Explorers have always spoken about the mystical and magical powers of the source of the Nile, and albeit that in the mid-1800’s it was an acceptable fact that Lake Victoria was that source, others pushed further into the Heart of Africa stating that one of the tributaries could qualify as the actual source of the Nile. One such tributary is found in the impenetrable Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. Maybe explorers knew something we did not, because Rwanda most certainly has mystical powers of rejuvenation.
Possibly because this country has seen the pain of hatred that arose during the 1994 genocide attacks between neighbours, the Hutus and the Tutsi. A devastating period that not only destroyed people’s psyche but also the economy.
But this is where they have become so remarkable, how this country in such a short period of time managed to rebuild itself, to reconcile and truly forgive. How even though it is a poor country, it has consistently been part of the top 5 countries with the fastest growing economies of Africa. How the country prides itself on being safe and clean. They even have a word for it “Umuganda”, which in Kinyarwanda [the local language] means “coming together in common purpose”. In 2009, the government instituted Umuganda and every last Saturday of every month, from 08:00 – 11:00, everyone from the ages of 18-65…and I mean everyone including the ministers and the President himself need to clean, fix, build and do their bit for the community.
In Kigali, they have implemented no driving days on the first and third Sunday of every month, to reduce fuel emissions. In 2019 they banned single use plastics. They are setting the standard in politics and have one of the highest percentages of women in power [60%]. They even have drones that fly “blood” to remote emergency sites. All that and … add some of the best coffee in the world and mountain gorillas, and you will understand why Rwanda is magical!