RWANDAFUL DAY IN DALLAS – Gender equality celebrated

RWANDAFUL DAY IN DALLAS – Gender equality celebrated

This past weekend in Dallas, Texas well over 300 Rwandans living in the US gathered to celebrate the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY organized by the Rwanda Embassy in the US.

As always, you can count on it, wherever Rwandans are gathered things work like clock-work — except time keeping. That is the signature of The New Rwanda – and I don’t mean the failure to keep time. I am sure Rwanda bashers and haters, and many others masquerading as politicians reading this are frowning and shaking their heads. I say, go on. You cannot stop us now. We are on a roll – especially Rwandan women.

Rwandan Ambassador to US Mathilde Mukantabana meets some of the Rwandan Community in the US

The theme of the conference was expressly to acknowledge and celebrate how far Rwanda has gone in establishing, socially and legally, the role of women in Rwanda and giving them their rightful place and stature in our society.

To state the obvious, Rwanda is ahead of any African country and most other nations in the world acknowledging the role of women in society, which in turn goes along with progress and development in all aspects of development.

Let’s give credit where it is due. Without good, principled and incorruptible leadership all this would not have been achieved. And because of this, forgive me for not being bashful, our enemies have un-ceremoniously been neutered.

I am biased when it comes to commenting on the Rwandan women, but so be it. This is my medium and I write what I like. A Rwandan woman is humble, focused, resilient and has a spine of steel. She may look meek, but watch out, looks are deceiving. In their humility lies their strength. We all saw it during our Liberation War: without them we would not be where we are today.

Allow me the literal license to say, the beauty of our women, their grace and strength of character almost makes one forget that people die. Yet I know this is not so.

The conference focused on gender equality, child mentoring, the role of women in the economy, mental health, cultural values and appreciation and several other societal issues that other societies ignore. That Rwanda has made such amazing progress in the last 28 years is not only impressive but remarkable. But we must avoid tooting our own horn. The journey is not done.

Members of the Rwandan Community and Friends of Rwanda in the US

As I listened to the various panels I could not help but notice how young the panelists were, yet so professional, eloquent and impassioned. My only beef is that we must all be vigilant to communicate in Kinyarwanda in all our public forums because language defines who we are.

To all the fathers and mothers in the Diaspora I challenge you to teach your children Kinyarwanda, and UMUCO. If these children grow up without speaking Kinyarwanda we risk becoming a lost people, a nation built on quick sand because children are our future.

Yet, I know, and I am completely assured: patriotism flows in our veins like a mighty river, and love of country is the DNA we share. We cannot, and must never allow these shortcomings to define our constitution or pave our future.

I had a chance to catch up with Mike, an old friend during one of the conference interludes, and he looked at me, and with a smile that is so patently Rwandan said, ”this is really Rwandaful”, hence the title of this blog. Thanks Mike. Only a Rwandan has the balls to be so self-assured.

The passion of the Rwandan Diaspora is a thing to behold: passionate, ready to fight, if need be, patriotic to a fault and ever so ready to defend the good name of the Motherland. How can we do less?

Rwanda Community in the US celebrating IWD2022

As anti-Rwanda sentiments abroad (but especially here in the US) have desperately become louder (without a message) they have emboldened all of us and in turn made us more united, focused and determined. As time goes on many enemies of Rwanda have seen the folly of their ”beliefs” and have, so to speak, ”found Jesus.” I say, you un-clench your fist, we extend a hand of friendship. That’s how we roll!

The strength and vibrancy of the Rwandan US Diaspora would not have been smoother and a force to contend with but for Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana — our never tiring representative in these United States. Full of energy, un-assuming, approachable and down to earth, and full of wisdom and charm, she has employed her people skills and amazing organizational skills to bring Rwandans of all persuasions together.

But, our journey is not done. Our trials and tribulations may have been diluted. But the enemy is ever so stealthy, cunning and his thirst for evil still exploding. But fear not. We have been to hell and there is no other place that scares us. We must remain vigilant, attentive and must put our petty differences aside.

We are capable of it. We are a people to contend with, and this is not naive bravado. We have stood the test of time. But let’s never forget that without each other we are nothing.