Visit Rwanda and My Reverie at Church – Free Promotion, Free Advertisement Bonanza for David Luiz

It’s Sunday, today, I am back from Church № 999, where I had gone with my dog, TEG’AMATWI – he’s such an energetic canine but restless most times.

I went to Church to repent, or rather to pretend to repent all my past week’s transgressions, not by speaking to the priest behind something like a counter in a tightly closed space but because Church offers the best environment – space – that allows and makes it much more easier for one to convince oneself that presence at Church, and by pretending to be gracious, courteous, showing teeth, and saying praise the Lord to all, one has been forgiven of their transgressions.

At Church, my dog, TEG’AMATWI, lay next to me while the Church procession went on. From to time, he wagged his fluffy tail in reaction [response] to Church bells, the usually soothing Church Hymns – partly the reason I am motivated to go to Church, despite what I believe is profound hypocrisy at Church.

However, as my mind got carried away by the Church Hymns, it gravitated to #VisitRwanda campaign, a wonderful effort by the government of Rwanda geared towards promoting and boosting the tourism industry in the country by calling upon, encouraging people – across the globe – to visit Rwanda.

As someone of [with] Rwandan roots, however, with ancestral origins to a place in what is present day South Sudan, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sudan ) I take it as a personal duty, some might take it as a “patriotic” duty, to do my part- in my own inimitable ways – to support and promote the campaign, not so much to attract attention , to be seen to be “patriotic“. No. I am not a good sheep!

However, I do it because I’ve done my own critical analysis of it and genuinely believe in its intentions, its purpose and merits. It might, like everything, every project – if we look at it in project terms – have its own demerits, but I am deeply convinced that the underlying merits far outweigh the demerits.

Other than that, it also gives me a feel good factor, comparable perhaps to the feeling derived from giving – emphasis- GENUINE, charity. Likewise, it makes me feel connected to and part of, despite being so far away from, the country and the positive transformation it’s undergoing.

The more the Church Hymns filtered through my ears into my mind, calming it from its signature deep thoughtfulness, hence creating a serene internal atmosphere, the more it was pricked into veering off to a deep thoughtful state about the Visit Rwanda campaign, (https://www.visitrwanda.com/) and how to make it more effective, what more and other promotional and marketing tactics and approaches can be applied and employed.

As my mind finally drifted off from the attention grabbing Church Hymns, into fully engaged thoughtfulness about the Visit Rwanda campaign, one recent visit to Rwanda by David Luiz dominated my mind and thought.

David Luiz is a Brazilian professional footballer currently signed as a defender with the English Premier League Club Arsenal. Recently, he was on a visit in Rwanda, perhaps as part of the Visit Rwanda promotional campaign agreement the government of Rwanda entered into and signed with Arsenal Club.

There are photos on internet, various social media platforms, of David Luiz in Rwanda, in different places, meeting with various high profile government officials, taking photos with Arsenal fans in Rwanda.

But the highlight of his visit to Rwanda is of him standing shoulder to shoulder with the Rwandan President, H.E Kagame, at the presidential office – Village Urugwiro – for a photo opportunity – in and of itself, a rare opportunity many would wish to have because President Kagame is an inspiration.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/10126355/david-luiz-rwanda-arsenal-gorillas/

There are photos of David Luiz training in the volcano mountains (Volcanoes National Park) and planting a tree, in the North of Rwanda, a rare sight of environmental natural beauty with which nature so generously endowed Rwanda. It’s, in and of itself, a rare opportunity for anyone from anywhere to experience.

Training with Gorillas in the Mist: Arsenal’s David Luiz Finds His Best Ground in Rwanda

But David Luiz is no ordinary person, he’s a celebrity already, with world fame. But here’s an already famous person being given such wonderful limelight, free promotion.

I read many messages by Rwandans on various social media platforms, expressing their gratitude to David Luiz for visiting their beautiful country. I thought, but it’s David Luiz who should be thanking Rwandans for inviting him to their country and granting him such free promotion, for how generously he was treated – in fact, pampered.

This, however, does not mean to suggest, David Luiz did not express his gratitude to Rwandans for their generous treatment of him, for their exceptional hospitality. It wouldn’t be expected of/from someone of his fame let alone one who proudly wears an Arsenal jersey.

Thinking and reflecting on the exceptional hospitality, the generous free promotional space – in media and other platforms – David Luiz was given in Rwanda, and being at Church, quickly reminded me of the following Biblical scripture “For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him

Note: I am not suggesting David Luiz’s visit in Rwanda, and subsequent national attention he was given, took anything away from anyone. Far from it, I believe it’s likely to have positively contributed, in various ways, to many people, especially in, but also outside, Rwanda.

