Profile: Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza

Dr. Joseph Nkurunziza a.k.a Lyarasa (literally meaning sun set) is a Physician as well as the Executive Director  of Never Again a civil society organization and also the core founder and chairperson of Healthy Development Initiative, a Non-Government Organization (NGO) that works towards improving health care in the communities.

As a result of his outstanding achievements in society he was awarded as ‘The Youngest Outstanding Persons of the World’ by the Junior Chambers International.

He was born on August 10th, 1978 to Mr. Peter Nkurunziza and late Margret Nkurunziza in Kenya although he was raised in Uganda before he moved back to Rwanda after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

“I attended Sakawa Primary School in Kenya then sat both O’Level and A’level at former Rwanda International Academy before joining the National University of Rwanda to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Medicine,” Nkurunziza said.

When asked how he is able to balance his work as a physician and dealing with the day to day activities of the civil society, he said: “I get to write down in my diary  a to-do list for the day’s schedule so that I don’t keep everything in my head because I would end up forgetting or be stressed.

I make sure I  tick whatever I have accomplished, however, anything I fail to accomplish that day, I shift it to the next day although I respect time above all things.

In recognition for his extraordinary work in improving health access in remote areas through the Health Development Initiative and human rights awareness, Dr. Nkuruziza was selected by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) an organization with young entrepreneurs with offices in over 110 countries.

The participants had to be 18 to 40 years of age, they had to submit in their profiles with what they have achieved, and then JCI nominates. Two people were selected to represent Rwanda amongst the 30 people that were nominated.

Dr. Nkurunziza was transcended to the next level and out of the 30 nominees, 10 were awarded including him.

“It was a great achievement for my Country alongside the colleagues I work with since without them it would be unachievable. This shows that besides the history we have, we are able to be recognized for positive characteristics. It’s a challenge to us since we have to change our Country from the past to a brighter perspective.

According to statistics, 67percent of the population is made up of youth thus the future lies in our hands hence it motivates me to work hard in matters concerning the Nations building than laying back.

Winning the award was inspirational and has made me get more courage to take an extra mile in what I do. For instance; the need to mentor my peers; I advise them that in what they do whether small or big, it’s important as long as it has a positive impact on society. That is all that matters rather than indulging in nonproductive ventures such as drug use and alcoholism,” Dr. Nkuruziza said.

Besides being active in the civil society, Dr.Nkurunziza is a family man.

“I’m married to Betty Mutesi and we are blessed with a son Josh Lyarasa and daughter Joana Tesi,” Dr. Nkurunziza said.

His favorites

Dish: - Posho and Chicken
Music: - Reggae
Artist: - The late Lucky Dube
Sport: - Netball although in Rwanda I have  never seen women playing the game.
Car: - BMW
Colour: - Pink
Quote: - “You should be the change that you want to see in society” by Mahatma Gandhi