Life is not supposed to be Fair: Suck it up and rise up to your challenges.


This year, I am turning 28 years old. Born and raised in Rwanda, a beautiful country in the East-African region. Every year, I do find myself reflecting on my life. During my time here on earth, I lived and survived harsh life in refugee camps. The majority of my teenage years, for 7–10 years total, I survived living on less than one dollar a day. The truth is I never thought I would make it this far. Life can be very unpredictable. From the beginning, I missed out on the so-called “lottery of birth”. Being born in Rwanda, in early 1990’s was not a good time a young kid would have chosen to be born.

At 4 years old, there was a terrible genocide in my country that claimed 1 in every 7 people in the country. My family escaped and lived in DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) for 3-years.  At 7 years old, at the peak of the war in my country, my dad was shot dead in front of me and my siblings. From there on, my life became tough, but I hustled and rose my way out of extreme poverty together with my family ( Mom, brother, and sister); thanks to education, hard work, luck, and determination.

This is my family photo in 1998. The only one we have left together as a family ( Myself on the right, brother, sister, and mom). All other souvenirs prior to that were lost during the turmoil period in my country.

Our only family photo prior to the year 1998.

Fast forward this December 2017, this is our family photo this past Sunday in the peaceful new Rwanda! We decided to take the same photo as we did 20 years ago. We are very thankful for our lives. I am an engineer, my sister and brother are both registered nurses, saving people’s lives and taking care of our mom, co-founder, and CEO of our family.

Today, we have no complaints. Life is so much better than it is used to be back then.

My country is peaceful, prosperous, and I am so proud to be Rwandan.

Hometown pride, Kigali, Rwanda


Rwanda Today. This is my hometown and the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali.

Below are my best Lessons Learned so far:

  1. Life is NOT and will never be fair.
    Whatever life situations you find yourself in, do your best to rise upon your challenges without making too many excuses. It starts with where you are born. The so-called lottery of birth. Do you think it is fair to be born in Aleppo, Syria right now with missiles and bombs flying around your head? or Some kid getting born from wealthy parents versus others from poor families?
  2. Depend on and trust yourself only.
    Never rely ( heavily) on your friends or family too much. In every aspect of your life, you can control yourself and yourself only. Friends and family might and will change over time. If you want to control your destiny, you will have to rely on yourself, and not others.
  3. Love and cherish your life. Life is a gift.
    At any time, you can die. Accidents, diseases, wars, and conflicts take people’s lives every day. Never take your life for granted. Cherish every moment you have with your family and friends. Once you are gone, they will mourn your life for a few weeks, maybe months, but after some time, they will all move on by their busy lives. Few will still remember you after a year.
  4. Always be thankful for what you have. No matter how much little you have, there is always somebody wishing they had what you have. No matter how bad your situation, there is always somebody in worse conditions than you.
  5. Never complain or make excuses. Complaining is a recipe for a disaster and personal mediocrity. Be accountable for your actions.
  6. Professionally, nobody is interested in your personal issues/problems.
    That’s what close friends and family are there for. Your employer or customers are only interested in the value you bring to them. ” The marketplace is not interested in your needs, it is only interested in your seeds”. Jim Rohn. Do not bring your needs to the marketplace, rather bring your seeds. Nothing else. Use your issues/problems to instill the spirit of hard work and determination to achieve your personal goals. That’s what I have done and it has worked for me.

    • When you start complaining, all of the sudden, you have reasons not to wake up in the morning and get to work.
    • When you start complaining, all of the sudden, you start to worry about things that are out of your control. You get depressed and start feeling like a loser and a failure.

    7. Do not be poor; it sucks!
    If you are born poor, work your tail off and do not die poor. Being poor is oftentimes not about being lazy. Life circumstances just happen. Your family background, where you were born and raised, and many other unfortunate living conditions. The bad seasons will come. One day, you have a good job and next time you notice you are out of work. All of the sudden, you cannot make your mortgage payments, student loans can’t be paid, etc. Whatever your condition is in any country. Not affording your basic needs will stress you out. I still remember when we could not afford lunch or dinner. We would go to bed and wake up the next day ready to get to work. Those days were tough, my friends.

    8. Whatever happens in your life, never complain or feel like a victim.
    Even when you think you have a reason to complain or feel like a victim, never feel like somebody else owes you something. I don’t know where I got this skill from, but most likely from my mom. She found ways to make sure that we never complained. My siblings and I learned by example. Through it all, we kept working day and night. Mixing school and labor work until we made our breakthrough.

    9. Bad times will come, what matters is how you react during those hard times. From all the life circumstances, “20% is about what happens to you and 80% is determined by how you react to it”. This quote used to confuse the heck out of me, but now, I truly believe in it. Sometimes, life will come at you like a high-speed train and hit you hard. You will fall down, but whatever circumstances, try to get back up again. Never feel like a victim, you are better than that. You are special than that.

    10. Never quit, never settle! I truly believe that!


Didier Champion



How to realistically achieve your goals in 2018


What I used to do and why It was not working

I used to be so bad at making New Year’s resolution, but after multiple years of trial and error, I finally find a system that works for me. Like a majority of the people, I used to make a list of them every year. However, in the middle of the year, I would lose track of them, ignore them, and get discouraged to keep up. Finally, I would give up and go by my business, “freestyling my way into the year”. Below are the reasons I used to fail.

  1. Making a big list without separating them into categories.
  2. Overestimating what I could do, which made me feel bad for not achieving many things on the list.
  3. Sometimes, I did not even write them and went by what was in my mind. Big mistake. Learn to think on paper. Write them down.
  4. Lack of constant evaluation throughout the whole year. If you want to lose 20 lbs in 12 months. But in June, you have not lost a pound, you are lying to yourself. Evaluate monthly or quarterly and make adjustments.

