Adieu to Entertainment in Kigali?

The entertainment industry in Rwanda is nascent, as seen with the emerging establishments across the country, catering to people’s entertainment and hospitality needs.
Diana Mpyisi
Diana Mpyisi

The entertainment industry in Rwanda is nascent, as seen with the emerging establishments across the country, catering to people’s entertainment and hospitality needs.

Ranging from night clubs and lounges to resorts out of Kigali, the country is gradually building a decent profile regarding its entertainment spots.

It is a far cry from what it was just five years ago, where friends visiting from neighbouring cities would constantly complain at barren landscape of entertainment in Kigali.

Today, visitors have an array of locations to hang out at after working hours, and hosting friends from abroad or the region is not a mind-racking task as it was before.

That is why I cannot fathom the recent spate of announcements regarding entertainment limitations from the Kigali City Council and the district of Gasabo.

From the ban on entertainment activities going on past midnight during the festive season to the 11 p.m., curfew put on every restaurant, lounge and bar in Gasabo district –  I am sure I am one of many residents who are perplexed by these directives.

It doesn’t make it less confusing when these announcements are then rescinded immediately after. My question is what exactly is the logic behind these directives?

The common answer is that these decisions are made as security measures, but surely there must be alternative ways that do not affect the business of these establishments? Perhaps a more consultative process would yield more concrete measures understood and supported by the general public?

In as much as the directive to limit entertainment hours during the festive season was rescinded, the fact that such a decision, in the first place, was taken without consultations with the relevant stakeholders, just doesn’t sit well with many Kigali residents.

Entertainment is an integral aspect of social cohesion and directives issued in this industry do have a major impact on people and businesses.

Imagine a business deal being negotiated in a restaurant, which is finally sealed after hours of wining and dining, say at 1 a.m.

On a Monday, may I add. Say this particular business deal contributes in its own small way to the Rwandan economy, which has been growing at a healthy rate, 7.5 percent in 2010, two percent higher than the East African Community and even more than Sub Saharan Africa. How would all this be possible if there were limitations on the very environment to facilitate this?

I am sure that the reasons behind these recent announcements are valid, but a clearer communication process to the public would lessen confusion and be reflective of a city council that is clearly understood to promote the interests of its residents.

deempyisi@googlemail.com

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