Kigali la belle, a memorable time in the Heart of Africa. Inspired by Eric Kabera, founder of Rwanda Cinema Centre 5th December 2012

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It doesn’t matter who you are and where you are from, you will fall in love with Kigali. From your window sit in the plane, you will be entertained by a majestic hilly scenery that will take your fear of flying away just before landing, as you hear the flight attendant announcing: welcome to Kigali, the weather is heavenly at anytime of the year…

As you land, the welcoming Kigali girls will blow you away with their stunning beauty, their smile will instantly cure your jetlag… don’t be shy, speak to them in French or English, they speak both with an exotic accent. then you will say to yourself: Yes, what they say about it is true! I’m in Kigali!

On the way to your hotel,  kigali’s neat sidewalks and beautiful palm trees will make you feel brand new, its timed traffic lights will inspire you… Remember to tell your driver to stop at gato keza, burbon, chocola lite or magda, for a quick, home made, organic cup of coffee. Order one to go and sip it slowly as you enjoy the tour of K-town.

Don’t worry about spilling it on your linen trousers, the roads in Kigali are so comfortable that if it wasn’t for the slick-looking pedestrians caching your attention, you would swear you are still on the plane! Oh Kigali roads! A joy to pilots and despair of garage holders… The clean uniforms of traffic policemen on the streets reflect their attitude, integrity and courtesy.

You will enjoy the spectacle of roundabout fountains, green public gardens, paved and plastic-free neighbourhoods… The broadband optic fibre will keep you connected to twitter everywhere you go in the country. Once settled-in, it won’t matter if you are cycling on Jali hilltop or nyabugogo valley, or if you are comfortably reading a novel at the brand new public library in Kacyiru, you will instantly make bank transactions from your cell phone, or withdraw local and foreign currency from an ATM just around the corner, 24/7.

If you are into sports however, you might never leave again! The athletic city will challenge you with its hilly climbs and steep slops. Your mountain bike will be your best friend and the Kigali walking club your crowd.

In Kigali you will find love. Destiny will make it that her path meets yours as you take an evening walk along the artificial lake in Nyarutarama. For the non-superstitious type, your saul mate will be waiting for you at the “dinner en blanc” event, or in the Kigali fashion week. Just get the info on what’s up in kigali at The newtimes’ week-end proggy column, or inquire from any cool young Rwandan at your office, hotel lobby or neighbourhood shop.

When you set your eyes on her, take that special girl to a pick-nick on mount rebero’s mera neza English garden, where they sky meets the earth… She will be so into you afterwards that she might agree to meet-up later for a pizza at Papyrus, for sushi at Zen or for fish at chez Lando. If you play it cool, she might even accept to go for a dance later at K-club. You better know your thing on the dance floor though… if you don’t, that’s ok, you can take salsa classes on Thursdays at Pasadena in Gikondo, or learn Congolese moves at Makumba in Nyamirambo every evening. Ah Congolese moves, they will change your life…

If you are like me, slow warm up style, don’t go straight to the disco, drop in first for Jazz night at Top Tower Hotel on your way to K-club. If the Jazz groove doesn’t help you win her heart, the screensaver-like view of Kigali’s night-sky from the top floor of the hotel definitely will… Dude, trust me, this is as good moment as any to make the move for that kiss you’ve been thinking about all evening… live jazz playing in the background, both of you looking at the romantic Kigali night sky from Top Tower’s fifth floor; You are definitely having a moment! Works all the time! if you aren’t, I don’t know what I’m talking about…

Now you are ready to go to K-club! Oh wait, if you had a little more than usual and you are driving, you might wanna forget K-club and walk slowly to Planet night club just up the road, very cool club too. Otherwise the police at Minijust check point will make you blow in the alcohol test thingy, prematurely end your night fling, politely get a cab for your date as they set one for you at the station, where you will have all night to tell your conquest to inmates as you sober up.

Unless you wanna grab a cab and leave your wheels at the top tower hotel. It will be there the next morning untouched. As the night winds up, don’t worry to walk that special lady home; Kigali by night is perfectly safe everywhere. There will be a policeman or a soldier discreetly standing in every corner, he will not address you but will be happy to direct you if you are lost, and walk you home if you are tipsy.

If you are worn out from all those moves, take a moto and enjoy the fresh air as you go back home. don’t forget to wear your helmet, the moto driver will remind you anyway, before starting his bike’s engine…

The next morning you will walk-up with a smile on you face and butterflies in you heart, the only low will be the massive ache in your head. Thankfully I have just the cure for you: its banana-brochette, featuring  beach volley and bowling at Mamba club; gets busy around ten AM on Sunday: Time to page you girl…

Alright son, welcome-to-Kigali-have-a-nice-day! I leave you to enjoy the new song in town by Kitoko: “Rwanda uri nziza” – Rwanda you are beautiful on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK-E_rSZJXY rather cool…

More official on the same topic:

  1. The Gollup 2012 State of Mind Report that rates Rwanda one of the safest and least corrupt places on the planet, way above the city of London: http://www.gallup.com/file/strategicconsulting/158555/GlobalStateMind_Report_11-30-12_sa.pdf >>>> and
  2. Kigali won the UN Habitat “habitat scroll of honour award” for cleanliness, environment friendliness and safety, and the former mayor of Kigali has since been made Deputy UN Under Secretary General for UN Habitat: http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?typeid=19&catid=564&cid=6586

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