What lessons can today’s youth draw from our liberators 25 years later?

The Minister for Youth Rosemary Mbabazi (left) the Deputy Director General of Imbuto Foundation, Geraldine Umutesi (right), and Northern Province governor Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi (centre) and other officials during a visit to the national liberation museum, known as “U Murindi w’Intwari” in Gicumbi District, last week. / Courtesy

Every generation,every country has faced various hurdles varying from time to time and society to society.

And amidst those tempest situations, God and circumstances have always raised men to lead His people (the affected) out of those situations to the promised and desired destiny or end, that we so often call liberators.

When one takes a keen look at these liberators, you will find that at the heart of their service are two virtues; faithfulness and selflessness to the cause they represent.

To be called liberated, a lot has to feature including but not limited to political, economic and social constructed structures and fabric.

Over the years, since the earth came into form as we know it, many liberators who have faithfully and selflessly served their nations have come and gone.

They didn’t or do not only liberate their people and nations from dictatorial regimes, but also have built systems that outlast them, thus showing a way to take for those they are charged to serve – a way that gives new life, new hope, new beginning and everlasting sense of vision and direction.

Many of those have passed on and some are still living; and among those living- we would like our youth to learn from President Paul Kagame.

The 4th of July 1994 marked Rwanda’s liberation and the overthrowal of the genocidal regime by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) which immediately ended the Genocide that was perpetrated against the Tutsi.

On 4th July 2019, Rwanda will be celebrating this remarkable milestone that brought an end to the darkest days that had hovered over our nation for decades.

The celebration would be in vain if we don’t bring into context the architects of this liberation, the methods used, and perhaps the values that made moral and justified the liberation, making it a beautiful story.

At the helm is Paul Kagame who has demonstrated high and unmatched level of discipline, consistency, citizen-centered and transformative governance model that has made Rwanda a beautiful story!

I am always beaten by that decision he took to instantly and prematurely leave Fort Leavenworth, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College to come and command the RPA in the liberation of Rwanda after the demise of Fred Gisa Rwigyema.

This decision, in my own view, was not guaranteeing Rwanda's liberation but asserting the importance of Rwanda’s resolve for liberation.

On joining to command the front, instantly, hope and a never-die spirit were restored among the fighters, the struggle's image changed and victory started to be felt- a few years later Rwanda was liberated.

After the Liberation, there was virtually no country to speak of because everything was in ruins; over a million people had been killed, the killers had stripped the national treasury bear, a refugee crisis, hunger as a result of the Genocide, ethnocentrism at its peak, mistrust, shattered economy, inadequate labor force and infrastructure, divisive political system, you can go on and on.

Faith, hope, consistency, hard work, unity and reconciliation, law and order, justice and human rights, shared dream and destiny, patriotism, among other models were needed to resurrect Rwanda.

Paul Kagame did more than the imaginable, thinkable and built a system that comprised more than the above to restore the broken and a very fragile Rwanda into a beautiful story and mighty nation she is today.

Zero tolerance to corruption, stable security, fair justice systems and rule of law, unity and reconciliation, developed infrastructure, cleanliness, health insurance for all citizens, education for all, trade and investment, healthy diplomatic and international relations, active civil society, Gender equality, inclusive politics, one identity, women in governance and economy, youth participation, child protection systems, etc etc are among the many remarkable achievements mainly attributable to Paul Kagame.

The country that was once written off now is a case study for good governance and servant led countries.

Countries that once abandoned Rwanda, that wanted to see it falter never to rise again, plotted against its current leadership, questioned Rwanda's resurrection are now advancing the need to be associated with Rwanda.

The Sovereignty and Dignity of Rwanda are the priceless results of Kagame’s leadership.

Paul Kagame's personality and leadership model have inspired Africa and world politics, given rise to modern Pan Africanists ready to usher Africa to the next level, and restored faith, belief and Hope that indeed the Equality of states, quality in governance are possible and achievable!

Certain traits are noticeable about President Kagame and all liberators in general that the youth should all learn from which include but not limited to;

Patriotism: The love of the nation is their first and last love. This is the source of their service.

Sacrificial living and selflessness: They/have denied themselves the pleasures offered by this world and yielded to only the mission they were/are called to no matter how challenging.

High level of discipline and focus: Walking the Talk. They have exhibited high level of Discipline and focus which has given them the grace to do what they do.

Faithfulness: Being faithful to their duties and to those they are called to serve. This has given them the moral authority to set the pace for those they serve.

Accountability: They have chosen to account for all the resources placed before them while serving.

Dependent on the rule of law: They are all guided by the constitution and other laws governing the nation.

Consistency: They have not diverted from their mission but rather persistently served.

Team building: They are great team builders that have ushered transformation respectively.

Vision casting: They are wise to know that they won't live on earth forever and to know that it’s not their missions but the mission for those they swore to serve; as such they all have cast the vision by planting systems, long term strategic plans and structures that will not only outlive them but all those they are currently serving.

Resilience and never quit spirit:Quitting isn’t an option, achieving the set targets is the ultimate goal dying while in service is the ultimate price

The Youth today can learn from our deceased and living liberators to selflessly serve, be resilient while serving, putting their nations first (High level of Patriotism), discipline, result and people centered, international and diplomatic relations, never quit attitude, fighting spirit, dignity, purposeful and addiction free living to enable their sober state of mind that will ultimately be an engine for them to serve.

Happy Liberation Day!

The writer is a Pan African, philanthropist, and social worker. He currently works at Rwanda Broadcasting Agency and is a Fellow at Purpose Rwanda


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