Desperate Susan Thompson still chasing the Rwandan caravan

The first time I heard the name ‘Susan Thompson’ was in 2003 in my first year of university. She’d written, in partnership with then UNR lecturer Francois Xavier Kalinda and the vice-dean of the faculty of law at the time, Felix Zigirinshuti, a booklet that was essential reading...

Thursday, September 13, 2018, 12:33 AM

Twitter isn’t the answer, read a book

There are few things that excite me as much as purchasing a new ‘old-fashioned’ book. The only problem is, books aren’t cheap in this country.  Especially when e-books are available for free. But nothing beats the feeling of turning a physical page to me, so I’ve...

Sunday, July 8, 2018, 9:47 PM

Happy 56th birthday Rwanda, no more fake independence for you!

Independence:The state of wanting or being able to do things for yourself and make your own decisions, without help or influence from other people. For the last decade or so, I’ve written a similar version of what I call, ‘The Independence Day column. In this yearly column I stated, in...

Monday, July 2, 2018, 12:11 AM

Reform or die: Building a critical media in Rwanda

Two weeks or so ago, I watched a talkshow on Rwanda Television that focused on a seminal topic, ‘Building a Critical Media-Evaluating performance of media in reporting key issues facing society’. The show’s host, newsman Eugene Anangwe, and the three guests, all veterans of...

Monday, June 18, 2018, 2:24 AM

Chutzpah: The audacity of the new Rwanda

Happy June! Happy 2018! It’s been almost two years since I’ve put my thoughts on paper and, to be honest, I’ve missed doing so. Over the last two years Rwanda has witnessed major reforms, developments, sporting victories and tragedies. We’ve seen droughts and we’ve...

Monday, June 4, 2018, 10:43 AM

Made-in-Rwanda: How will local brands protect their copyrights?

On Monday, renowned local designer Sonia Mugabo (of the ‘SM’ fashion brand) outted ‘House of Hippo’, a local clothing store, on Twitter and Facebook for using images from her Remera-based store to promote itself. “This is unacceptable. You don’t have the right...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016, 12:00 AM

The Catholic Church: When an apology isn’t an apology

“Even though the Church sent no body to do harm, we, the Catholic clerics in particular, apologise, again, for some of the Church members, clerics, people who dedicated themselves to serve God and Christians in general who played a role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi”. As...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 12:00 AM

The Trump Lesson: Information is the only buffer against those threatening everything we have built

So, the next president of the United States is the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. A Trump presidency wasn’t something many non-Americans were excited about; I mean, not only would he probably annul many of the international trade deals that opened the US markets to goods from developing...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 12:00 AM

When did PR become such a bad thing anyway?

Last week when I discussed the recent Economist article, ‘Look before you leap; The notion of leapfrogging poor infrastructure in Africa needs to come back down to earth’, I noticed that various commentators returned to a familiar trope; a narrative centered around the existence of...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 12:00 AM

Of course we look before we can leap, we aren’t stupid you know

‘Look before you leap”, was the sage advice that writers at The Economist gave us Africans. Never mind the fact that the very same writers called Africa ‘The Hopeless Continent’ in the year 2000 and then went straight the other way and called the very same continent ‘...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 12:00 AM

It could be worse: Rwanda vs France Part II

The classic 1993 movie ‘Groundhog Day’ is about a weatherman, played by Bill Murray, who is caught up in a time loop, reliving the same day over and over again. Well, forgive me for believing that we are living a kind of Groundhog Day ourselves, playing the same old game with Paris....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 12:00 AM

Stick to issues: The Kaepernick lesson

A few weeks ago tragedy hit another African-American family, this time in the outskirts of Tulsa, Oklahoma.In scenes that have been repeated too many times to count, unarmed Terence Crutcher, a 40-year old father, was shot dead by law enforcement officers after his car broke down on the highway....

Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 12:00 AM

Is the idea of a smart villager a pipe dream?

Let me share a dream with you all. A Rukomo farmer wakes up at the crack of dawn, switches on the light and unplugs his smartphone from the wall socket. As he is putting on his gum boots, he switches on the radio to listen to the early morning newscast. After a few minutes, he steps into the cold...

Thursday, September 15, 2016, 12:00 AM

If hawkers are embracing change, why aren't we all?

On Saturday I was invited by Nyarugenge District to attend the official launch of a new modern market in Nyabugogo. Unfortunately I was not able to attend the opening and this saddened me. Why? Simply because, in my opinion, the market project had the potential to not only change the way we...

Thursday, September 8, 2016, 12:00 AM

Rwanda's progress is the death knell of This Is Africa

It’s been months since I wrote a column and to be honest, I’ve sorely missed doing so. Since the last time I wrote in this publication, Rwanda has hosted two major summits (the AU and the World Economic Summit); two roundabouts magically appeared in Kacyiru and Kimihurura, and two five...

Thursday, September 1, 2016, 12:00 AM

Oh yes, cashless payments are regulated!

'Cashless payments'. What I’ve just written is perhaps the most boring sentence I’ve ever written in my decade-long career as a writer. However, to Evangeline Bikorimana, a tea farmer from Gicumbi District, cashless payments have literally lifted her from a cruel circle of poverty and...

Thursday, July 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

Defining who we are is the very foundation of the new Rwanda

On Thursday I will join about three hundred young Rwandans to debate a question that I feel is extremely pertinent, especially now that we are on the cusp of a major constitutional and political change. The question is, ‘What do you stand for’? I believe that before you can answer...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 12:00 AM

Banks have left us between a rock and a hard place

Normally I would be the last person to get into a debate about money and banking with the governor of the central bank, and former finance minister, John Rwangombwa.  I mean, he has the keys to the national treasury and I have the keys to, nothing really. However, the one thing that I do...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015, 12:00 AM

My advice to our young graduates, sell chapattis

“Sell chapattis”. That is advice that no varsity graduate wants to hear soon after being awarded, say, a first class degree in political science. But perhaps they should. Not because they don’t deserve swanky jobs in air-conditioned offices but rather because if they wait for...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 12:00 AM

Poverty rose by six per cent? You racists, tell that to the birds

It’s been a while since I railed against some foreign news organisation or another; and this has been on purpose. My thinking is, my reacting to something they broadcast will give them even more ‘airtime’. I’m from the ‘a dog may bark but the train keeps moving...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 12:00 AM

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