Time is such a great factor for it knows best how to tell between right and wrong; for people who took the risk and banked on Rwanda two decades ago, the arrival this week of ‘Ubumwe’ availed another opportunity to ‘cash-in’ on dividends of unity, dedicated leadership and hard work.
Welcome home ‘beast’!
You can be assured of love from across East Africa, for you are not only the first here but also, the only one we have, for now; your arrival was welcomed as a relief in Uganda and in Tanzania, you inspired new energy to revive the country’s ailing airline.
On the same day RwandAir’s 244-seater Airbus 330-200 touched down on East African soil, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli unveiled two new Canadian-made Bombardier-Dash Q400 planes for the region’s second largest economy’s national carrier, Air Tanzania.
The two planes are expected to fly to both local and regional destinations, according to President Magufuli who also revealed that his government has enough money to acquire two more 160 and 242-seater commercial aircraft for trans-Atlantic flights.
Clearly, Tanzania is being inspired by RwandAir’s aggressive but focused investment in an industry that is currently wobbly, especially given Kenya’s troubled national carrier and Uganda Airlines which has been in an ‘induced coma’ since June 2014 with no signs of quick recovery.
It must be so hard for Rwanda’s critics at home and abroad, to take in all these positive developments that harshly contradict their predictions of doom and failure.
In an imaginary call, I asked one of the critics what he thought of Rwanda’s new milestone, in the acquisition of Ubumbwe, with another one expected in the near future.
Me: Hello Buster, I just called to check on you, hope all is well over there.
Critic: Cut the crap mate, I am pretty sure what you want to talk to me about, I can sense your excitement. It is about the Airbus, no?
Me: Hahaha! So you have already heard about it. It’s understandable, after all the headlines on all major websites, but still, I am proud that you closely follow news about your country so closely, albeit with the wrong expectations.
Critic: Call it whatever you like but these debts you are accruing to buy expensive Airbuses shall come back to haunt all of you cheerleaders. If Kenya Airways is failing, what makes you think you will succeed?
Me: There you go again. Always casting doubt in your country’s efforts. But to answer your question, I am confident of Rwanda’s success because every time you have predicted doom on a project, you have always been disapproved by success. It has always been just a matter of time.
Critic: You borrowed to build the Convention Centre. You are borrowing to buy Airbuses. What else are you borrowing for by the way; you’re the one on ground?
Me: Think about this; who is lending Rwanda and why? Buster, no one lends you anything unless they believe in your capacity to repay. If Rwanda is borrowing, it means, unlike you, people have confidence in her ability to pay. By the way Buster, you owe me money, no?
Critic: Ken, look I really have to go. I am working the nightshift and it’s cold as a mortuary out here…I hope you guys haven’t mortgaged the sun’s warmth back home to buy the next Airbus.
Me: Relax and forget that I asked about my money, it is okay really. As for the sun, come back home Buster, no one chased you; Rwanda still has a warm spot for its prodigal children in exile, come we celebrate victories of peace and unity; fruits of efforts of our liberators.
Critic: Goodnight and thanks for the call…
Such is the life of a critic. Even for straight jacket victories of their countries, their mindsets are held hostage in that they are simply incapable of admitting defeat.
There is no doubt that Rwanda has her shortcomings. Just like any other country. But why does Rwanda keep shining in spite of those flaws? The answer is in this anecdote below.
One morning, a University Professor of Philosophy stunned his class when he announced an impromptu test; no one was ready for it. The test was a weird one too; a single plain paper handed out to each student. On the count of three, they turned its face up to see the questions.
A single dark dot in the middle of the white paper! Students were to discuss what they saw and what it meant. Thirty minutes later, it was review time. Everyone had failed but one student.
“Often times, we concentrate on the dark spots in our lives, our leaders, our friends and forget to see all the white around them, which often forms the bigger picture. The moral in this is that, if we put aside all our negative energy and closed our eyes to the tiny dark spot on the paper, we would be surprised by how much goodness/development there is, around us,” explained the student.
You may now interpret the anecdote in Rwanda’s context. If you’re outside Rwanda, learn to apply this to your country, teach your friends to do the same and watch for results. Well done Rwanda.