I have learned to divide my goals into categories. It makes it easier for me to track them throughout the year. I have about 5 categories:

Professional goals

I want to get better at work.

Be more efficient and effective.

Be more valuable to the marketplace ( my employer and my clients).

Finance goals

Staying on on top of my finances.

Pay my bills and debts on time.

Spend moderately. Save and invest the surplus.

Family ( Relationship ) goals

I am engaged now. So, I wanna be the best partner that my fiancee can ever have. Constantly learning about her “love language(s)” and doing what makes her happy and avoiding what makes her angry at all cost.

Fitness goals ( physical and mental health)

Making sure I stay physically and mentally strong.

Live a well-balanced life with less stress.

Extra-Curricular goals ( Adventures)

These are usually my traveling goals. Places I wanted to visit. This year, I have got Croatia, Switzerland, Seychelles, and Morocco.

Keep learning by reading, writing and blogging along with other stuff that makes me happy as a person. Mentoring other young people and helping out in my community.

How To have a good chance at achieving your goals;

  1. Make your goals be SMART. S-specific; M-Measured; A-Attainable; R-Realistic, and T-Timely.
    1. These goals have to be your own goals ( ownership). They cannot your brothers or sisters, or even your wife’s. If they are family goals, everybody has to make them their own and do their part.
    2. They have to be in writing. If they are not written down, it will make it hard to remember and evaluate them on a regular basis.
    3. Make them measured, specific, and have a time limit.
      1. I want to lose weight this year: FALSE. Specify how much weight, in what time, and make a solid plan.
      2. I want to lose 20 lbs in one year. This means that you can strive to lose about 2.0 lbs each month or 5.0 lbs in a quarter. Go step by step.

Making your goals “SMART” and staying accountable along the way will help you achieve them. You have to stay engaged and constantly evaluating as weeks and months go by.

Best of luck!

Below is a good summary of some of my 2018 goals: Going #beastmode.

1. Focus-Focus-Focus: on my goals and purpose in life. Avoid distractions at all cost.
2. Keep learning by reading and writing.
3. Provide the best content to my friends and followers.
4. Provide more value to my clients than I get paid for.
5. Make small improvements every day.
6. Self-evaluation about my progress ( monthly and quarterly).
7. Stay on top of my finances ( Weekly assessment of my cash flow).
8. Reach out to more people: provide quality advice and ask for help when I need some.
9. Reach one million views on my #Quora answers.
Focusing on quality and not quantity.
Grow my network on my personal website and medium .
10. Be a good leader: Inspire, motivate, and lead by example.

Hope this helps. Wish me luck!

Didier Champion


10 Amazing facts about Rwanda and Reasons to visit in 2018


2018 is an exciting year for my beautiful nation, Rwanda, and for travelers around the world. As a proud Rwandan, I am very happy that we are finally starting to get the recognition we deserve by many international tourism agencies around the World.

As we start this year, Rwanda has been featured as one of the best places to travel to in 2018. This article will give you a brief introduction to Rwanda and explain why we have been recognized highly. Hope you add Rwanda to your wish list.

RWANDA is a beautiful country in the East African Region. It is a landlocked country situated between DRC ( Democratic Republic of Congo) in the West, Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the East and Burundi in the south.

Rwanda Map 2018

Rwandan Map and its neighboring countries ( DRC, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi)

Despite its horrible past history of 1994 genocide against Tutsi, Rwanda is moving forward together, stronger and faster than anybody envisioned. Today, 24 years after 1994, Rwanda is definitely nothing like the movie “Hotel-Rwanda” or ” Sometimes in April”. We are a peaceful, developing country, with the ambition to change the course of its history for the better.

This is why international travel agencies such as CNN Travel, New York Times, Huffington Post, The Telegraph, the Vogue, and many others have featured Rwanda among the “must see”  locations for 2018. Bear with me as I introduce you to my beautiful home country of Rwanda.

Rwandan Flag

  1. Kigali: The capital city of RWANDA

Kigali has been voted as the cleanest and one of the most organized cities in Africa. In 2017, The United Nations nominated Kigali as the most beautiful city in Africa.

The beauty of Kigali combined in one! It is also a major tourist attraction

Public roundabout nearby the Kigali Convention Center

2. Environmental Sustainability The first country to ban plastic bags in the World)

Green city! Public Park in Kigali

The use of plastic bags was banned in 2008. Literally, no plastic bag is allowed to enter Rwanda. Even at the airport, you give up your plastic bags, and they give you biodegradable or reusable paper bag. It is amazing! Check out this British journalist story at the Rwandan Airport ( Credit: The Guardian UK).

Snapshot a British journalist story in the Guardian article

3. Monthly Community Service in the whole country

It’s called Umuganda in the local language, which means “ working together”. The last Saturday of the month, each community delegates a place to meet up and do something positive to the community. Usually, activities involve cleaning up, planting out trees, building a house for the poor, infrastructure ( a local school, hospital), or something of that nature. The idea is to work together for the betterment of the community and the Rwandan society at large.

The President getting to work at Umuganda

See this man in the photo above? Yes, he is the president of Rwanda. He does the Umuganda too. In fact, every month, he goes to different locations around the country to do Umuganda with the people.

4. Paul Kagame, the best president in Africa, right now.

I can’t think of any other president who has transformed his/her country, literally from being hopeless to hopeful, from a disaster to an economic recovery, from literally nothing to something. Perhaps, most importantly, he has inspired and motivated the next generation of young leaders, like myself. He leads by example. He does talk less, but he does so much. A complete opposite of many African leaders. The man of action, himself! He just got elected to another 7-year term.

Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda

5. The most number of women in the parliament in the World.

64% of the members of the Rwandan parliament in both chambers ( Senate and deputy) are women. No wonder why the country is doing well. Regulations mandates that at least 30% of all government institutions have to be women. From top-level ministers level to low-level leaders in the communities. You talk about women’s rights, equality and all that? In Rwanda, we don’t just preach equality. We are doers. The population is 50% men, 50% women, so it makes sense to include women at all levels of decision making in the government. Doesn’t it?

