We are our own worst enemies

Vision 2020…it seems that I hear someone refer to it almost every day. It’s become an axiom that denotes everything from a fancy car to a nice restaurant. In fact, there is a rather small and a tad bit shady bar called Vision 2020 right here in Kacyiru. It seems that we’ve forgotten what Vision 2020 is really about.

Vision 2020…it seems that I hear someone refer to it almost every day. It’s become an axiom that denotes everything from a fancy car to a nice restaurant.

In fact, there is a rather small and a tad bit shady bar called Vision 2020 right here in Kacyiru. It seems that we’ve forgotten what Vision 2020 is really about.

It shouldn’t be seen as a document that the smart wonks in the Ministry of Finance thought up or something that concerns the national leadership.

Rather it should be seen as a document that is an expression of the collective ‘Rwandan Dream’. And when I say the Rwandan Dream I don’t mean that Vision 2020 is a document full of ‘Inzozi’- which, if I know my Kinyarwanda, are unattainable things; something like desert mirages.

No, the Vision 2020 is a document that should give us a real goal to aim at. I think the problem is that while Vision 2020, as a document, has been well marketed by the powers that be… it hasn’t really made sense to Rwandans.

What I mean is that, instead of thinking in terms of GDP and per-capita growth, maybe we should break it (the Vision) down into a single idea that is easily digestible.

Let’s work harder!  That is the silver bullet. While everyone, and his dog, has said that already, maybe we Rwandans haven’t internalised that slogan yet.

Work ethic. That’s an interesting statement. I know someone who has the quintessential 8am -5pm job. He does his assignments, make sure that he’s done everything that his bosses want done, and at 5pm sharp, he bolts out of the office.

And he believes that what he was does is correct and proper. After all, he reasons, it’s not as if he works for his father, mother, family or himself. His job was, and is, to create wealth for some faceless individuals that owned by company.

That, my friends, was his mentality to work. In other words, he does just enough to get by and not an iota more. I have a good friend who’s nothing like me.

She’s driven, self-motivated and workaholic. She carries work home, works on weekends and, here is the weird part, she doesn’t find that odd at all. She hates sitting at home all day.

She wants to be doing something; anything at all. In fact at this moment she’s attempting to make me go trekking in Nyungwe National Park.

One of my friends is Rwandan and the other is American. Can you guess which one, of the two friends I’ve mentioned, is Rwandan? I’m sure everyone reading this article surely can.

And that fact that we can be some unambiguous about this decision is a black mark on us as a people. Why can’t we be the ones who refuse to sit still and do nothing? Would we be unredeemably shattered if we pushed just that much harder?

We probably won’t be able to hit the heights of the Vision 2020, which aims at getting our annual per capita income to a ‘hefty’ 900 dollars.

Why, because we, salaried workers, do just enough not to get censored by the higher ups. It’s because our businessmen and women close shop religiously at seven every evening and then go home- and don’t work weekends.

It’s because farmers work from dawn to nine in the morning and then spend the rest of the day drinking ‘Urugwaga’. I’m sorry, but it’s not because we have a high birthrate, have failed to attract Foreign Direct Investment, have a deficit of arable land, landlocked or victims of the global financial downturn.

It’s simply because we don’t push ourselves; we are satisfied with mere mediocrity. I’ve made my choice, I’ll work harder and play harder. Is anyone else with me?

sunnyntayombya@newtimes.co.rw

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