As light-hearted as the event may have been, it is a very serious bit of politicking that, when used towards thoughtful and appropriate ends, can inspire a country.
It’s easy to get carried away, but the elements of leadership coupled with community are alive and well in Rwanda. That the country already has a monthly national day of work (Umuganda) not only physically builds the country, but it gives it a psychological boost as well.
But citizens will almost always be as good as their leaders, and certainly that is the case for a country as a whole.
The marriage of publicity and fundraising events such as last weekend’s car wash with mass community development can do a lot more than simply clean up the streets; it can make people believe. Imagine ministers not washing cars, but picking up garbage collected in streets. Maybe not as much fun, but certainly important. So it will be better when more such fundraising functions are organized so that our big shots, veterans of refugee camps some of them, remind themselves and one another that it is possible to transform from grass to glory by dint of hard work.
Citizens love to see a giving back; but they also love seeing a good story of bigwigs getting in the muck, and paying for it. It also helps to dispel the myth about leaders who can never do a physical thing when they have others at their beck and call. Our leaders were shown to advantage in this car-washing exercise.
This is where praise must be given to the organisers of the event, the alumni of Maryhill Girls School, for coming up with a brilliant fundraising idea.