64% of Rwandan parliament members are women.

See this photo below? All women flight crew, Captain and her co-pilot of the RwandAir, the national air carrier and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Very rare to see elsewhere, but not in Rwanda.

Captain and her co-pilot, posing for a photo opportunity with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

6. Tea and Coffee ( Some of the best coffee in the World)

Rwandan coffee beans

Every year, Rwandan coffee wins some of the best international awards for best quality coffee. You can order you some here if you are interested. Let me know if you have had any other coffee that competes with ours.

One of the best coffees in the world

I am a coffee stud myself. So, I would be interested to know who are our competitors!

7. Kigali Convention Center ( The most expensive building on the African continent). It cost about 300 million USD.

Kigali Convention Center in Kigali, Rwanda

It is a masterpiece of architecture combining arts, culture, and modern design together. it is a major venue for big national and international meetings and assemblies. It has hosted African Union meetings, the World Economic forums, and many more.

8. Regardless of your nationality, you do not need a visa to come to RWANDA.


Visa upon arrival to the citizens of the world, Rwandan Immigration Services

Starting January 2018, you don’t need to apply for a visa to come to RWANDA. Want to come to Rwanda? No problem. You will get a 90-day visa at all Rwandan borders and airports if you are African; and 30–60 days if you are from other continents. Other countries are closing, tightening up their borders, we are opening them and welcoming the world. I love it.

9. Beautiful Mountain Gorilla and amazing Safaris Experience

Mountain Gorillas at Virunga National Park

Rwanda has 50% of all the mountain gorillas in the world. They are endangered species, so Rwanda does a great job at preserving these treasures. You will have the best experience touring and visiting the amazing creatures.This is my cousin photo last time we were there. Amazing experience!

My cousin, posing nearby ( 1 meter away) a gorilla and her two babies in the back at Virunga National Park.

Also, if you want to see all sorts of animals ( Hippos, Lions, Zebras, etc) at their natural habitat, Rwanda has all you need. Akagera National Park and Nyungwe National Park are the main ones. Forget about the zoos, come to Rwanda. We will take you where they live.

Giraffes at Akagera National Park

Zebras and other animals in the Akagera National Park

10. Rich culture and Traditions (Amazing hospitality, great and friendly people. ):

Rwanda is a very welcoming country. We have a rich culture of dance, music, arts and all that. There is nothing we enjoy more than sharing our culture with others. If you come visit us, we will be happy to share it with you. Below are a few photos of our sisters showcasing our amazing culture through dance and music.

Traditional Rwandan dance

Rich culture and tradition

That’s all for now. I hope you learned something new about my country, Rwanda. Obviously, there are many facts about RWANDA, but this is a good introduction. If I get more likes, I will make another post. I will expand on arts, fashion, sports, economy, and other interesting facts about RWANDA.

If you travel quite a bit, I hope I can convince you to add Rwanda to your wish list. Remember, no visa application! At your arrival, it costs $ 30 and takes between 3 to 5 minutes. CNN Travel just named Rwanda number 11 out of 18 best places to travel in 2018, so don’t miss out.

Help me spread the word about what Rwanda is Today!

Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 people I meet in the United States and Europe seem to assume that still 1994-RWANDA they watched the movie about the Rwandan genocide. They ask me: Have you seen the movie, “Hotel Rwanda”? Is that real? How is the country right now? Is your family safe/okay? Over the years, these kinds of questions get repetitive and annoying.

This is why I am writing this piece to shed some light on false assumptions and stereotypes that seem to not go away despite all the progress that Rwandans have been making for the past 23 years. Help me spread the word and share this article with your friends.

Let’s educate and inform the world about the new Rwanda by sharing one post at a time.

Cheers! Thank you!

Didier Champion

Bonus pictures:

Public Transportation Bus station in Kigali, Rwanda

Downtown Kigali-Rwanda

Credit to Rwanda, the heart of Africa, facebook page for allowing me to use their pictures. For more pictures, check them out!

Subscribe to my blog if you want to get a notification whenever I publish a new article. I pride myself to bring you good quality content. 


The Kings who shaped up the Rwanda of Today.

Before the arrival of European colonists in Rwanda, the kingdom of Rwanda was a powerful monarchy of their time. It was very organized, structured, and managed to go for 800 years. During those eight centuries, the monarchy lead by the Mwami, which meaning King in Kinyarwanda. In this article, I will introduce to some remarkable Kings who shaped up the history of our country. Where did Rwanda get her name? Who named it? These are some of the questions I will answer.

Rwanda comes from a Kinyarwanda word, which means Kwanda. In our language, “Kwanda” means to collect or to amass small species into one. In a nutshell, this is how the kingdom of Rwanda was formed. At the end of the 11th century, Our founder envisioned the idea of the kingdom.

Gihanga Ngomijana. King, the Creator. 

In 1081, he created the kingdom of Rwanda. It started as a small territory of what is now Gasabo. At the end of the 19th century, by the time the Germans invaded the Kingdom, Rwanda has expanded to twice her size today. Before the scramble of Africa, under the reign of Kigeli IV Rwabugili, the kingdom of Rwanda covered an area, double of her size today.

Rwanda Map before 1885

The Kingdom of Rwanda before the scramble of Africa. After 1885, Rwanda lost about half her original size. A big part went to what is now Uganda, and Eastern DRC.

