Eric Niyomugabo is a shop attendant who sells Christmas trees and ornaments at Halleluiah Shop—a shop in Kigali town. He said this has become a routine every festive season.
The prices of Christmas tress range from Rwf1000 to Rwf15,000 depending on the size of the tree.
“Since we don’t import the trees, we buy them at a wholesale price from most Chinese boutiques. They are sold in bulk and that’s why it’s hard for local retailers to access them hence we become the middle men,” Niyomugabo said.
As a way of simplifying importation, trees are packed in sections making it easy for clients to assemble. This assembling exercise however requires experience—a service that Niyomugabo said has to be paid for.
Christmas trees are sold when fully decorated at a higher price otherwise ornaments can be bought separately at prices as low as Rwf500.
Niyomugabo was born in Butare Town, in Huye District (Southern Psrovince) on December 5, 1986. He attended Buhimba Primary School, St. John Bosco Secondary School for his O’ Level education before he enrolled at Groupe Scolaire de Bigugu, in Nyaruguru District (Southern Province) for his A’ Level studies.
“I’m a third-year student at the National University of Rwanda (NUR), pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Economics. Selling different commodities during the holidays is something I have done for a long time since my family runs the business,” Niyomugabo said.
While describing the shopping mood, Niyomugabo said that, “Parents are forced to buy the trees every time they pass by our shop because their children are mesmerized by the decorations, the lights and the tiny Christmas fathers that are decorated on the trees.”
Niyomugabo said he sells 10 to 15 trees each day especially in the evenings when people are going back home.
“Some make their orders and book trees in the mornings, and pick them later in the evening since they can’t take the trees to their work places.
“However, the number of consumers increases on Christmas Eve since most Rwandans start feeling the Christmas mood three days to Christmas as compared to other places where the mood kicks off at the beginning of December,” Niyomugabo said.
The purchase of Christmas trees and decorations is an act that is gradually being embraced in the Rwandan society.
On a lighter, note Niyomugabo is still single and searching. He plainly describes the nature of his dream woman.
“She has to be tall since I’m short and yet I need to have tall children. Regarding physical attraction, she should be light skinned, stylish and cool,” Niyomugabo emphasized.
Dish: - Salads
Clour: - Blue
Sport: - Football
Football team: - Rayon Sport (local) and Manchester United (International).
Soccer player: - Christian Ronaldo
Music: - Hip Hop
Artist: - Lil Wayne