Why is it that at concerts, revelers prefer to sit as they tap on their phones? And why do Kigalians or from any part of Rwanda, keep their cool even when they hear their best tunes.
Take a stroll along Kigali streets asking any pass-by why they do not seem to enjoy when out there. They will respond in unison that Kigali has very few places of fun.
Some may call it boring, but many of Kigali’s residents embrace the city’s quiet calm. Do not be fooled, however, there is a part of Kigali that never sleeps: Nyamirambo – the oldest suburb that defies this stereotype.
As Rwanda positions itself to be a global conference hub – hosting thousands of international guests daily, questions have emerged as to how a “boring city” will be on the next ‘must return’ plan for whoever will visit.
Rwandan officials have been asked the same question over and over. Social media commentary has claimed the stringent noise control regulations are keeping club music too low – which keeps away some revelers.
Other quarters have blamed the quiet Kigali on tough police traffic controls that are usually stationed near the hottest joints. People supposedly stay home to avoid falling prey to the traffic roadblocks. These police controls are for vehicle documentation, and do not stop drunkards.
Today, the Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) – an agency charged with selling the country to potential international event organizers, held a press conference. The issue of fun in Kigali was addressed.
“Unlike our regional counterparts, we Rwandans are very reticent people,” said Emmanuel Nsabimana, the Head of Tourism Regulations at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). “We tend to do things in a softer and unadventurous manner”.
According to Nelly Mukazayire the Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Convention Bureau, there is a lot to enjoy in Kigali, but the nature of Rwandans limits their fun.
“Rwandans prefer to enjoy in a quiet way most of the time” added Mukazayire.
She said that various players are being mobilised to develop as many places of enjoyment as possible to appeal to different tastes so that everyone is able to find what excites them.
“We still have more work to do but we encourage the private sector and all individual Rwandans to come up with innovative ways not make money from the many guests coming and attract more to visit,” said Mukazayire.
For 2018 Rwanda hosted 201 events with more than 35,000 delegates – bringing in some $54 million.
The agency expects more than $74 million dollars by June this year.
“There is no reason we cannot meet this target because the government through RDB and the private sector have provided the ways to achieve it,” added Mukazayire.