Gihanga, the King’s first namecomes from a Kinyarwanda verb, Guhanga. This means to invent or to create something new. It makes sense because he created the kingdom. His last name, Ngomijana, means eternal. Our ancestors had huge respect to their creator King. his Kingdom was supposed to last forever. The new following kings had a big responsibility to safeguard the kingdom of Rwanda. At each inauguration, each king was entrusted with the responsibility to serve, lead by authority, protect, and expand the kingdom. By accomplishing this mission, he kept the promise that our kingdom was eternal. It was not going to disappear or assimilated into other kingdoms.

These are the fundamentals of what created and sustained the Kingdom of Rwanda. For 8 centuries, the kingdom protected herself against potential invaders. Compared to other kingdoms, our ancestors managed to stay homogenous. They all spoke Kinyarwanda and had a similar culture.

The Bahutus, Batutsis, and Batwas all lived side by side in peace and harmony. For generations, they could track their respective heritage through the 19 clans. Abanyiginya, Abega, Abatsobe, Abashambo, Abagesera, Abazigaba, Abasinga, Abacyaba, Abakono, Abaha, Abakono, Ababanda, Abasyete, Abashingo, Abongera, Abungura, Abashi, and Abashigatwa.

Their patriotism and determination to uphold traditions are what made the kingdom of Rwanda prosper. As Rwandans, we are here today because of those who came before us. We owe them a great deal of gratitude and appreciation for their diligence.

Throughout the history of Rwanda, the kings protected Rwanda against foreign invaders. They also conquered territories and expanded the kingdom to make the Kingdom, a powerful and strong monarchy. The following are my top three of the most notable kings. Ruganzu II Ndoli, Kigeli IV Rwabugili ( 1853-1895), and Mutara III Rudahigwa ( 1931-1959). I will highlight their contributions to the kingdom of Rwanda.

Ruganzu II Ndoli, the Warrior King. 

Ruganzu Ndoli 16th century 2018

A statue of Ruganzu II Ndoli in Rwanda Today

The Mwami Ruganzu ( 1510-1543) was inaugurated at the beginning of the 16th century. Under his reign, he conquered many territories and expanded his Kingdom. He revolutionalized his troops and terrified his neighbors. His favorite troops were given the name of Ibisumizi, those who are not scared to attack. Under his reign, he never lost any battle. At one point, his Abiru ( advisors ) told him to slow down on the number of battles. They were scared that the troops were getting tired that they could not keep up. Then, he famously responded “ U Rwanda ruratera, ntiruterwa“. This translates to Rwanda is strong to attack, but nobody will attack. This statement meant to show off the strength and the trust he had in his troops. In his words, we could invade others, but they won’t invade us. He kept his promise and never lost any battle during his reign

Kigeli IV Rwabugiri, King the Expansionist.

The Mwami Rwabugili ( 1853-1895) is also one of the most notable kings in the history of Rwanda. When Germans first came to Rwanda, Mwami Rwabugili was in charge. He is known as the expansionist. He also conquered many territories and welcomed the first Europeans to settle in Rwanda. His expansion plan was halted by the evils of colonialism.

Kigeli IV Rwabugili 2018

Kigeli IV Rwabugiri ( 1853-1895), first King to come in contact with Europeans. The most powerful King in the history of Rwanda.

He established an army equipped with guns he obtained from Germans and prohibited most foreigners especially Arabs from entering his kingdom. He defended the current borders of the Rwanda kingdom against invading neighboring kingdoms, slave traders and Europeans. Rwabugiri was a warrior King and is regarded as one of Rwanda’s most powerful kings.

Mutara III Rudahigwa ( 1931-1959)

The Mwami Rudahigwa was technically the last king of Rwanda. He was the king of Rwanda under Belgian colonial rule in Rwanda. But lots of things that happened under his reign shaped the Rwanda we have today. Under his reign, Rwanda became a Christian nation. He converted to Christianity, which made Rwandans convert to Christianity. Before then, Belgian colonists had struggled to convert our ancestors.

Mutara Rwanda 2020

Mutara III Rudahigwa, the last king of the Rwandan monarchy.

His royal palace home was in Nyanza. Till today, you can visit what used to be his home. In 1935, when Belgians changed the existing social-economic classes into ethnic groups, he was the king in charge. The colonists socially engineered the classes ( Hutus, Tutsis, and Twas) to fit their divide and conquer colonial strategy. Some of his chiefs known as Abatware resisted initially to register their people under these classes, but he warned them of the danger the Rugiganas were to imposed had they not follow the rule.

King Rudahigwa is the most remembered king in the history of Rwanda. The new ethnic groups are what later translated into a genocide in 1994. His reign was just full of trials and tribulations. Belgian colonial rule was at its peak, but he managed the kingdom under difficult and complicated times. Registration of ethnic groups in their books, the worst famine in the history of Rwanda, Ruzagayura in World War II, the ethnic tensions in 1959, and the troubles that followed up. On a positive note though, He negotiated Rwanda’s the independence with the Belgians and refused to stay under Belgian colonial rule. In the end, he was killed by Belgians in Bujumbura. He died from poisonous food.

Thanks for reading. These are some of my favorites Kings throughout the history of Rwanda. I have been reading about the history of Rwanda so I will be sharing some stories. Feel free to follow my blog if you would like to keep with Rwandan stories.

Until then, keep calm and love the history of my motherland. This is my heritage.


The Kings of Rwanda ( Wiki page).

Amoko y’Abanyarwanda (




























Prosecution to move against Kayumba’s South Africa based terror network



Reliable sources indicate that preparations to send a file requesting the South African government to arrest and extradite RNC terror masterminds are in advanced stage

By Justus Gashugi

On 13 September 2013 a team of terrorists infiltrated into the country to launch grenades in areas which large numbers of ordinary people frequent, such as markets and taxi parks.

Their plan succeeded. The day after, on 14 September, they lobbed two grenades into a crowded Kicukiro market, claiming two innocent lives, and injuring forty-six.

