What is wrong with Rwandan Football?

The African Cup of Nations 2019 just kicked off yesterday. The teams are ready to compete and the excitement is at all time high. For Rwandans, home and abroad, it is time to pick which team to support because the Rwandan team ( Amavubi) is nowhere to be found. Once again, we are reminded how we have a mediocre team. We are reminded of our football curse. Seriously, what has happened to Rwandan football over the years?

Of all the East African Community member countries, we are the only country that did not quality in this biggest and most popular football competition on the African continent. Again, I ask, What is wrong with our football? All our neighbors have qualified, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and DRC. Seriously, what is wrong with our football?

The Football Association has got some explaining to do. Is it the lack of players? Is it the lack of funds? Is it the whole management and organization of our football association? These are some of the questions we should be asking ourselves. What can we do bring back our football back to life?

Commemorating 20 years of Rwanda genocide
The 2004 Amavubi Team, which made us proud in the AFCON in Tunisia.

I remember the 2004 Amavubi, which made us proud and made it to the AFCON championship for the first time. Rwandans were all excited. It has been 15 years ago, but I still remember it as it was yesterday. Back then, we had fewer resources than ( we do ) today. So, it can’t the resources. Back then, we had Rwandan players competing at the highest level in the AFCON. Today, we are seating at home watching our neighbors compete.

We are seating watching our neighbors compete. As I watch the game between Burundi ( our twin country ) against Nigeria, I couldn’t but to notice how far our football is behind compared to our neighbors. We used to compete with Burundi and they were lucky to draw with us. We used to win against Uganda and our games were very competitive. After a decisive win of “Ugandan Cranes” of Uganda over “Les Leopards” of DRC, I couldn’t help but wonder what has happened with our football.

In 2019, we have more resources than we did in 2004. We have football academies. We hardly had any in 2004. We have better equipped stadiums and more playground than we did in 2004. Seriously, what has happened to our football? Who can end our football curse? Is there something we can do or we should accept our fate and move on with cycling instead. That is the only sport we seem to master these days. As a football fan, I miss watching Amavubi with pride representing at the international stage. Those in charge should take a look at themselves because we are tired of mediocrity in our football.

Rest in Peace our Amavubi. We miss you!

Yours sincerely,

Didier Champion

Getting ” real” about teenage pregnancy in Rwanda. What can we do?

A few months ago, New Times published an article about teenage pregnancy in Rwanda. Since then, there is no week that passes by without getting more depressing statistics about teen pregnancy in schools in many districts around the country. Time and time again, instead of addressing the real issues, our culture have found ways to blame young girls. The harsh stigma that teenage moms face during and after pregnancy is concerning.

The harsh treatment goes from dropping out of schools, abandonment from friends and family, just to name a few. We already knew about this issue, why have we failed to address the real problems? Of all schools, you would expect a school like FAWE to know better about how to treat women with dignity and respect they deserve.

It does not make sense that FAWE girls school does not support young girls whose have been failed by our culture of lack of education with regards to sexuality and reproductive health.

Some of FAWE Rwanda students during a recent a mentorship program. Courtesy: New Times.

I have been wanting to write about what needs to be done about this issue. Lucky for me, I came across Katie Carlson post on facebook. She broke down all issues at hand and could not help but to share her ideas. In the end, this is ongoing problem. Instead of letting it go, we need to talk about it and find ways forward to making sure that the youth of Rwanda are supported, regardless of their situation. Our cultural norms need a reality check with regards to teenage pregnancy in this country.

To read more, read the following post by Katie Carlson Post on Facebook.

You wanna know what causes teen pregnancy? It’s not girls just being “loose” or immoral as so many people seem to love to claim, to avoid taking responsibility for the larger problems driving it. It’s gender norms, gender norms, gender norms, and the cultural taboo around speaking about sex and reproductive health. It is a profound failure of adults, and yet we almost never acknowledge this. Girls have sex for many reasons, but the main question we need to be asking in terms of teen pregnancy is, why are they having *unprotected* sex? And the answer is three-fold.

First, girls say they feel they MUST have sex with a boy in order to keep his interest and for him to “continue to love me” – and even if they are aware that they should use condoms, the boy will refuse because sex doesn’t feel as good with a condom, and sex without a condom will really prove she loves him. The number one theme that has emerged in recent months from my own research into this problem is the ABSOLUTE NEED TO KEEP THE BOY AT ALL COSTS. If this means having sex without wanting to, or having consensual sex without a condom, in most cases, she will do it.

