Green pine trees cover the environments of Club House La Pallise. Located in Nyandungu Kigali, it’s a place away from the busy city life yet conveniently accessible.
For those who choose to go there, every moment spent in La Pallise’s confines provides an irreplaceable quiet and peaceful memory.
Augustine Mukezangabo, 45 years old, is the owner of the place. Married with six children, he definitely reached his goal when he went into the business of building hotels.
Calm and down to earth, this business man tells of his first steps back in 2002, when he used his little savings and bought land in the area. In no time, he build a small restaurant and bar at Nyandungu.
He said his passion for nature was strong and he wanted to express it through his business.
“I have always loved nature; I love trees and gardens,” Mukezangabo said.
When asked why he loved these, he said, it was a passion that sprouted from travelling to different places outside the country.
“My love for travelling made me see how people in other countries made use of their natural vegetation and I wanted to do this in Rwanda,” he said.
Mukezangabo like many Rwandans has grown up from the Diaspora. He lived in Burundi during Rwanda’s difficult times. While there he worked for GTZ, a construction company and gained skill in road and house construction.
When he returned to Rwanda Mukezangabo said he saw a lot of, “frustration marked in the lives of many Rwandans and I wanted to change that.”
With nature in mind in 2006, he completely transformed the restaurant and bar into today’s Club House La Pallise. The place now provides accommodation for visitors, a children’s playground, semi- aerobic swimming pool, picnic ground, conference hall for wedding receptions and official meetings as well as food and drinks at a well stocked bar and restaurant.
Mukezangabo says it took time but it’s his passion for nature that ensued into what La Pallise is today.
“It all came slowly,” Mukezangabo said, adding that, “after I loved the success that came, last year I decided to buy and renovate an old hotel at Gashora beach.”
Gashora beach has become popular over the last year. Away from the busy city life, Club House La Pallise, Gashora has become the perfect get away for people who do not want to seat through the stretch of winding roads leading north to Gisenyi, west to Kibuye or Far East to Akagera for just one weekend.
“People love the place because it’s conducive; the road is good and just one hour away from Kigali,” the owner said.
Mukezangabo targeted to have a peaceful place rather than having a loud and crowded place.
Gashora Club House just like the one in Nyandungu provides a perfect garden with variety of beautiful flowers. Exclusive to Gashora is that while having this peaceful vacation away from the crazy city, people also have the option of going to the beach.
Appropriate is what marks Gashora; it has become a destination for families whose parents are busy and want to take their children to the beach, couples too have found refuge in this place.
Mukezangabo is visionary and has big plans for the future of his business. Rwanda joining the East African Community has opened a channel that he wants to explore—setting up other club houses across the region.
His years of experience in hotel management and recreation development, has inspired him towards establishing an institute in this field.
“This school will enable people and employers to gain training and experience in hotel management in order to give better services to customers,” he said.
With a variety of better services, the owner also hopes that Club House La Pallise, Nyandugu will gain a Star status.
Mukezangabo says his biggest fulfillment comes from realizing that there is hope and achievement in his dream coming true.
“I enjoy being peaceful with people and I feel hurt when I am not given peace,” he said.
According to Mukezangabo, their major challenge is enforcing recovery when clients refuse to pay after over consumption.
“Though we recover these debts, I would rather that clients first told us what they expect from us so that we can work it out properly,” he said.
Apart from work, Mukezangabo is a man who loves sports. He practices various sporting activities ranging from swimming, jogging and karate.
Mukezangabo’s hope for 2010 is that all Rwandans, “take part in the development of their country and I encourage people to vote and I wish everyone peaceful elections.”