The subsequent trial of those involved and apprehended revealed that the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a terrorist organisation, was behind the attacks whose intent, according to one of the planners, was to create fear in the population in the lead-up to the parliamentary elections slated for November that year.

It now seems the time may be up for the terror masterminds; victims and their families may finally…

View original post 798 more words

Rwanda is the place to visit, 2018

The number of UK visitors to Rwanda has grown by 21%, according to the African country’s official promotion brand Visit Rwanda.

Its full-year 2017 figures show 16,000 business and leisure travelers from the UK, a fifth more than in 2016.

Visit Rwanda says travelers are making their way to the country for wildlife, new premium lodges, and its scenery.

Visit Rwanda, which became the official tourism partner of Arsenal Football Club last week, has been focusing on promoting the new ‘tourism circuit’ including all three of the East African country’s national parks at Akagera, Nyungwe, and Volcanoes, as well as Lake Kivu and the Capital Kigali.

Visitors are also choosing more experiences, such as kayaking, cycling, and trekking, Visit Rwanda said.

RwandAir launched services from London Gatwick to Kigali onboard new Airbus A330 last year.

Upcoming hotel openings include One & Only’s Nyungwe House in Nyungwe Park in October 2018 and Gorilla’s Nest in Volcanoes National Park in summer 2019.

Wilderness Safaris will unveil Magashi Camp in Akagera Park in December 2018 and Singita will open Kwitonda lodge in Volcanoes National Park in August 2019.

Renovations have been carried out at Virunga Lodge, Five Volcanoes and Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Volcanoes National Park.

Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, said: “We’re humbled to see so many more UK visitors head to Rwanda. We are a clean, green country with the friendliest people in Africa and some of the most beautiful scenery you can find on the continent.

“Rwanda has opened up in recent years, enabling visitors to explore our country safely and in comfort. We look forward to welcoming even more UK tourists as we unveil more attractions and accommodation in the coming months.” ( What Critics say about Rwanda and Vision 2020)



10 Amazing facts about Rwanda and Reasons to visit in 2018

Didier Champion

2018 is an exciting year for my beautiful nation, Rwanda, and for travelers around the world. As a proud Rwandan, I am very happy that we are finally starting to get the recognition we deserve by many international tourism agencies around the World.

As we start this year, Rwanda has been featured as one of the best places to travel to in 2018. This article will give you a brief introduction to Rwanda and explain why we have been recognized highly. Hope you add Rwanda to your wish list.

RWANDA is a beautiful country in the East African Region. It is a landlocked country situated between DRC ( Democratic Republic of Congo) in the West, Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the East and Burundi in the south.

Rwanda Map 2018Rwandan Map and its neighboring countries ( DRC, Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi)

Despite its horrible past history of 1994 genocide against Tutsi…

View original post 1,392 more words

What to do about Illegal Immigration from Africa to Europe?

The illegal migration issue to Western Europe is an #African issue. It should not have been allowed to be a #European issue. If we want to be treated with dignity and respect, we have got to start owning and solving our issues instead of shifting responsibilities to others.

#Africa is big and rich enough to accommodate our brothers and sisters in need of help. Do we really need any #money and #aid for that too?

African people deserve better #leadership and #respect around the world. If we want to solve poverty issues in Africa and migration to Europe, we need to switch our #Eurocentric education to an #Afrocentric education in primary and secondary schools.

When I finished high school, I knew more about #Europe than I knew about #Africa. My history was called ” traditional” and ” indigenous”. I knew more about French literature than African literature. What do we expect to happen when an African child finishes secondary school and have never read about #ChinuaAchebe ( Things Fall Apart, 1958)? But they have read all Shakespeare plays and Moliere books?

Let’s be honest with ourselves about the elephant in the room. Or else, we are lying to ourselves. All talk no action. How do they not know about this?

African Union is a joke of an organization. All talk no action. What are they doing about this? They just finished another meeting in #Mauritania and nobody mentioned this issue at all. Did they not watch the news of a new ship of 600 migrants that moved from #Italy to #Spain last week?

Videos going viral means nothing when nothing gets done about it on the ground. I watched the news here in Europe about how journalists were reporting about #Africans as animals in the zoo. As an African, I felt ashamed and was disgusted.

It has been almost 9 months since video about #slavery of African migrants in Libya and Europe surfaced all of over the whole world. We all were shocked about it. We complained about it, shared our opinions on social media platforms. After one month, we all moved on by our lives.

We need to do better. Get angry about our #mediocrity and change things for the better. I only have hope in my fellow African youth. I can’t say the same about our old representative folks at the top. Read more about how to solve this issue below.




Aid is Not the Answer to poverty. Why I hate big N.G.O’s?

I have lost respect for the aid industry. The international organizations are corrupt, disrespects Africans, and treats them like children who always need to be fed with a silver spoon in their mouth.

2018-02-02 10.19.28

This picture was taken by me this February 2018 on my way to Munich, Germany. In a public bathroom at a gas station. Poverty pornography in my face ( bathroom door). I have seen these type of ads on TV, but never in bathrooms. What a shame!     This is how big NGO play with your emotions to get you to donate.  Poster is in German, so let me translate.                                           “Aktion Deutschland” is a coordinator of many German Charity Organizations. They claim to help people of Africa fighting against hunger. They urge people to DONATE NOW!

I was born and raised in Rwanda.

In 1994, the country was destroyed by a genocide and a civil war.

I lived for 3 years in refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At refugee camps, we were depended on aid to survive. So, I grew up adoring the work the aid organizations were doing. The UNHCR, UNICEF, Red Cross and many others.

Since I was a little boy, I always dreamt of working for these type of organizations. At refugee camps, if it was not for them, I would not be where I am today, honestly. I would have been dead. The nurses and doctors from Doctors without Borders saved my life when pneumonia and malaria got hold of me as a child. Bottom line is they saved many people’s lives during those times.