This is a direct result of gender norms – of girls being raised to see boys as more powerful, more valuable, more capable than they are, and to believe that to have a boy’s attention and validation is the ultimate goal in life, particularly in those teenage years when emotional, physical and psychological developmental influences are in overdrive.

The second driver is financial vulnerability – girls expect to be able to offer sex as currency, in transactional situations, even with their own consensual boyfriends. If a girl faces violence in her home, she may be able to rely on her boyfriend to take her in and in return, she will have sex with him – and since he is “doing her a favour” by allowing her to live with him, she must pay him in sex and cannot insist on condom use. If a girl needs something in life, even very basic needs, she doesn’t first focus on how she can meet her own needs (and she may not even have the support from any corner to make her own money, etc.), instead she considers how she can have her needs met through a boy or a man who has money. Because gender norms teach girls to think that money and financial independence is the remit of men – and that a girl’s body is an acceptable form of currency that she can or must trade in exchange for other needs. Girls AND boys are socialized to believe these things from a very young age. Further – even when girls know they should use a condom, they cannot bear to be seen buying them at a local shop – the community will ostracize them, and men who see them purchasing condoms then proceed to sexually harass them and imply that the girl should be having sex with him, too. Boys can buy condoms and people expect that boys are having sex – but girls? No, no. Girls must remain hidden, virgins until marriage, and to have any sexual desire or interest at all is repulsive and immoral. What absolute sexist nonsense.

The third key issue is adults being uncomfortable with talking about sex – what I consider to be a profound failure on the part of adults who know better and yet will not educate the youth. Even when girls know they are at risk if they don’t use condoms, they struggle to access true and accurate information about sex in order to protect themselves. Parents don’t want to discuss, and neither do teachers. So what happens then? Myths abound. Girls are told that condoms will slip off and stay in your body unless you have surgery to remove them – and if don’t have them removed, they will cause cancer and kill you. Girls are told these things and they believe them – because no one else who is well informed is willing to speak to them about it. The assumption that speaking to young people about sex will provoke them to have sex is patently false – and has been proven in various different bits of research around the world. In fact, speaking to young people about sex demystifies the whole idea of sex, and allows them to find answers to their questions in a safe way, rather than having to resort to sexual activity before they are ready to satisfy their curiousity and understand this thing that no one is willing to tell them about. To not speak to young people about sex leaves them in a void of misinformation and confusion, and opens them up to vastly more risks and possible exploitation – and it directly contributes to teen pregnancy.

Adults – I know it’s awkward, I know it maybe wasn’t done when you were a kid, but please look at the reality of TODAY and understand that you are condemning young people to serious risks and vulnerabilities, especially girls, that will affect their entire lives, if you do not get over your discomfort and speak with them honestly and openly – and base your behaviours and attitudes on real evidence, not fears, taboos and misinformation. Stop blaming girls, stop avoiding responsibility for the problem that you are instrumental in creating and perpetuating.

Source: Katie Carlson Post on Facebook.

In the end, as a people and as a culture, we have to admit that we cannot prevent teenagers from sexual intercourse. If we can provide adequate sex education and reproductive health training, we can reverse the trend. Otherwise, we are failing the youth and the future of our nation. It is a no brainer that teenage pregnancy is on the rise, according to this recent survey. We need to change our attitude towards this problem. Fellow Rwandans, what is your opinion? Share in the comments.

Is Africa really rising?

If you really want to know if Africa is rising, ask Africans.

The Africa rising slogan is not African. The narrative is a Western view of Africa.

Africa is under-performing. Is Zimbabwe doing better today that it was in 2000? Even South Africa is heading into a recession. The most industrialized country in Africa is registering negative growth. How do you explain that?

Ali Mufuriki makes some good points about making clear distinctions about hype versus reality and hope versus achievement.

Africa is indeed “rising”, but the hype is overrated when you look at quantifiable measurements. The following points are all taken from his Ted Talk.

