Jean-Marie Vianney Gatabazi is a committed leader and family man all in one. He is a member of parliament representing RPF and hails from Gicumbi District in Northern Province and has held very many leadership posts in various sectors.
He is very passionate about the development of the country especially promotion of equal rights amongst citizens. In an interview with Sunday Times’ Sharon Kantengwa, the 47-year-old talks about the recent HeForShe campaign and its importance in the promotion of equal rights.
Tell us about yourself
I was born on 18th August 1968 in Makarange, Gicumbi District. I had my education at Mulindi Primary School, EAV Kabutare for my secondary. I hold a BBA in Management and MBA in Strategic Management from Mount Kenya University. I am married and blessed with 4 children.
What inspired you to join politics?
After the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, my dream was to see a transformed country, whose leadership brings about equality amongst the people. I wanted to see people enjoy equal rights.
I felt committed to join politics so that I could represent fellow citizens and I’m glad they appreciated my efforts. I was inspired by President Paul Kagame through his speeches, the late Deogratias Kayumba and the late Aloysie Inyumba, who mentored me, as well as RPF members who instilled discipline, hard work and commitment in me.
What is your take on the ongoing HeforShe campaign?
Ever since I was elected as the vice chairperson, National Youth Council, I had the opportunity to train different meetings of youth and women on gender issues and encouraged women to believe in themselves and get involved in leadership positions.
As Member of Parliament, I had time to learn and participate in the implementation of the new laws that gives women gender balance though it was not an easy thing to convince the MPs. I have been involved in various debates in RPF concerning gender issues and also had the opportunity to participate in the implementation of the Beijing resolutions. I also make sure that there is equality at home and I proudly emphasise it at home.
The HeForShe campaign is good for us Rwandans because it promotes equal rights. I urge all men to get involved because not only does it promote equal rights but also helps bring about a peaceful home and environment. It is a campaign that benefits all of us.
What is your philosophy in life?
I believe that development is possible and that people’s will and hard work can help transform people’s lives. I never want to disappoint my people and leaders and I believe in criticism as long as it helps me improve.
Your message to the youth who aspire to become leaders
They need to know that this country has come a long way and has great value which cost us hard work and time.
For this reason, they should have a spirit of patriotism and the core values will help sustain what we have already achieved.
The country’s great ideology, solidarity and security will develop it and fight whoever wants to take us back. They should derive inspiration and wisdom from their leaders, and build the spirit of togetherness and trust, and their dreams will eventually come true.