through the entire country searching for talent, and then the ‘I am The future’ which is also a talent search project. And then looking closely at the summits that happened this year, they all ended with concerts, big summits like Youth Connect and Green Summit. These used to happen but would only focus on the event alone, but this year almost all summits ended with concerts which shows recognition of the arts industry in Rwanda. So to me, the recognition of the arts industry in all areas somehow stood out this year.


Luckman Nzeyimana, TV Presenter

This year was successful for me; I got a chance to become a host for the ‘Art Rwanda Ubuhanzi’ project. I also got a chance to become the host for the Miss Rwanda pageant 2019 and I cannot overlook the fact that I am finalising the construction of my house. Career-wise I have grown as well; I have my new show on Rwanda Television called ‘Versus’. All of this just motivates me and shows me that I still have a long way to go, that I have to keep on working hard such that I give my family a good life as I also keep on serving my country.


Jackline Tumukunde, Tour Operator and MD of Jallyn Travels.

It is the tourism industry and the ‘Visit Rwanda’ campaign with Arsenal Football Club that stood out for me. This deal increased visibility for Rwanda’s tourism sector and because of this, we expect more to happen the coming year.


Belinda Umurerwa, Businesswoman

Well, there was not really much this year apart from a few more business opportunities that came my way towards the end, and this definitely means that 2019 will be a very busy year for me. A lot of outstanding things happened nonetheless in this country on a daily basis, what really impressed me was when Louis Mushikiwabo was elected the Secretary General of La Francophonie, this is inspiring for me and it makes me feel and believe that as a woman, I can do anything. In the past years, some of these diplomatic positions were only taken by men.


Israel Mbonyi, Gospel artiste

2018 has been everything to me for sure; I have seen God work in many aspects of my life. I have continued to grow spiritually, in my ministry with Him and in everything else. But most important is the fact that I am alive, this stands out the most.


Charlotte Shema, Founder of Touch of Rwanda Fashion Designs Ltd

This year I started my own company, I got support from different people, organisations and the Government. It has been a great journey indeed, I had a chance to be part of fashion shows and I am now opening my new shop next week.


Eva Gara, Co-founder of Events Horizon Ltd

2018 comes to an end with so much to thank God for, but to name a few, health, family, and living in a country I am so proud to call my own, and having friends that make the months swing by. But best of all, this year saw me as an emerging grandmother of a truly wonderful boy. He has made it all worthwhile. While I await more grandchildren I can safely say God has blessed me as I start my third stage in life. It is a blessing I wish for all parents. Oh such a beautiful gift from God.


Dieudonné Niyompano, Software test engineer


What stood out for me was how the zebra crossing was changed from black and white to red and white. And all of this was done to ensure people’s safety. I am really proud of our Government for putting the interests of the citizens at heart.