Fast forward, after high school, I moved to the States for college and grad school. I was an engineering student. There, I specialized in a special branch called for “ engineering for developing countries”.

At the moment, 90% of the new research focuses on the developed world. That’s why you people in the West are trying to go to Mars, flying jets, and self-driving cars when the developing world is still trying to get access to basic needs such as electricity and water.

As an African, I am very shocked that this is what these N.G.O. call “development”? Would you want your child, little brother/sister to pose for a picture like this? All in the name of soliciting donations for your selfish interests? These tactics are so commonly used by NGOs that there is a term for them, poverty porn

Its negative effects on the image of Africa cannot be quantified in monetary values. Lots of loss in revenues from tourism and foreign direct investment because the majority of the world still think that Africa is all about animals in the jungle, poverty, tribal/ethnic conflicts, etc.

Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa ( Economist, Dambisa Moyo).

Back to the story!

Anyway, I really thought I was going to make a difference. You know, the silliness coupled with optimism and lack of experience of a young grad student.

I chose to go into this specialty designed to help and figure out how to get the poor out of poverty. My thesis project was based on this. So, for three years, I spent lots of time studying, reading, and analyzing, and questioning why it was so hard to get people out of poverty. I thought I was smart enough to solve that puzzle. It is not like it was rocket science! U know?

I used to be poor and grew up very poor. So, I thought I was going to be the next Mohammed Yunus from Bangladesh, with regards to the African people. Haha!

Man, was I so wrong, naive, and ignorant!

For 25 years, I thought we just needed more money to aid the poor. I thought the aid organizations were doing a good job but had little resources. My perspective changed when I started going to conferences and talking with people at these organizations. The staff and workers from the UN, World Bank, and others.

I was shocked when I found out that most of the money they received was going to them ( and not the poor). Higher administrative costs, big salaries, and bonuses, exotic meetings at resorts and islands. You name it.

I followed up with the industry and the more I learn, the more I noticed that their primary goal was never to help the poor. Their goal was to keep people poor so that they can enrich themselves on the back of the poor people.

I can a write a whole book about my disappointments. But I will keep it simple and leave you with some reading if you are interested. Needless to say, my career was cut short. As soon as I finish grad school, I did quit the industry. I could not stand their hypocrisy, greed, and lack of morality.

I had already started talking to some of them about job opportunities. I would have been making lots of money, but my conscience got to me.

Simply put, they did not meet my ethical standards. They operate like the Mafias, the drug cartels with money, power, political and financial influence. That’s why at any scandal you see, whether it is Red Cross or Oxfam in Haiti, nobody goes to jail. They are untouchable. They have strong lobbying power in Washington, in London, in Berlin, in Paris, and everywhere.

They self-inspect and don’t answer to nobody; the poor or their donors. They don’t allow any independent audits by outside professionals or anything. Meanwhile, you see scandals after scandals in Africa, Haiti ( recent cases with the Earthquake), abuse of young girls and women ( Haiti), you name it. They have done it and nobody got punished for it.

This is the most recent case of OXFAM, a British based NGO. Both of these incidences happened in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake in 2010.

Oxfam sexual abuse scandal is built on the aid industry’s white savior mentality | Afua Hirsch

In this other case, Oxfam staff and workers abused young girls and women in Haiti. In times when they were facing difficulties, these criminals took advantage of them. Oxfam was notified but ignored allegations and tried to hide scandals under the rug. Just last month, the public is starting to learn this whole thing.

Children as young as six were being coerced into sex in exchange for food and necessities, according to a damning report by Save the Children, which called for urgent action including the creation of a global watchdog.

Oxfam was told of aid workers raping and sexually exploiting children in Haiti in 2008

Long story short, the people I grew up adoring ( or should I say worshipping), who saved my life in a way, I can’t stand them today. They disgust me today. They have lost all my respect. Every quarter, I see scandals after scandals. I cannot stand them, big Mafia NGOs. I don’t think the situation is ever going to change anytime soon. So, I have to move on, but I never want to be associated with them in any way. They are the worst of the worst. I used to have so much respect for them. Today, I have none.

I have detailed my experiences with specific details in other answers. I also gathered many testimonials from fellow Quorans who have worked with them one way or another. Feel free to check them out if you are interested. The level of corruption, poverty porn through shaming and humiliating Africans, sex scandals, and other nasty and humiliating incidences disgust me.

What is worse is how they have gotten away with it. For every incidence, nobody goes to jail or punished. It has been 8 years since the earthquake in Haiti, but after $ 13 billion dollars in donations, Haiti is still not rebuilt. Sex scandals after sex scandals with Oxfam, but not a single staff or worker was punished for it.

Have you ever wondered where the money we donate to the poor go?

Like the $13 Billion dollars we donated to Haiti but 8 years later? Haiti is still not rebuilt?

What Does Haiti Have to Show for $13 Billion in Earthquake Aid?

Or the $ 500 million dollars that Red Cross was supposed to use in rebuilding 130,000 houses, but 4 years later they managed to build only 6 make shift houses?

Red Cross Built Exactly 6 Homes For Haiti With Nearly Half A Billion Dollars In Donations

Some Testimonials from fellow Quorans with similar experiences. Wherever these N.G.Os work, they are all the same. Africa, Asia, and so on.

Abdul Ngoko ( Tanzania, East-Africa)

I have worked with these type of organizations on the ground and what you’re saying is true. All the money is spent on expat’s salaries, buying brand new four-by-four vehicles and having fun in general. I’ve never met lazy people like you find in the aid organizations and they are paid really well.

Didier Champion ( East-Africa and West-Africa)

What you say is the 100% true! I have seen it all. I say this with pain and shame in my heart. I decided to leave the industry after I discovered what it was all about. I have been to conferences where we were discussing and studying poverty issues with many stakeholders about how to help those who live under the poverty line. Those living on less than $1.25–$2.00 a day were no where in the room. Their opinions did not even matter.

