THE RWANDAN EXPERIENCE
by Brendan Kuria, Cohort 4 Graduate
Getting to Rwanda and Zambia was not a walk in the park. We needed funds to be able to make this dream
come through. As such, we set out on a fund-raising mission. Different meetings were set up to plan on how to
efficiently raise the money required. The lapid leaders went ahead and met with different mentors as well as
different respectable companies to aid in the fruition of the experience.
But that’s not all. More hands on activities were also in play with the main aim of raising more money. Snacks,
from cupcakes to sandwiches and hotdogs, were prepared in readiness for selling at two separate university
graduation ceremonies that were to take place. The sleepless nights and effort that was put in by these young
men and women could be seen on their faces.
The night before the graduation, some of the lapid leaders came straight from their places of work and others from school (after doing some terrorizing CATS) to join forces and ensure that everything was in place. Packaging these snacks into more presentable form was the agenda for that night. On the fatefully day my team members and I woke up not later than 4 A.M. to set up the stands on which we were to sell the snacks as sell as bottled water that was bought in bulk for the events. Anyone who took part in this activity will tell you how hawking is quite a tough job (ask our very own hawker babe). Some people would give us cold shoulders, others would look at you in disgust wondering how someone so young would be out there selling foodstuffs instead of going to class and read.
All in all, there were those who helped promote us by buying our snacks, some of them in bulk and others being kind enough to give us tips. This was the toughest activity yet.
Another activity that helped in fund-raising was an open mic event dubbed #TheFix which was held at Nairobi
Chapel south. Tickets to the event were sold thus adding more to our Africa Experience basket. Our now
famous snacks were also prepared for this event too. #TheFix was graced with performances from Halisi the
band, Kenneth Mungai and Black Orbit (just to name a few). Our very own MC Hype also ensured that there
was as much interaction as possible. The event was a success.
Our tech gurus, Dennis ‘Amado’ Ondieki and Ken ‘Kenny G’ Mungai created an M changa account that was also
able to generate an influx of funds.
First stop was the Rwanda Genocide Memorial. The painful stories narrated by survivors accompanied by actual remains as seen in the memorial brought chills to our spines. A country that had experienced independence for slightly over 30 years had plunged into a wave of destruction that they themselves never thought could happen. For them, that was their turning point. They vowed to work together, regardless of tribe or political affiliation, to build their country.
Today, Rwanda has the most beautiful and cleanest city in Africa (Kigali), one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, 1st Globally in ICT promotion, 2nd easiest place to do business, 3rd greenest place in the world, Safest country in Africa and 6th globally in women empowerment. Kenya should adopt some of these traits to better herself, especially with the forthcoming elections.