  1. Low Expectations. In the 80’s and 90’s, China was growing at 18% per annum at the peak of its growth. What is Africa’s growth today? 7–8%. When China’s growth is less than 10%, Economists call it a “ recession”. What is considered a “recession” in China is praised as a huge growth for Africa. Why are bars set too low? Something tells me because we are Africans.
  2. You cannot rise without enough electricity. Ask Nigerians about their power cuts. In fact, France (65 million people) consumes 4 times more electricity than Sub-Saharan Africa (850 million people, 2015). Is Africa really rising?
  3. Huge costs for transportation. Transporting one ton of fertilizer from a US port to Kenyan port ( Mombasa) costs about $ 40 per ton for a 9,000 KM distance. Can you guess what it costs to transport the same cargo from Mombasa to Kampala ( Uganda)? It costs $ 120 per ton for a 1,000 KM distance. Per KM, it is 30 times more expensive to transport commodities inside Africa. How can Entrepreneurs thrive in this environment? Are we not setting them for failure? This can’t be a sign for rising.
  4. Has anybody flew inside Africa? Flights are super expensive on the continent. We still have visa issues between countries. In my region, check out the price to fly from Kigali to Dar-es-Salaam, Nairobi, and Addis-Ababa. Similar journeys in Europe or Asia are three times cheaper. How can we trade with one another when flying is reserved for politicians, diplomats, NGO workers, and rich business people?
  5. How about energy security? As of 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa was importing $ 19 billion worth of oil from OPEC countries. Why can’t we refine the oil reserves in Africa to be self-sufficient? Meanwhile, Nigeria, one of the largest oil producers in Africa lost about 136 million barrels of oil between 2009–2012. Most of the oil was lost through theft, sabotage, corruption, and other self-destructing phenomena. That’s one billion USD in loss of revenues. The same amount Nigeria used to import grains such as wheat, maize, and other cereals in the country. Are we really rising?
  6. Mechanization of Agriculture. We are still practicing agriculture the same way people did it 500 years ago. Africa is under-performing in irrigation and introducing modern techniques to ensure food security. An African farmer harvest 2 tons of maize per one hectare of land. Meanwhile, an American farmer gets 10 tons per hectare. Are we really rising?
  7. Zimbabwe is a good example in this case. Take the land from commercial farmers and give it to subsistence farmers. How is Zimbabwe today? A once food basket and a net exporter of food in Africa faces food shortages and mass emigration. South Africa is heading in the same direction. I hope they prove me wrong, but things are not looking good there either. Are we really rising?
  8. In education, what are our literacy rates? Basic education of primary and secondary education. 70% of Africans are a young population under 35. Are we empowering the youth to equip them with the skills and knowledge to cope with the challenges of today and tomorrow? I don’t think so.
  9. In the end, nothing seems to be changing in Africa. Our leaders are illiterate and don’t care about reading and learning from others. Not too long ago, some Asian countries were behind Africa. South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. Our folks just don’t care.
  10. For Africa to rise, we need the magic of 6M theory of management. Man, material, money, market, management, and motivation.
    1. Man (people): a skilled and well-trained workforce.
    2. Material: Infrastructure to facilitate economic growth ( transportation, electricity, roads, railways, etc).
    3. Money: Access to capital.
    4. Markets: Access to global markets ( Africa Intra-trade).
    5. Management: Leadership that is visionary and forward thinking.
    6. Motivation: Hope and excitement for today and the future. Are African countries doing enough to get African youth excited? I don’t think so. We are talking about 70% of the African population, who are under 35.

From the outside perspective, we might be “rising”, but from an inside perspective, we are under-performing. I am always positive and hopeful, but sometimes, we gotta be real.

Any Africans think we are really rising as a whole continent? In my honest opinion, the bar for us has been set too low. Such a shame! As Ali from Tanzania said, there is a big difference between hype and reality.

The hype is that Africa is rising. The reality is that Africa is underachieving.

Follow Africa is Home to learn more.

References

Is Africa really rising? Ali Muturiki ( Ted Talk).

https://www.quora.com/Is-Africa-really-rising/answer/Didier-Champion

Kwibuka25: The President Address to the Nation.

On the 25th commemoration of genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda, President Paul Kagame delivered a very powerful message to the people of Rwanda. His message highlighted the recovery of Rwanda, and it took me back through the journey that we have been on for the past 25 years after 1994. The message is crystal clear that Rwanda is here to stay. However, We Rwandans have to be protective of what we have built. The unity, peace, and reconciliation pillars are the foundation of Rwanda today. As the youth of Rwanda, We have to stay engaged and be proactive in our nation’s building.