It may have inspired many, in various ways, and positively contributed to business in Rwanda especially in the hospitality sector but more importantly; I strongly believe it has done more to inspire others, particularly of similar fame, outside Rwanda to consider visiting Rwanda.

Similarly, I believe it created what I will call the “association effect“, that’s, the stimulated (created) desire to be associated with something or someone, particularly because of influence. This is an important factor in business terms. If a business is able to create an environment in which people – therefore potential customers – want and will spend to associate with it, it’s a winner.

Seeing that free “personal” promotion given to David Luiz by Rwanda, I also thought, wait, what if the Visit Rwanda promotional approach is tweaked a bit, and promoted to offer the opportunity for “Free promotion, advertisement” to anyone?

The opportunity for people to be given a free (except for their travel expenses to Rwanda) platform for free promotion, the potential for gaining world fame by being given the same limelight David Luiz and others of his fame are granted while on their visit in Rwanda?

The opportunity to turn a fairly unknown, less known, obscure anybody, into an internationally known somebody – figure – simply by visiting Rwanda, and having the rare opportunity to hobnob and stand shoulder to shoulder with Rwanda’s inspirational President?

The opportunity, the knowledge and promise that they will be given a first class treatment and countrywide tour to see the country’s beautiful flora and fauna?

At this point, the voice of the person leading the service (I don’t know the formal name) roared, interspersed with high pitched sounds of prerecorded Church Hymns, Church bells – not quite surprising, everything is artificial in that Church – and TEG’AMATWI, my energetic dog, disturbed by the amplified combination of the service leader’s roaring voice, Church Hymns and bells, was getting restless and screaming for help, I was suddenly pulled out of my deep thoughtfulness about #VisitRwanda

It was, nonetheless, deeply engaging, as I visualised the various possibilities and opportunities that could potentially be created by a simple tweak in the outlook (mindset) towards the promotion and marketing approach to the campaign.

But it quickly dawned on me, I am just a dreamer, thinker. It was time up, me and TEG’AMATWI, quietly left the Church, for it was getting unbearably noisy for TEG’AMATWI.

 

Africa and The Western Politics of Trinkets Giving – On the Nobel Peace Prize for Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, as Yet Another Trinket.

Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, has been, rewarded, I prefer rewarding to winning – the Nobel Peace Prize 2019 by the committee in charge of this appeasement distribution.

Africans, mainly [from] the political elite and those who eat off their hands – who are the immediate beneficiaries of their political largesse, their control of the political power structure that owns and controls the economic structure – seem, although I suspect, act, overjoyed.

I say, act, because I suspect, the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize reward or award -whichever way one looks at it – to Abiy Ahmed, for doing precisely what is essentially his responsibility in his capacity as an elected politician, head of his government, no less, does not bode well for the majority of the african political elite.

It’s more or less a smack in the faces of many of the african political elite but one that is taken quietly, with such feigned high political or rather diplomatic hypocrisy, expressed and evident in the outpouring of congratulatory messages to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The decision to [re]award the Nobel Peace Prize to Abiy Ahmed is such a humongous challenge, one that is likely to offend their [in]sensitivities to peace, to the idea of talking to and forging a working relationship with their political foes, in the wider interest of peace.

While Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been rewarded or awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is being “warmly” congratulated by his african political power counterparts, there are millions of africans to whom peace – the idea of peace – is a distant dream.

In fact, they dare not dream it, for it doesn’t exist in their terribly oppressed minds by the oppressive political power structure instituted by many of the same african politicians congratulating Prme Minister Abiy Ahmed for the reward/award. This is political hypocrisy in full display!

But what is the the Nobel Peace Prize?

Of what significance is it to many Africans torn between the evils of destructive political conflicts and economic destruction, sociopolitical and economic injustice ravaging many African countries whose heads of state and governments are congratulating Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed?

The Nobel Peace Prize is described as “prestigious” by, for instance, the UK independent online, but the same description is echoed by other publications.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nobel-peace-prize-2019-winner-abiy-ahmed-ethiopia-pm-eritrea-war-announcement-a9151716.html

By which, thus, it’s fair to conclude that, if the Nobel Peace Prize is “prestigious“, it’s likely to be coveted as well. But that raises questions such as: “prestigious” to who, for whom? Coveted by who and for what?

What is the ultimate purpose of a Nobel Peace Prize to an african politician?

Isn’t peace, ensuring that there’s peace – political or otherwise, the primary responsibility of the african political power class, more so, if they are elected politicians and therefore entrusted with the public mandate to ensure peace prevails?

Is the african political class going to be, and/or, therefore, work with the expectation in mind to be rewarded or awarded for delivering on their mandate?

Although, in and of itself, isn’t a bad idea but, if they must be rewarded, who should reward them? Where and from whom should the reward come?

