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Paying tribute to our heroes

Paying tribute to our heroes

When I was a little kid, my father used to tell me how beautiful his home prefecture of Kibuye was. We were refugees in another country and I could tell from the tone of his voice that our chances of returning home were very slim. Inspired by his description of the place he spoke fondly of, I never stopped dreaming.

Fast forward to 2019, I have something to say about the former Kibuye prefecture too. Currently known as Karongi, this district is positioning itself as an epicenter of amusement.

When I visited Karongi for the first time, I boarded a boat and cruised to Amahoro island. Amahoro means peace and the atmosphere on this island is peaceful. Dr. Diana Perdue, founder of Rimwe Educational Resources described the island as a little slice of heaven. According to her, this gorgeous creation arouses dreams of paradise. Seems like my father is not the only person whose description of Karongi can make you dream even if your chances of visiting the place are very slim.

I made it to the island late in the evening. During sunset, the lake’s turquoise water turned indigo and the sky gleamed. Watching the sun drop into the lake is a spectacle you would want to witness one day.

My first trip to Karongi was followed by many more. During one of my subsequent visits, I used a kayak to glide to Nyamunini island, also known as Napoleon’s hat. While propelling my kayak to Emperor Bonaparte’s chapeau, I felt the lake’s soothing effect and the magnetic charm responsible for my frequent Kivu escapades.

Speaking of Kivu, Karongi is not the only beneficiary of its magical allure. I am writing this piece from Karambo peninsula in Rusizi District and I have something to say about this place too. Since I am still busy discovering more of Rusizi, courtesy of Émeraude Kivu Resort, I will be releasing doses of my experiences in this area through a series of upcoming posts.

On this Heroes’ Day, I am reflecting on the utmost sacrifices made by Major General Fred Gisa Rwigema and the "Unknown Soldier" in a bid to turn my dream into a reality. I am pondering the altruistic values that define the legacies of King Mutara III Rudahigwa and Michel Rwagasana. I am appraising the selflessness of Agathe Uwilingiyimana, Félicité Niyitegeka and Inyange Secondary School’s students.

Moreover, I recognize the immeasurable sacrifices made by those who are still working tirelessly to make sure that our fallen heroes’ blood wasn’t shed in vain. Last but not least, I salute men and women in uniform who work day and night to ensure our security is intact. The unsung heroes who persevere the scorching sun and heavy downpours to protect our lives. Happy National Heroes’ Day to all Rwandans and friends of Rwanda.

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