Meanwhile, folks were staying in $500-$1,000 hotel rooms a night and had $100 per diem in West-Africa. In Accra, Ghana or Lagos, Nigeria, you can get 3-decent meals all day for $20 a day. For weeks, months, and years, I observed folks at the top claim to help the poor. But they were really helping themselves. Filling up their pockets.

By the time I finished grad school, I was disgusted. I could not see myself work for these hypocrites. I have seen the treatment they get from African governments. They get treated like kings and queens just because of the money they bring to corrupt politicians.

I have seen folks go out and get drunk every night and only to come to meetings the next day to sit in meetings and barely staying awake. I have seen it with the World Bank, the UN employees, and others. This industry is so dirty that you won’t stay clean working in it regardless of your intentions.

In a coal mine, you cannot keep your white shirt clean. It can never be done. It is impossible! After having had enough, I had to quit the industry. Today, I can’t stand them nomore.

Jaydeep Vekariya ( India)

I remembered in 2013, I had visited meeting of NGO in Delhi (India) for help of African people. Needless to say more than 50% of total donation might have been spend on Event expense itself (resort charges, accommodation, food, liquor etc).

Logan Webb ( Liberia, West-Africa)

I agree 100%. As a fellow African (Senegal) I dreamed of working in the NGO sector. Until I saw them in full action in the Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Of the $1 billion spent, none was allocated to give Liberian front line workers a raise, or to give training/scholarships abroad to build local epidemic control capacity. By the time they brought in the “experts”, we had 5–10x as much case experience as they did. In all, the money was blown on $500–1,000/day consultants, inflated hotels, and endless unproductive meetings. We’ve come to similar conclusions and I also moved to entrepreneurship to develop Africa.

A big earthquake hits Haiti. Destroys most of the capital of Haiti in 2010. Kills 200,000 people, 250,000 homes destroyed and 30,000 commercial buildings. We watch it on the news and the catastrophy go down. We see children crying. Like any humans, we feel sad, sorry for them. We ask ourselves. What can we do?

The Mafia NGO comes in and tells us they are on the ground to help. Our emotions run high. We happily donate. We cannot go to Haiti to help, so donating some money makes us feel good. We don’t want people to suffer this much. The Mafia NGO tells us they will use our donations to get the people of Haiti back on their feet. Okay, the deal is done! A few weeks later, we move on with our daily lives. This is what this aid industry does with regards to poverty and helping the poor.

  • Show us a big problem that deserves our attention.
  • Collect donations and thank people for their donations.
  • Promise them that their money is going to help those in needs.
  • Show up at the sites where the tragedy happened. Show off with big banners to market yourself more on TV and everywhere.
  • Get money ( donations ) from other private companies.
  • Wait for the situation to die down in the media ( 6–12 months) depending on the catastrophic event.
  • Once things settle and tragedies are not in the media anymore, collect the money and go to the beach. Organize a series of “ useless” meetings as an excuse to spend the money. Fly business class, luxury hotels, bonuses, expensive parties, enjoy life and so on.
  • Wait for another tragedy to strike again, and repeat the cycle.

It is not just in the developing world, they are the same everywhere. Anybody remember American Red Cross with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or Harvey in Houston? They use same tactics. Their scandals don’t surprise me any longer, sadly. This is what they do whenever there are any catastrophic events.

Benjamin Bussard ( Houston, Texas)

We went through hurricane Harvey and saw all of this firsthand. Donations to Red Cross are wasted on banners and trucks with their name boldly displayed. Several donations of hot meals to them were turned down or thrown away so they could hand out tiny prepared meals of crappy sandwiches. Our local churches and community partnered with Samaritans purse and they are still here helping rebuild the city! Red Cross disgusted everyone in Houston who was part of actually getting the city back its feet.

The world we live in is a crazy place. Everybody is in it for their own interest.

The best way to help the poor is to empower them.

Learn how to truly help and empower the poor through tourism, business, and entrepreneurship. This Ted Talk has all the ingredients to develop those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Giving them the tools to “ fish for themselves” through trades and skill training, among many other things.

The same way, other countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and many others have gotten out of poverty. Who have you seen rose out of poverty by receiving handouts (aka donations)?

Posting African children pictures all over the place; treating them like second-class human beings. The poor are as human as we are. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Don’t you people think?

Thanks for your time and attention. Hope you learned something new.

Didier Champion


References: Further reading for those who are interested.

Heather Stewart: Is aid a $2.3 trillion failure? ( Economist, William Easterly).

Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa ( Economist, Dambisa Moyo).

A trillion dollars of wasted aid?

Books if you are interested in International Development field of study.

  • White Man Burden by William Easterly ( Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest have done so much ill and so little good ( Best book and my favorite).
  • Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo ( Why Aid is not Working and How there is a better way for Africa). ( Short, concise for Math and Econ Buffs).
  • Why Nations Fail ( The origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty) by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. ( Vacation Book when you got time).


Some parts of this text were originally published on Quora. Check them out if interested.

Didier M. Champion’s answer to Have you ever had an elephant in the room moment?

Didier M. Champion’s answer to What is something that needs to be said?




Summary of A Message to Garcia: Elbert Hubbard 1899: Be a “Rowan” at your job.

