By Mutabazi Sam Stewart

Many people want to go to Kigali, Rwanda to witness for themselves how the city has been transformed in a relatively short period. Kigali today is referred to as the cleanest city in Africa. But is it true that Rwanda is a haven as many would want us to believe? What is the magic about this city that is ensconced within mountains in the interior of Africa where contact with the outside world through imagination? What did Rwanda do to make people believe that its capital is worth a visit? Why Europeans are convinced that they must visit Rwanda during their life time. It worthwhile to visit this small country. When people visit it, are their expectations met or do they quietly get disappointed. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give you our honest view about Kigali city in Rwanda, the small country that has managed to confuse the entire world. Welcome aboard!

Kigali has aggressively marketed it self as a city to go to. Given its bellicose advertising, if it was a great place, it would not be able to handle all the visitors. Naturally, Kigali is not a great place by any stretch. It’s located deep in the African jungle. In assessment, you may need to compare this country with the Central African Republic (CAR) or even the neighboring Burundi.  Once you arrive in Kigali, it seems as if it’s a stopover as if one is on a continuing journey.  Though dominated by hundreds of hills, the city has something lacking.  It’s as if you’ve arrived into a modern wilderness in the middle of nowhere. The times I have visited Kigali, I have to remind myself that I am a visitor only for a few days and I have to endure before getting out.

Yes Kigali is a neat place, and can be quite busy but while there you feel that it’s not the destination you would want to be for a very long time. It’s like visiting a great modern forest that everyone has talked about and you too would want to see some of the great things that everyone has been talking about. Rwanda is very good at marketing herself. After establishing a national airline, the country made sure that everyone gets to know about its existence.

Rwanda people are a proud lot. Had it not been for a poor country, their pride would boarder on intolerable arrogance. Rwandese love to live a luxurious lifestyle. Good living is the ultimate goal of every Rwandese. They love easy living and dressing smart. Rwandese are very handsome and beautiful with long faces and sharp noses. The girls compete with Ethiopians in terms of beauty. They carry themselves with diplomatic aura. They always take themselves very seriously however poor they may be. To Rwandese, good dressing is an unwritten rule which everyone must work toward achieving at all times. The Tutsis   (minority ethnic group) excel at this compared to the majority Hutu.

Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, the country has emphasized orderliness and self determination. The president is known for promoting the dignity of the people of Rwanda. He has personally championed several activities aimed at promoting orderliness and cleanliness. For instance once every month, the city of Kigali engages in what is called (Umuganda) which is a mandatory community work aimed at cleaning the neighborhoods. Umuganda has inculcated a sense of cleanliness among the citizens and Rwandese take it as a very serious activity that is unique only to their country. Rwanda is building its second International Air poet at Bugesera Just 27 Miles from its current main airport at Kanombe.  Given the size of the country, the two airports are like terminals of the same airport. All this is to market the country as the best destination.

Kigali is a good place for hideout. If you are a foreigner and would like to be away from your country in a place far away from home, Kigali offers the best alternative. If you are a fugitive and want to escape the long arm of the law or being prosecuted, Rwanda offers a safe haven for you. If the government of Rwanda doesn’t hand you back to your country of origin, you will forever be safe from any intelligence.

Rwanda is a small country and Kigali its capital is smaller. It’s a small city that has punched above its weight. Rwanda has sort of forced the world to love it. Everyone who visits the country, whether they love it or not, will have to conform to what everyone has been saying. Rwanda may be a beautiful country with its green hills, but it’s a rural place that projects itself as a modern area but yet very far away from the rest of the world. When in Kigali, one feels there are thousands of miles from the next city.

Kigali city is beautiful but it’s a small beauty in the middle of nowhere. If you want to enjoy Kigali City plan to visit it for a maximum of two days and not more. Any more extra days will not be enjoyable. It becomes sort of a prison such that one begins to look forward to when they shall break the prison wall and get free. Whenever I am leaving Kigali, on my final day of visit, I normally feel pity for the people I am leaving behind. It’s like everyone is supposed to leave that place after some time. Nobody is supposed to stay in that place for ever.


  1. Abdul Nasser Barack

    This is the most honest review I have read in a while. This is true with what I have heard from my Rwandese friends who like to party in Uganda. They actually call Uganda Home. Life is but a mask we ware and Kigali seems to have perfected the masquerade besides, its the poster child for how foreign aid works wonders🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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