We need a Rwandan Michelin Guide

I have just watched Rwanda lose to England in its maiden match in a FIFA world championship. While disappointing, there is no shame in losing 2-0 to the U-17 European champions. Hopefully, our Junior Wasps will be able to fine-tune their striking force in time for Uruguay and Canada.

I have just watched Rwanda lose to England in its maiden match in a FIFA world championship. While disappointing, there is no shame in losing 2-0 to the U-17 European champions.

Hopefully, our Junior Wasps will be able to fine-tune their striking force in time for Uruguay and Canada.

They have to understand that our friends in Congo Brazzaville are already crowing about beating the Netherlands, we cannot have them lording it over us for the next four years.

It is true that a successful team brings national pride but even more importantly, it gives its fans bragging rights. Dear Junior Wasps please do your best to ensure that we can lord it over the guys in Brazzaville.

In the past, I have been critical of the labour law’s provisions on maternity leave and pay, wondering how a woman dominated Parliament could regress the rights of pregnant women.

Last week, this paper carried a story on how consultations on a law on a maternity fund were close to completion.

Under the new law, women would receive their full salary during their maternity leave. Proper comment on this law should be reserved until its enactment but in the interest of fairness, I thought this would be a good time to mention that it’s under discussion and that our women in the Parliament are doing something to improve the lot of pregnant women.

This doesn’t excuse the provisions of the labour law but at least something is being done to rectify things.

All roads led to Kinigi last Saturday as children [or really short people?] in gorilla suits played infant mountain gorillas. It was the annual Kwita Izina ceremony where gorillas born in the last year get named.
 
For obvious reasons, it’s impossible to have baby gorillas physically present for the naming ceremony, gorilla families defend their children to the death, and so we were left with limpid representations of the baby gorillas.
 
Kwita Izina brings much needed attention and sometimes funding to conservation of mountain gorillas on top of advertising Rwanda as a destination. My only issue with it is that it is too formal and that there must be some way to make it more TV friendly.

One is more likely to watch the Pamplona Bull Run with horrified fascination rather than the Kwita Izina even if the former only involves daredevils risking death and injury by outrunning bulls just for laughs.
 
For the sake of conservation and tourism, there has to be some way to throw some razzmatazz into the ceremony.

That said, I will be the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea how this can be done. And no, outrunning gorillas in their own habitat is not an option.

Time and again, we have heard about the poor quality of customer care in Rwanda. Things have improved somehow over the years but much remains to be done. I have hit upon a solution that will force business to step up their game – the Rwandan version of the Michelin Guide.

The Michelin Guide is a guidebook that reviews hotels and restaurants in various countries in Europe and North America and rates them. A higher rating is a cause for celebration for any establishment, so high are their standards.

Starting next month, I will begin my own version of this guide [suggestions for a name are welcome] and review any place I go to. Fortunately for Rwandan establishments, due to years of indifferent service my standards are much lower than those set by Michelin, so it will not be too hard to impress.

Also, I don’t think it will have much of a following.

The bad news is that it will be in blog form, which means that any disgruntled reader will be able post his/her comments.

That is until somebody with higher standards and much more time to review as many places as possible decides to create a more professional review.

The guide may not be a magical solution to bad service but at least readers will know which places to avoid.

okabatende@gmail.com

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