After two successful screenings in Chicago and New York, the long awaited travel documentary ‘Rwanda-The Royal Tour’ is finally coming to Kigali.
Both mainstream and social media have been awash with pictures and behind-the-scenes clips that only left Rwandans yearning for more.
In the US, the documentary aired on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), the American public broadcaster on Thursday evening.
Today, the public broadcaster, Rwanda Television (RTV), will air the one-hour documentary from 7p.m. It will have Kinyarwanda subtitles.
And, there is also a public screening at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village lined up on Saturday evening.
Rwanda, The Royal Tour is the latest edition of the Royal Tour Series in which celebrated travel journalist Peter Greenberg journeys to a select country to offer audiences access to extraordinary locations, historic landmarks and cultural experiences. He is guided by Heads of State and Government on his tour.
President Paul Kagame spent a week, last year, with Greenberg showcasing what Rwanda has to offer. Together, they went gorilla trekking through Volcanoes National Park, jet-skied in Lake Kivu, explored Nyungwe Forest National Park on an elevated canopy walkway and saw a variety of wildlife during on a safari through Akagera National Park.
Rwandans shared their views of the documentary.
“It’s great our President taking a major role in that documentary. It will bring more attention to tourists and its premiere in Rwanda will attract many viewers because people are always excited to see our President,” said Aristide Mugabe, a professional basketball player and skipper for the national team.
Mugabe added that the documentary will help people to see the real beauty of Rwanda
“I can’t wait to watch it. I keep on repeating the trailer on YouTube and scrolling though pictures taken during the shooting,” Mugabe added.
Fiona Kamikazi Rutagengwa, a communications specialist, explained why she is so excited about the documentary.
“I watched the trailer a few weeks ago and it shows our President having fun, something we don’t see every day because he is a hardworking man and we tend to think he is not human like all of us. I am also looking forward to know how he describes to the world our touristic sites in his words. It should be amazing because Rwanda is remarkable,” Kamikazi said.
Fiacre Igihozo, a resident of Muhima in Kigali, told The New Times that the documentary will help portray Rwanda for what it actually is.
“I hope to see Rwanda and its true story. I presume there will be less negativity unlike the way we have always been branded and made to believe by some westerners,” Igihozo said.
“If I am not mistaken President Kagame is the first African leader to be featured in Greenberg’s films and it is a good thing that it is our own President to come first,” he added.
Rwanda is witnessing exponential growth in its tourism revenues – from $200 million in 2010 to above $400 million in 2016.
While speaking at the premiere in New York on Tuesday, President Kagame said that Rwanda’s goals in tourism and conservation go beyond increasing visitors and revenues to ensuring that the benefits are sustainable and shared by citizens.
“The goal of tourism and conservation in Rwanda is not only to increase visitor and revenue numbers, but also to ensure that the benefits are both sustainable and shared by all our people,” he said
He said that taking part in the documentary was aimed at showing the wider audience what Rwanda has to offer in terms of touristic attractions.
“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to be Peter Greenberg’s guide in this film and to show a wider audience what Rwanda has to offer,” Kagame said.
On his part, Greenberg said that the film also gives insights into Rwanda’s transformation journey.
“What an amazing transformation Rwanda has had as a country, and what a special opportunity for me – and my audience – to see Rwanda through the eyes of its President,” Greenberg said.