The myths about Rwanda’s youth

Team members of Imagine We Rwanda and Inkstain at a recent comedy event

The myths about Rwanda’s youth

I have only been back in Rwanda for six months after almost six years of being one of the world’s weirdest nomad. Of course with social media, we tends to have very inaccurate images of our mamaland. I have heard the best and the worst about Rwanda’s youth but I really couldnt wait to just make my own judgments! So here I am back home and trying to have my good share of participation in the development of Rwanda.

So let me elaborate on the myths I heard of while I was wandering in this world.

Myth Number 1: Young Rwandans are lazy

Wrong! Of course there are some lazy human beings in every country of the world. But generalizing this behavior to all Rwandans is just very, very wrong! I have been working in Rwanda for five months now, and I have met some hardworking entrepreneurs. Can I emphasize that they are all under thirty?

I mean, I have met interior designers, computer engineers, graphic designers, illustrators, fashion designers you name it! I am amazed by the fact that these young men and women decided to pursue their dream and took the necessary risks to become as successful as they are today. And that is amazing!

My friend Dolph, who is a multitasker (read umu-TT), is just a workaholic. I worry that he doesn’t even sleep.

Rwanda is being built by these young men and women who spend restless nights to bring their best to the country. They do not only strive for success but they are addicted to it. And they are definitely challenging that myth!

Young Rwandans are not lazy. And if you fall under the lazy category, please move out of there!

Myth Number 2: Rwandans are just not creative at all

I have to admit that I used to fall for this myth when I was wandering across the earth. Rwandans are not creative, they imitate what others do, they blah blah blah… Of course, I am ashamed to say that I once believed this! And I am so glad that I was proved wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

I am blessed to be surrounded by creative young minds. Sometimes they make me feel like I am the worthless lazy, uncreative bum!

Just yesterday, I was talking to the manager of an interior and product design firm. I had so many questions that he probably thought I was investigating (Girl, you are crossing the borders!) Anyway, he was telling me about how he was about to open up yet another company because the business is growing and it is promising.

Of course, you might disagree with me, there is still much to be learned. But, these are young people taking the risks and seizing opportunities by the neck!

The hardest thing I have learned in life is taking risks. We all love the comfort of our comfort zones. Yet, here in Rwanda, there are young people moving earth and sky to leave their mark on Rwanda.

Myth Number 3: Young Rwandans are just not professional

Uh, really? Are you sure? This myth is one that has been spread so much that it is easier to believe in it than to even try refuting it. But I like a challenge so let me just go ahead and refute it! Yes, big yes, young Rwandans are professional and are getting even more and more professional.

Have you ever heard of organisations such as the Peace and Love Proclaimers (PLP), HeHe Labs, Live Again Rwanda, Inkstain, or Ejo Group  the list goes on. Seriously, if you haven’t please do check them out and spend ten minutes with them; you’ll see what I mean.

Professionalism is one of the key ingredients to success. Can we agree on this? It involves the ability to have a clear vision of what an organisation needs to portray and also where it needs to go. It involves having the right skills and expertise to move an idea forward! How about that?

Do I think that the Rwandan youth has the above? Yes, I certainly do! If Rwanda is growing, it is definitely because there is some amount of professionalism. And, yes, thank you!

I strongly believe in our youth today. I am so proud of what we are doing and what we desire to build for our country! I also believe that Rwanda is the country of a thousand opportunities and the smart ones will enjoy the fruit of the land!

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