Huye, 30 July 2010
As the day was nearing its end in Huye, the crowd did not lose an ounce of its energy. After what many will call an overwhelming welcome of cheers, songs, handshakes and embraces from over eighty thousand people, President Kagame stood on the podium to share this message, “ the goal of RPF has always been to restore the pride of all Rwandans people and to leave behind the days of dependency and transform this country into what our ancestors called the land of milk and honey.” The crowd responded with the song “Turi mu ndege, pilot ninde? Ni Paul Kagame” meaning “ we are in a plane, who is our trusted pilot? Paul Kagame.”
However, the crowd’s cheers intensified with the message shared by Ancilla Mukarusira- a 54 years old resident of Huye. Mukarusira returned to Rwanda after taking refuge in Congo in 1994. She was afraid for her safety but found peace and though she expected to fend for herself, she found a helping hand from the government. She was given a cow in the Gira Inka program that saved her grandchildren from malnutrition. In line with the RPF policy of encouraging cooperatives, she created her own, built her own house and was then able to get a job in the local coffee factory. She thanked President Kagame because today “women are also considered human beings capable of leadership.”
However, it was when she began speaking to the crowd in English that the crowd cheered even louder. She told President Kagame “I was not given the opportunity to learn how to read and write…today I am learning it in English.” Mukarusira is an example that with the right leadership, it is never too late to start over and create a life that make one proud of who they have become.