Rwanda Day Recollections: Rwanda is where it all worked out – former diaspora
Arusha Kamaliza owns a chain of saloons in Kigali but all this seemed a dream until 2012 when her and her family attended Rwanda day in London.
Rwanda day serves as a time for Rwandan diaspora to reconnect with Rwandaâ€™s history, learn about the Rwanda of today and be an integral part of defining Rwandaâ€™s future.
Since the inauguration of the first event in 2011, Kamaliza is one of thousands of Rwandans that have returned home to set up business in the country.
â€œI for one (pointing to self) did not consider Rwanda to have progressed as much when I first moved here,” Kamaliza states.
And for a person that had lived most of her life in Canada, a life without electricity, water, Internet looked impossible and this she didn’t think was possible on her first return.
“At the event we were shown our country’s journey and that left me in awe, I saw a system that granted equal opportunities and within three months I had packed up my bags and come back home,” she adds.
Kamaliza is only one of several Rwandans that have found the grass greener upon their return.
Regis Isheja is a popular TV personality on the national broadcaster RTV and his return is no different from Kamalizaâ€™s.
“I attended Rwanda day in Toronto and what I saw about Rwanda was simply amazing, at some point I thought it was too good to be true, so sceptically I gave it a try,” he says.
And the scepticism seems to have paid off as he is now a renowned news anchor, â€œI feel like I’m in a position to be a voice for my country, â€œhe adds.
“I was the first in my family to come back and now almost everyone has moved back to Rwanda,” he further added.
Networking, business opportunities and a chance to learn about your culture are some of the lessons both Kamaliza and Isheja picked from Rwanda day going by the hundreds of Rwandans that have returned home, expect the same after the Amsterdam event.