A youth’s perspective of “agaciro”
Just like millions of Rwandans around the globe, I looked forward to President Kagame’s visit to France. I had a feeling that this historical visit which is going to mark the beginning of a major chapter in the history books of both countries.
I followed the preparations closely through both the local and the international media outlets. Facebook is one of those media outlets that I use to follow events.
My friends in Europe were happy that after the President visiting Chicago, they would also get a chance of seeing him.
On that day, twitter and Facebook were some of the busiest internet sites as we exchanged messages on the “progie” of the month.
My friends kept on telling me of how they are going to host the President who has been a real inspiration to millions of youth around the globe. These millions are not only Rwandans but youth from different walks of life who have held him as a symbol of the New Africa.
However, as millions of Rwandan Youth were eagerly waiting for President Kagame’s long visit to France, there were also those who were busy using the internet for other reasons!
This group of young people under the name “Rwandan Youth for Change” kept on mobilizing youth from Europe to go and demonstrate on the streets! This brought to mind the big question, ‘Where is the gaciro here?
Do these people have any kind of national pride? Where is the patriotism here?’
I spent hours on Facebook, twitter and blog sites debating with these misguided youth who actually seemed not to know what they were saying.
The other funny thing is that there is nothing new they were saying because all that they were saying is not new and the evidence they presented to support their cases is also not new!
The other thing I noticed is that what these youth were saying is something that they have been told or heard on air. This forced me to write something about agaciro (value) which has become more like a necklace every Rwandan wears!
We the youth of Rwanda have come to learn what our country went through.
As President Kagame always acknowledges, that Rwanda has its own share of challenges just like any other country including, those that these youth pride in.
However what makes the differences is the determination of the Rwandan people to solve these problems. The strides of the Rwandan people should be appreciated rather than one going on the internet and writing what they do not know about.
It is 17 years down the road after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and the development steps Rwanda has achieved cannot be matched my many countries in the region.
The role of youth in national building cannot be ignored! However, this could not have been possible without the support of the government.
This government has provided a conducive environment for us to develop both as individuals and as a major component of this nation thus the gaciro that we give ourselves.
This clearly explains why thousands of young Rwandans turned up in Chicago to welcome President Kagame. The value he has always encouraged us to have has been the motivation behind our success. It has led many youth to believe in their hopes and dreams.
Going on the internet to spread lies is a testimony of ignorance. However, it’s never too late to learn; ask and you will know the truth.
Many elderly people especially politicians have used young people to advance their selfish interests and probably, these misguided youth, could be victims; but by giving yourself agaciro, you could walk in the right direction.
Rwanda will continue growing because the youth are the future of this nation and they appreciate the strides that are being taken to build—they are willing to play a very big positive role.
The Author is the Regional Youth Caucus Representative for Rwanda in the Commonwealth and the Founder of Innovative Partners’ Rwanda; a Youth Development firm.