Refer to Joseph Rwagatare’s article, “Kagame’s legacy and mindset change” (The New Times, November 18).
Rwandans, in our great majority, fully concur with the underlying truth of what Mr. Rwagatare has described so well: President Paul Kagame has an exceptional knack of finding the exact means of motivating us, of reinforcing our sense of self-worth and fortifying our belief in our own individual and collective capabilities as the primary (and even sole) agents in our own rebirth and prosperity.
As a result, Rwandans recognise that while nobody owes us anything, we are not answerable to anybody else other than to ourselves when it comes to the fundamentals of governance and development.
Yes, we inhabit an interconnected world where we should collaborate on issues of common concern and that might help all of us advance economically, socially and culturally, but within our 26 thousand square kilometres, the close-to-12-million Rwandans are sovereign and decide what we want to do, where we want to go and how we will get there.
And President Kagame has played the most indispensable role in our recovering this sense of national consciousness, in seeding and growing our feelings of self-confidence, in helping us to recognise the need to wean ourselves from dependence if we are to be truly independent as a nation, and to look to the future with self-assurance rather than the trepidation of yore.
We are also aware that there are many near and far from our modestly-sized territory for which this rekindled sense of nationhood and self-assertiveness does not fill with pleasure—people who think that we, as a nation, should return to the many years of docility and fawning subservience that became our lot with the advent in our lands of the colonialist and his clerical allies.
To these kinds of people—both Rwandan quislings and their foreign masters—President Kagame represents an undesirable rampart against their wishes to return us to docility.
Rwandans in their great majority recognise this basic reality as the underlying reason for the extraordinary level of pathological hatred many of those people hold for both our President and today’s Rwanda.
And the more rabid their hatred grows and they voice it, the more we know we are on the right track, and the more we unite around our President.
This is a very great article that highlights in full version the essential of Paul Kagame, a man of the century, and a true revolutionary who not only changed the mindset of his people but that of the region as well. The world will learn a lot from President Kagame’s wit and wisdom. He’s a nation builder.
If you want to know what this great man means to Rwanda, look at the people and how they feel about him.
The sheer, genuine, exhilaration that greets Kagame when he appears at a mass meeting upcountry or a smaller gathering in a hotel in Kigali is something not many leaders today have ever experienced.
And that’s just the surface—beneath that is the real thing—admiration, trust and gratitude to a true statesman and a true African hero.
President Kagame, you have more than made your mark on history and in the hearts of Rwandans and Africans.