This is why I am sharing his speech for those who might have missed it. It is a roadmap of where we are heading as a nation and the challenges ahead for Rwanda.

___

I begin by thanking you. On a day like this, when language fails, the first words that come, are words of gratitude. To you, the friends by our side on this heavy day, including the different leaders present, we say thank you. Many of you have been with us all along, and we cherish you for contributing to the healing and re-building of Rwanda.

I also thank my fellow Rwandans, who joined hands to recreate this country. In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place.

How did it happen?

Rwanda became a family, once again. The arms of our people, intertwined, constitute the pillars of our nation. We hold each other up. Our bodies and minds bear amputations and scars, but none of us is alone. Together, we have woven the tattered threads of our unity into a new tapestry.

Sisters became mothers. Neighbors became uncles. Strangers became friends. Our culture naturally creates new bonds of solidarity, which both console and renew.

Rwanda is a family. That is why we still exist, despite all we have gone through. There is no way to fully comprehend the loneliness and anger of survivors. And yet, over and over again, we have asked them to make the sacrifices necessary to give our nation new life. Emotions had to be put in a box.

Someone once asked me why we keep burdening survivors with the responsibility for our healing. It was a painful question, but I realized the answer was obvious. Survivors are the only ones with something left to give: their forgiveness.

Our people have carried an immense weight with little or no complaint. This has made us better and more united than ever before. At a memorial event some years ago, a girl brought us to tears with a poem. She said, “There is a saying that God spends the day elsewhere, but returns to sleep in Rwanda.”

“Where was God on those dark nights of genocide?”, she asked.

Looking at Rwanda today, it is clear that God has come back home to stay.

To survivors, I say thank you. Your resilience and bravery represent the triumph of the Rwandan character in its purest form.

Joining us today are families from other countries, whose husbands, fathers, sisters, and aunts were claimed by the same deadly ideology.

The Belgian peacekeepers, murdered twenty-five years ago this morning.

Captain Mbaye Diagne from Senegal, who saved so many lives.

Tonia Locatelli, killed in 1992 for telling the truth of what was to come.

The only comfort we can offer is the commonality of sorrow, and the respect owed to those who had the courage to do the right thing.

Other people around the world also stood up and made a difference.

Ambassador Karel Kovanda from the Czech Republic joined colleagues from New Zealand and Nigeria to call for action to stop the Genocide, despite the indifference of more powerful states.

And my brother, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, knows where Rwanda is coming from, having served in an Ethiopian peacekeeping contingent after the Genocide, together with troops from elsewhere in Africa and beyond.

Thank you all for your presence.

Those among us who perpetrated the Genocide, or stood by passively, are also part of our nation. The willingness, in a number of cases, to tell the truth, pay the price, and re-join the community, is an important contribution.

The witness of perpetrators is irrefutable proof, if any was still needed, that genocide happened.

Genocide hibernates as denial.

Both before the killing and after, there is a long chain of events which are interconnected. Revisionism is not merely demeaning, but profoundly dangerous.

The genocide did not begin on one specific day. It has a history.

Why were refugees Rwanda’s biggest export, for decades? Why were the same people repeatedly targeted for persecution and massacre, from the late 1950s to the 1990s? Why were bodies dumped into rivers, to send them back up the Nile, where they supposedly came from? Why did some parents even kill their own children, who looked a certain way?

None of that started with a plane crash. So where did it come from?

Through it all, we had guardians of virtue, Abarinzi b’Igihango, and other righteous citizens. Our rebirth was seeded by their actions.

The young girl, portrayed in the play we just saw, who took it upon herself to care for a baby survivor despite the objections of her family. That is a true story and today both women are home and fine.

The Nyange students who refused to be separated into Hutu on one side, Tutsi on the other. They never betrayed each other. Six were killed. Forty were wounded. All are heroes.

These are examples of the Rwandans who kept us from losing everything.

But most of us are neither survivors nor perpetrators. Three-quarters of Rwandans are under age thirty. Almost 60 per cent were born after the Genocide.

Our children enjoy the innocence of peace. They know trauma and violence only from stories. Our aspirations rest in this new generation.

