The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: RPF Sets a High Hurdle to Jump

opinion

I am not actively involved in politics, especially party politics. Then again, I don't have to be a partisan - who is prolific in scheming and maneuvering - in order for me to evaluate and acknowledge the achievements the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) has chalked up for its country and people.

Besides the hubbub flying in from here and there, even detractors can painfully look and sniff the remarkable job RPF has done for Rwanda yetu!

There is no single institution or country or individual who is perfect in the whole world. But let's avoid evoking negative energy within us and instead focus on what RPF has built to embrace a new culture pegged onto prosperity and unity.

Before 25 years ago, there was a canoe that needed to be oared across amid stormy conditions. Young men and women - our uncles and aunties or youthful fathers and mothers or slightly older brothers and sisters - assumed a responsibility too huge for their age. Regardless of harsh conditions that Rwandan refugees were encountering, President Kagame and his colleagues took center-stage in the matters of liberating a country at age of 30 and under. What sound does this make to the eardrums of the youths? Our elders did not put their youth to waste!

Our elders have diligently done their part. And they have exhibited hard work, love for each other and country, solidarity, focus, resilience, responsibility and humbleness. Question is: are the youth prepared to preserve and cushion the legacy of steering the country's prosperity rooted in unity and rapprochement?

Most of our leaders, especially those who spent their youths in trenches fighting to liberate Rwanda, have remained implausibly humble and focused on building a better Rwanda for all. I am often smitten by the way an army general in this country is not scary or arrogant!

I am very worried about those in my age bracket, who most of us were about seven years old and under or slightly above when RPF was being established in 1987. I don't wish to prophesize doom, but I hardly envision the young generation exuding humbleness and patriotism like our elders at a similar pedigree. Our lifestyle alone hardly guarantees whether we are going to emulate and keep similar amount of focus and hard work.

We have - for sure - got better opportunities today but these opportunities - I am afraid they are instead distracting us. A sister gets an opportunity to study at one of the world's most acclaimed universities, say Harvard University. She adopts an imported accent and speaks faster than Eminem. When she gets a job in any organisation back home she focuses on telling everybody how she went to Harvard instead of focusing on what value she would add to the organization or country. She wants to impose herself on everybody instead collaborating with everybody.

She goes on to tell you a maladroit story - which you didn't even ask her to - that she took a pay cut in the United States in order to come back home and help.

If the generals and cadres who were at the helm of liberating this nation focused on bragging about what they did, there would have never been progress in this country.

We - the youth - need to borrow a leaf from our elders in order to keep the boat rowing well or better. The hurdle is set high but we have the necessary springing power to jump.

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