Background information

  • This Story was written during the Spanish-American War
  • Main personalities
    • Garcia, a general in Cuba, who is familiar with the Spaniard combat tactics. He could possibly help with some valuable details on how to win against Spain.
    • Rowan, an American trusted to go to Cuba and find Garcia. At this time, no telephone or any means of communication available to contact Garcia.
    • Rowan has to deliver the letter to Garcia, in person. Once delivered, Rowan has to inform his boss that he has accomplished the task. At the time, Garcia’s location is unknown, and Rowan has to do all the work by himself. Pack up the bags and go to a new country, looking for an individual he is never met. He took up the task and delivered the letter, just in time. His courage and sacrifice are amazing.
    • Whatever your job or profession, strive to be the ” Rowan”.
      • Can your employer trust you to do the job? especially during “crunch time”.
      • Are you reliable and dependable that your supervisor can give you impossible tasks, knowing that you will achieve the desired results?Garcia 2018

        This text describes a story of a man named Rowan who was trusted by his supervisor as the only person who was qualified enough to get the message to Garcia. The letter addressed to Garcia himself had to be delivered to him in person. Rowan had to inform his supervisor that he had accomplished the mission. The only problem was that no one knew where Garcia was at the time, and the message was urgent enough that it had to get to him in a timely manner before it was too late. This was during the Spanish-American war and it was important to communicate with Cuba, as Spain had lots of influence in Cuba at during those times.

The important lesson learned from this text is that we have to be like Rowan in our service as soldiers. We need to be as focused as Rowan was, along with concentration, determination, and perseverance to be excellent soldiers. These qualities will definitely help us when we are on and off duty in the military or civilian life. When Rowan was given the letter, he did not complain and give excuses for why he might not be able to get the letter to Garcia. He simply took it and went to Cuba looking and searching for Garcia until he delivered the letter. As soldiers, we have to adapt and be flexible enough so that whatever tasks that need to get done have to get finished without excuses and complaints. We, as individual soldiers in our respective MOSs, must work together so that our units excel in our jobs. That way we can be trusted by our NCOs and commanders to perform difficult tasks and accomplish the mission in our [insert your Battalion name] and [insert your brigade ] in general.


I have been told to summarize this essay by my NCOs for the 3rd time now in less than two years of my career. I am not sure if this is the only essay the military has available, but it is a powerful essay. I am sharing this summary for folks out there who might need some help. The original text is kind of confusing first. You will have to read it twice to understand it because it is written in some archaic English. If you decide to use my summary, make sure to give me credit and do not just copy and paste. Hopefully, you find it helpful. Cheers!


Message to Garcia summary!






The 2017 Proposal of the Year; How to pull off the best Proposal to your Valentine

The proposal in action. At the top of Bisoke Volcano with crater late at 12, 200ft of altitude.

A little over two months ago, I proposed to my then girlfriend and she responded me a BIG YES. This is valentine’s day is our first valentine’s day as an engaged couple. It was one of the greatest emotion I have ever had for sure. I was very relieved to get that ” YES”.  After all, there is no greater feeling knowing than getting that “Yes, I will marry you” response. It was one of the best memorable moments of my life. The whole process and preparation were not easy, but I was very relieved and satisfied in the end. My efforts did really pay off big time. My fiancee and I are very grateful. Ever since we met, we fell in love with each other. We are very thankful that each one of us found their soulmate, their better half. No greater feeling than that.

I had been planning this engagement for 3–4 months. We both like to go on crazy adventures and are very big on outdoor activities. So, when I was thinking about proposing to her, I thought about something that would blow her mind and at the same time make me very happy.

We live on two different sides of the world, so we don’t see each other as often as we would like to. We love each other very much and have been dating for years now. We had been talking about marriage, and other related stuff! So I knew it was time to propose to her, but I wanted to impress and surprise her in the best way possible I could! She loves surprises!

Proposing to her on top of a volcano with an amazing view was very hard to pull off.  I was very fortunate that everything went well. 

  1. Top of the Bisoke Volcano in our home country of Rwanda at 3,711 meters ( 12, 200 ft).
  • We are both physically fit, but I was not sure if she was going to make it to the top. Even though, I have climbed a few other mountains in Colorado; for her, this was her very first one. If either one of us could not make it, there is no way, it would have happened. I would have had to settle for Plan B. We had been planning this hike for some time, but of course, she had no idea that I was planning something more.

Bisoke Volcano in Volcano National Park, Rwanda

  1. Ring Size ( Fit perfectly)
    This past summer I asked her about her ring size. But the measurement they gave her back home in Rwanda was a bit different as I had to order her ring on American and UK website. It took me a good week to finally match her size, cross-referencing different measurement techniques and standards from different countries.

3. Toughest Hike ever

Before starting the hike, our tour guide gave us a lengthy safety briefing about all of the precautions. We were told that many people do not make to the top. That they get tired and give up. We were also told that a few people have lost their lives, lacking oxygen and breath, from various health issues. We got lucky the weather was very nice to us and it did not rain. Otherwise, it would have been even terrible. On a typical good day, the hike takes 2.5–3 hours to get to the top, and another 2–3 hours depending on the physical fitness of hikers.

However, we were determined to make it and did not back out. Three quarters through the hike, I started thinking about plan B just in case one of us could not make it. I was going to propose wherever we were going to stop our hike. I was very happy I did not need plan B. We both made it to the peak of the volcano at 3, 711 meters (12, 200 ft ) and got to see the crater lake that we both wanted to see so bad. Long story short, it took us 3 hours to get to the top, one hour to rest, eat, and relax at the top and another 3 hours to come back down.

My photo after finishing a 6-hour total hike up and down the mountain. 

The greatest feeling was that everything went well, from A to Z.

  1. She said YES. We made it to the top and back, in record time.
  2. The ring fits her well and she loves it. And now, we are happily engaged. My Friends, I have had some good feelings, but nothing comes close to finally knowing that you are going to live with your best friend forever.

Happy Valentine everybody! 

For my fellow men out there, I wish you the best proposing to your partner someday. It is one of the best feelings you ever going to have in your life. Make it count and don’t settle for the easiest proposal idea. It does not have to be expensive, but make it creative and interesting. Surprise and give her one of the stories she is ever going to tell to her friends. It is so worth it, trust me. Best of luck.

Lots of love and respect,


Didier Champion