Residents of Kigali should pat themselves on the shoulders! Who ever thought there would ever be a polythene bag-rubbish- free-Kigali street?
When I think of Kigali city years back and compare it with Kigali today, I can’t help but pat myself on the shoulder for a job well done! Though, I must admit with embarrassment, I am one of the many residents who started cleaning my area and picking up used polythene-bags grudgingly.
When they banned polythene bags, I spent weeks without a smile. I also hated umuganda with passion!
Now here I am like a newly converted Christian confessing my past sins. I have never been proud of this city like am today! When friends or relatives who live abroad suggest I go and visit them, I strongly suggest they come over instead (so that I can show-off!)
Those who come from African countries apart from the cleanliness of the city, their eyes can’t escape seeing how our taxi-motos carry only one passenger at ago, who is also well protected with a safety helmet!
Where are the hawkers, street vendors & pick-pockets they usually ask?
Back to me, what really broke down my I-wont-do-the-umuganda attitude, was seeing live on TV, his Excellency the president, government ministers and big army officers armed with hoes and spades fighting soil erosion, it’s a picture I will never forget! Now I believe you can convert many by actions than words!
I didn’t only join the umuganda, I also started preaching the good news of umuganda to all my friends and neighbors, and of course I use the same method I copied from the big men. And it works miracles. I feel more a responsible citizen than ever! I am proud of my city and country at large!
When I see the tremendous visible transformation of this city, am not ashamed to pat myself on the shoulder, I give credit to our leaders who steered us in the right direction and tirelessly gave us a much needed shove in the ribs to start us up, hurrah also to us the good citizens.
Now we can navigate the wave without a creased forehead! When a foreigner asks about the cleanliness of the city, with a huge smile, I tell them to have a seat and I narrate from day one.