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Building the traditional way

Building the traditional way

In his 1943 paper titled Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow documented his findings on the topic of universal needs of society. The bottom-up classification, illustrated in the said paper, presented the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The widely discussed theorem recognizes shelter as a basic need.

Over the centuries, housing has evolved to suit the advanced needs of modern societies but the traditional Rwandan house will remain a powerful symbol of cultural significance.

Our forefathers boasted advanced construction skills. The Xs and Os of their vocation were meticulously implemented. There is meaning attached to each piece of material used. Their dimensions and measurements adhere to important cultural norms. Every stage of construction is executed with military precision.

My construction site is an extension of Kumbya Kivu Life Ecolodge, located in Kanjongo Sector, Nyamasheke District. After spending a peaceful night in a wooden nest, I am fulfilling my life-long dream: Learning to build the traditional way.

One of these days, I will share more details about my traditional building experience in Nyamasheke. Today, allow me to give you a sneak peek preview of the location of my construction site.

As mentioned above, this is the extension of Kumbya Kivu Life Ecolodge. The facility is owned by a local investor determined to make a difference in his community. When his manager gave me a tour of the lodge, it felt like a 5D presentation of responsible tourism ethos.

The new trend in accommodation is in tune with nature. Globally, Eco-lodging establishments are becoming an integral part of nature-based tourism. In Rwanda, the concept is tapping into culture and reviving the past.

The traditional Rwandan house is re-emerging in contemporary architecture. The designer of the Kigali Convention Center’s dome was inspired by tradition. It is encouraging to see the traditional house holding its ground amid the unprecedented westernization of the construction sector.

The author is visiting all 30 districts of Rwanda. His tour of Nyamasheke is sponsored by Nyamasheke District, The Click Creations, Tec Global Ltd, Elimo Real Estate Ltd and Exposure.

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