Mature trees can no longer be molded, but seeds contain endless possibility. Rwanda’s young people have everything needed to transform our country. They have the responsibility to take charge more and more, and participate fully in securing the Rwanda we want and deserve.

We are far better Rwandans than we were. But we can be even better still.

We are the last people in the world who should succumb to complacency. The suffering we have endured should be enough to keep our fighting spirit alive.

Our country cannot afford to live by twists of fate. We must be deliberate and decisive, guided by humility and the content of our hearts. Rwanda has to stay one step ahead. Otherwise, we are insignificant.

The facts are stubborn, but so are we. We really have to be.

Our nation has turned a corner. Fear and anger have been replaced by the energy and purpose that drives us forward, young and old.

Rwanda is a very good friend to its friends. We seek peace, we turn the page. But no adversary should underestimate what a formidable force Rwandans have become, as a result of our circumstances.

Nothing has the power to turn Rwandans against each other, ever again. This history will not repeat. That is our firm commitment.

Nothing is required from those who wronged us, except an open mind. Every day we learn to forgive. But we do not want to forget. After all, before asking others to repent, we first have to forgive ourselves.

As for the dishonorable who remain impervious to regret, it is not our problem. It does not stop Rwanda from making progress, even for one moment.

The decimation of Rwanda was more absolute than any known weapon of mass destruction. Not only bodies were destroyed, but the very idea of Rwanda itself. That shows the ferocious power of human sentiments and designs.

Our prayer is for no other people to ever endure the same tribulations, especially our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Never accept it. Confront the apostles of division and hatred who masquerade as saviors and democrats. Our commonalities are always infinitely greater than our differences. No society is above any other, much less immune to fragility.

In the end, the only conclusion to draw from Rwanda’s story is profound hope for our world. No community is beyond repair, and the dignity of a people is never fully extinguished.

Twenty-five years later, here we are. All of us. Wounded and heartbroken, yes. But unvanquished.

We Rwandans have granted ourselves a new beginning. We exist in a state of permanent commemoration, every day, in all that we do, in order to remain faithful to that choice.

I thank you and wish you strength and peace.

I begin by thanking you. On a day like this, when language fails, the first words that come, are words of gratitude.

To you, the friends by our side on this heavy day, including the different leaders present, we say thank you. Many of you have been with us all along, and we cherish you for contributing to the healing and re-building of Rwanda.

I also thank my fellow Rwandans, who joined hands to recreate this country. In 1994, there was no hope, only darkness. Today, light radiates from this place.

How did it happen?

Rwanda became a family, once again. The arms of our people, intertwined, constitute the pillars of our nation. We hold each other up. Our bodies and minds bear amputations and scars, but none of us is alone. Together, we have woven the tattered threads of our unity into a new tapestry.

Sisters became mothers. Neighbors became uncles. Strangers became friends. Our culture naturally creates new bonds of solidarity, which both console and renew.

Rwanda is a family. That is why we still exist, despite all we have gone through.

There is no way to fully comprehend the loneliness and anger of survivors. And yet, over and over again, we have asked them to make the sacrifices necessary to give our nation new life. Emotions had to be put in a box.

Someone once asked me why we keep burdening survivors with the responsibility for our healing. It was a painful question, but I realized the answer was obvious. Survivors are the only ones with something left to give: their forgiveness.

Our people have carried an immense weight with little or no complaint. This has made us better and more united than ever before.

At a memorial event some years ago, a girl brought us to tears with a poem. She said, “There is a saying that God spends the day elsewhere, but returns to sleep in Rwanda.”

“Where was God on those dark nights of genocide?”, she asked.

Looking at Rwanda today, it is clear that God has come back home to stay.

To survivors, I say thank you. Your resilience and bravery represent the triumph of the Rwandan character in its purest form.

Joining us today are families from other countries, whose husbands, fathers, sisters, and aunts were claimed by the same deadly ideology.

The Belgian peacekeepers, murdered twenty-five years ago this morning.

Captain Mbaye Diagne from Senegal, who saved so many lives.

Tonia Locatelli, killed in 1992 for telling the truth of what was to come.

The only comfort we can offer is the commonality of sorrow, and the respect owed to those who had the courage to do the right thing.

Other people around the world also stood up and made a difference.

Ambassador Karel Kovanda from the Czech Republic joined colleagues from New Zealand and Nigeria to call for action to stop the Genocide, despite the indifference of more powerful states.

