I am writing this from La Bella Lodge located on the shore of Lake Kivu in Rubavu District. Earlier today, I visited the hidden gems of the neighboring Rutsiro District but that’s a story for another day.
I left Kigali at 8 a.m. and grabbed a cup of coffee at Crema Café in Musanze before proceeding to Rubavu. This was a short break. Shorter than my regular ones. However, I didn’t leave the café before checking out the newest artworks displayed in the garden.
I spent a minute with an artist namely Rigobert Uwiduhaye who plies his craft in the same premises. He was working on two different paintings at the same time. One was an artistic impression of a gorilla and the second one was a portrait of three smiling kids. I guess the dollars milked from the gorilla are behind those cute smiles.
I had never seen an artist working on two pieces at the same time. Never before. These creative fellas will never stop amazing me.
As mentioned above, this was a brief stopover. However, before I walked out of the door, I took a quick look at the bookshelf hoping to find something that would give me a better understanding of the area in vain. All the books were imports from the other side of the Atlantic. The good news is, I had a copy of my own book titled MEMORIES which gives Musanze its fair share of coverage. For the record, Crema Café is featured in this book. It will be a good addition to the café’s collection.
Crema Café was founded in October 2017 by Prince Kamari and Aidan Miller. It didn’t take long before the business started attracting foreign tourists. There is something about coffee which is irresistible to these people.
It takes a substantial amount of money to set up a coffee shop. The two aspiring entrepreneurs, fresh from their high school classrooms, had nothing but determination when their idea was conceived. They turned to Indiegogo, an American crowdfunding website, for financing. Their unconventional acquisition of capital worked, thanks to their deep connections in North America. Since the platform requires recipients to send gifts to their donors, a lot of work was done to create required items.
I find the story behind the formation of this strategically located coffee shop quite inspiring. There is a reason I thought about it during the April 2020 lockdown when I was repackaging selected stories to create the MEMORIES manuscript.
The author is a travel enthusiast on a mission to discover what Rwanda has to offer. Follow his awe-inspiring expeditions on Twitter @GeoExposure.