“We want to make the kind of progress that will make Rwanda unrecognizable to those who define us by our tragic history. The future we are building is the future Rwandans deserve.”- Paul Kagame.
Over the past few weeks, great anticipation and celebration has graced the campaign rallies across every sector of the country. With a close to perfect ecstatic atmosphere of chants, slogans and electric presence at all the rallies held by and for the Chairman of the RPF- Rwanda Patriotic Front (@rpfinkotanyi) H.E Paul Kagame, inspiration reigned with a wealth of stellar statements and quotes for motivation.
A tiny portion of the mother-of-all-rallies. A humongous crowd showed up in Bumbogo, Gasabo District's final RPF rally on August 2nd, 2017- Day 15, the final campaign day.
There has never been such an experience on the Africa continent, and this could possibly be by far top on the nationalistic list as compared to other rallies on the continent and elsewhere as held by Nelson Mandela, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks among others, who stood for what’s right. The difference is that while others suffered violence in their rallies--amidst protests-- in Rwanda the opposite is true. While the world watched and waited for a disablement of peace in the form of violent protests, chaos and insecurity, they got, a party of celebration, inspiration, motivation, cheerful unity as the Rwandan people gathered in the hundred of thousands to listen, cheer and celebrate the achievements of the country.
A Kid waves as he stands out of the crowd in joyful giggles.
There is no greater joy than the witness of a people who are aligned to the vision of a prosperous, united and democratic Rwanda. While there were other rallies, of the other candidates, they were hardly a sight as compared to the carnival of celebration that the RPF rallies were. This says a lot about why and what the people of Rwanda are looking forward to as they merge their effort, ideas, creativeness, innovation, commitment and hardwork toward the transformative experience of living, serving and building a country under the leadership of H.E Paul Kagame.
While other nations that go through the election period are characterised by a bunch of angry, discontent and ungrateful youths and unhappy citizens, Rwandans have showed that they do not have to stick to the status-quo of violence, discontentment and bloodshed. They have chosen the path of hard work, peace, humanity, unity and celebration as the choice of the voice they use to decide their future. This can be attributed to the great leadership style that they have experienced post 1994. The younger and older generations alike have chosen not to be defined by the tragic history of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and the failed-state expectation that the western democratic systems had wrongly predicted.
The voting day, August the 4th of 2017, marks History as the the first time that the post-genocide generation gets to vote. Well organised and vibrant polling stations were quite a sight in some sectors. There has never been such joy seen on the faces of voters, old and youthful alike. I doubt that there has ever been such a creative and positive outlook on Elections elsewhere.
This was a time for people to unveil their talent, ranging from the #MadeInRwanda fashion labels, to the interior/ exterior decor creatives, musicians, as well as the technical and event organisers who kept every venue on point. In my opinion, this approach to elections, is one way that the stereotypical narrative on Africa has been dismantled.
The #RwandaDecides election, is most likely the most peaceful election on the continent and the world over. This is reason to celebrate the leadership that we have and that brings to life a new era of peaceful democracy in Africa. Arriving at such a place certainly comes with a lot of understanding of what matters for the greater good of the people.
Smiles all the way. The First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame alongside Chairman Paul Kagame, and on the sidelines is the RPF Vice Chairman, Christophe Bazivamo, among other important persons.
No matter what the critics are saying in their slurs towards the #RwandaWeWant, the determined people of Rwanda are on the move to a better next season under the leadership of H.E Paul Kagame. There can never be a deterrent statement by trolls that can convince me otherwise, that Rwanda is neither a democracy nor that Rwandans are voiceless. It is through considering other people as important irrespective of their differences, that Agaciro lives in and through the hearts of Rwandans.
All photos: @rpfinkotanyi