And my brother, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, knows where Rwanda is coming from, having served in an Ethiopian peacekeeping contingent after the Genocide, together with troops from elsewhere in Africa and beyond.

Thank you all for your presence.

Those among us who perpetrated the Genocide, or stood by passively, are also part of our nation. The willingness, in a number of cases, to tell the truth, pay the price, and re-join the community, is an important contribution.

The witness of perpetrators is irrefutable proof, if any was still needed, that genocide happened.

Genocide hibernates as denial.

Both before the killing and after, there is a long chain of events which are interconnected. Revisionism is not merely demeaning, but profoundly dangerous.

The genocide did not begin on one specific day. It has a history.

Why were refugees Rwanda’s biggest export, for decades? Why were the same people repeatedly targeted for persecution and massacre, from the late 1950s to the 1990s? Why were bodies dumped into rivers, to send them back up the Nile, where they supposedly came from? Why did some parents even kill their own children, who looked a certain way?

None of that started with a plane crash. So where did it come from?

Through it all, we had guardians of virtue, Abarinzi b’Igihango, and other righteous citizens. Our rebirth was seeded by their actions.

The young girl, portrayed in the play we just saw, who took it upon herself to care for a baby survivor despite the objections of her family. That is a true story and today both women are home and fine.

The Nyange students who refused to be separated into Hutu on one side, Tutsi on the other. They never betrayed each other. Six were killed. Forty were wounded. All are heroes.

These are examples of the Rwandans who kept us from losing everything.

But most of us are neither survivors nor perpetrators. Three-quarters of Rwandans are under age thirty. Almost 60 per cent were born after the Genocide.

Our children enjoy the innocence of peace. They know trauma and violence only from stories. Our aspirations rest in this new generation.

Mature trees can no longer be molded, but seeds contain endless possibility. Rwanda’s young people have everything needed to transform our country. They have the responsibility to take charge more and more, and participate fully in securing the Rwanda we want and deserve.

We are far better Rwandans than we were. But we can be even better still.

We are the last people in the world who should succumb to complacency. The suffering we have endured should be enough to keep our fighting spirit alive.

Our country cannot afford to live by twists of fate. We must be deliberate and decisive, guided by humility and the content of our hearts. Rwanda has to stay one step ahead. Otherwise, we are insignificant.

The facts are stubborn, but so are we. We really have to be.

Our nation has turned a corner. Fear and anger have been replaced by the energy and purpose that drives us forward, young and old.

Rwanda is a very good friend to its friends. We seek peace, we turn the page. But no adversary should underestimate what a formidable force Rwandans have become, as a result of our circumstances.

Nothing has the power to turn Rwandans against each other, ever again. This history will not repeat. That is our firm commitment.

Nothing is required from those who wronged us, except an open mind. Every day we learn to forgive. But we do not want to forget. After all, before asking others to repent, we first have to forgive ourselves.

As for the dishonorable who remain impervious to regret, it is not our problem. It does not stop Rwanda from making progress, even for one moment.

The decimation of Rwanda was more absolute than any known weapon of mass destruction. Not only bodies were destroyed, but the very idea of Rwanda itself. That shows the ferocious power of human sentiments and designs.

Our prayer is for no other people to ever endure the same tribulations, especially our brothers and sisters in Africa.

Never accept it. Confront the apostles of division and hatred who masquerade as saviors and democrats. Our commonalities are always infinitely greater than our differences. No society is above any other, much less immune to fragility.

In the end, the only conclusion to draw from Rwanda’s story is profound hope for our world. No community is beyond repair, and the dignity of a people is never fully extinguished.

Twenty-five years later, here we are. All of us. Wounded and heartbroken, yes. But unvanquished.

We Rwandans have granted ourselves a new beginning. We exist in a state of permanent commemoration, every day, in all that we do, in order to remain faithful to that choice.

I thank you and wish you strength and peace.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

 

 

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.

References

The Kings of Rwanda ( Wiki page).

Amoko y’Abanyarwanda ( Wikirwanda.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/thomas-goodfellow/kigali-2020-politics-of-silence-in-city-of-shock ( 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.

https://www.quora.com/Is-the-migrant-population-from-Africa-desirable-in-Europe/answer/Didier-M-Champion

 

 

 

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.

SPC DD

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!

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Message_to_Garcia