Kabanda’s musings: Threatened armistice

When Datiliva and I first stayed together we were worlds apart in terms of mannerisms! She squeezed the toothpaste tube in the middle so I squeezed it from the top, which sent her into fits of anger.

When Datiliva and I first stayed together we were worlds apart in terms of mannerisms! She squeezed the toothpaste tube in the middle so I squeezed it from the top, which sent her into fits of anger.

She talked nonstop during mealtime so I stirred sugar in my tea  to the extent that the spoon and cup went cling…cling …like a bicycle bell until she stopped talking.

She liked dressing in a multilayered nightdress; I left mine in the corridors. She prayed for ages before meals, so I would start eating before she had started praying.

She said I was uncivilized because I held the knife with my left and the fork with right hand (I am left handed) so I washed my hands and ate like a true son of an African.

She liked watching Oprah shows on TV; I watched wrestling which made her cry saying those people are so violent; so I slept all the time she watched TV.

When she said I should stop taking my unwashed socks to the bedroom I pointed out that her night dress was more unwanted there.

She listened to the same gospel recordings; I wanted to blast something from Snoop or 50 Cent. Every Saturday she wanted to visit someone who had given birth (as if to prove I was not man enough), I preferred reading the papers.

We disagreed over the tiny things until they seemed to magnify and appeared big, so we had peace talks and consequently an armistice (ok it was a detente) and among the other terms of the détente was the urgent need to avoid what the other partner dislikes.

One of my dislikes is her arguments all the time but my Dearest Datiliva seems not have the powers to stop. I do not want to go against the terms of our Armistice and in order to avoid her arguing I harbour at a small Bar and by the time I go home she has expended all the energy doing her chores she has none to nag me.

But once in a while she could find me there but ever since she started her studies at one University in Kigali she has found me there every day.

My Dearest has argued with me on all Economic theories someone lectures at the University. She said unlike other students who hire mercenaries from senior classes she writes her tests and exams and excels after arguing with me. This made me proud.

The other day she came and found me at the watering hole ready for another showdown but I was in no mood for arguments.

Nonetheless she provoked me for half an hour until Bonane the entrepreneur among the patrons itching for a chance to prove his superiority in economics jumped in uninvited like all people who go to bars.

What is the best way to ameliorate the effects of the current economic downturn on Rwanda? Datiliva argued that according to proven economics the government should reduce taxes on certain consumables in Rwanda so as to stimulate demand as with reduced prices people will by more which will drive up demand and increased supply will follow which in turn will increase the volume of taxes.

Bonane caressing his ballooned belly said that what Rwanda needs is more entrepreneurs, period.

”Who will buy what your entrepreneurs will produce if the economies of powerful nations are in crisis”? asked my dearest.

“The employees, their families and their neighbours” said Bonane casually, “that is the source of the wealth of nations.

Any one that adds value to nature’s handiwork creates and distributes wealth and cushions the economy against world economic shocks. Economic growth should be home-grown”  “Where will people get money to become entrepreneurs” someone asked.

“If all people had diamonds then they would have no value” said Bonane, “people are successful because they do what others cannot or do not do. But, the government can make it easy for people to become entrepreneurs so they can be taxed without it being seen to be ‘socialist’. ”

Datiliva shot back by reminding Bonane that Rwandans generally lack initiative because there is CAPMER and KIST Business Incubation Centre where people can access seed money for their chosen project proposals.

“I may not know about KIST which sounds like a Students’ affair but what is Cup men?” said another patron. Datiliva explained but no one could agree with her that the said thing was in Rwanda or that it ever serves Rwandans unless it operates at night.

“The major hindrance to entrepreneurship in Rwanda is the high interest rates; when one borrows at a high interest rate the chances of defaulting are high” said Bonane. 

“How can you say people do not have access to credit when houses are going up all over Kigali” said Datiliva. 

“Every residential house you see going up is a potential enterprise sinking the soil for a family to occupy. Rwandans need to be encouraged to become entrepreneurs than home owners despite the perceived security of owning a home because the returns to investments tare otally different”, said Bonane. 

Mbarushimana who had kept quiet interjected and wondered if Bonane wanted to dispute the wisdom of Economic gurus who had decided to build “skyscrapers” in Kigali.

“They are building a 19 story building in Kigali” he said.

Bonane smiled and said those were a hundred and ninety enterprises piled on top of one another.

“Can anyone imagine medium enterprises like bakeries, hides and skins tanneries, confectionary medium sized enterprises, tailoring shops, tapestries, food packing and processing and soft drinks enterprises; one hundred and ninety small and medium enterprises piled spread all over the country? Imagine the synergies, the employment possibilities, the taxes, the social security and of course the personal development of Rwandans”.

It is the only time I saw Datiliva silenced but immediately we reached home she attacked with a barrage of argument which is threatening our armistice, sorry détente.