While many africans are jubilant, and whether their emotions are genuine or not, about Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed being rewarded or awarded, the “prestigious” Nobel Peace Prize by The Norwegian Nobel Committee, possibly with no african on the committee, the cynic in me, is highly sceptical.

I see this act and the decision, a bit patronising and a form of “moral” corruption. I regard this as an attempt to corrupt the african political mind to work with the expectation of such rewards, prizes that are no more or less than trinkets- reminiscent of other trinkets with which the western political power establishment has always lured and corrupted the african political elite – instead of working with a internally (african) value determined and based political conviction and purpose.

What I find extremely sceptical and, in some ways, annoying, is that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been rewarded or awarded the so-called “prestigious” Nobel Peace Prize for something he already has and/or got a reward [prize], that is, ending the terrible conflict that ravaged lives in both his country, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.

That is the ultimate reward [prize]; he already got a kick out of doing and achieving what his predecessors – for whatever and various reasons – couldn’t accomplish. All other rewards [prizes], the so-called “prestigious” Nobel Peace Prize, no less, are simply, of little consequence.

But if he must be rewarded or awarded anything for his efforts and achievement, it must be by the Ethiopians and the Eritreans and africans in general. It must also be equally recognised, that it isn’t only a personal but collective effort and achievement.

We must also bear in mind that, while and as they praise and award “prestigious” prizes to the african political elite for doing their job, and we or some of us africans get overwhelmed with emotions of gratitude, we should also be prepared and willing to accept and perhaps, express similar gratitude, when they criticise the same african political elite for what these self-appointed praisers [in chief] perceive and/or determine, as its failures in its duties.

When they choose to criticise and perhaps, wield a punishing whip, we mustn’t be outraged and be quick to accuse them of having or pushing a colonial agenda, if we can’t bring ourselves to saying the same thing about this patronising, seemingly benevolent, decision and act by the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the so-called “prestigious” Nobel Peace Prize to Prime Minister Ahmed. For we have given them the consent, if not surrendered the rights and whatever powers required, to judge our political elite.

 

The Irony of Social and Christian Hypocrisy

It’s Sunday, formally the day and time for Christian – Social hypocrisy to reign. For the evil and Christian hypocrites among us, to go to Church – that place, where they all congregate to show teeth in their one-upmanship hypocrisy and especially after a long week of engaging in all kinds of evil and destruction of humanity.

As a principle, I go to different Christian churches because I believe, largely based on observations over time, each Church has its own [unique] ethos on top of the common Christian message centred around Jesus Christ. I also go to Mosques every other Fridays, to have a different perspective and experience on religiosity.

I do this not because I am religious or concerned with God. To be clear, I am neither religious nor concerned at all with all the religious [social] hype about God. I’ve never been, I don’t intend to be.

But I go to both Church and the Mosque purposely to learn about religiosity and social behaviour, to learn what informs, influences politics in many ways. This message, however, is not about politics but about the behaviour of those who go to Church and the Mosque.

It is about my observations, on many occasions, on my way to Church, outside Church and inside Church and the Mosque. I know, for instance, people, many families who – while at home preparing to go to Church, or on their way to Church – are engaged in endless bitter rows. Such that by the time they get to Church, they’re emotionally overcharged – angry, bitter, full of resentment about each other. They go [get] to Church emotionally exhausted, unhappy, overburdened by negative emotions about each other.

I doubt this stops while at Church and busy engaged in Church activities, processions.

I have observed (seen) people on their way to Church, pass by homeless people lying (sleeping) by the street side, beggars begging for small change by the street side, completely disregarding these helpless people, without the slightest notice of them as if they don’t deserve attention.

Some, if not many of such people on their way to Church, have some financial means. They can afford to give money to these helpless, beggars on the streets enough to buy them a meal. That’s the least they can do. But they choose not to, they calmly walk by, unnerved, to Church.

Some people who go to Church have money; they are rich, wealthy but are not humanely concerned about the plight of these people, they don’t give a hoot at all. So, they don’t give a single penny to the beggars on the streets begging for small change to afford a meal. They hardly notice the homeless lying (sleeping) rough on the streets while on their way to Church.

Yet, ironically, to a great degree, the absurdity of [and] the hypocrisy of Christians and their thinking, these people – poor or rich, wealthy – happily and significantly more than tithe – the conventional 10% – to the Church. They contribute money and other resources to other outside Church activities.

This behaviour – of more than tithing large sums of money to Church by both the poor and rich in what appears like a competition about who gives more – in my view, in many ways – is a mild modern form of buying indulgences, except that the poor of those who go to Church, have fallen for the con too, in their attempt to appease.

Contrasting this experience and observation of Christian hypocrisy – typically from the Church going Christians as mentioned, with my observation of Muslims, their behaviour on the way to the Mosque and at the Mosque. Charity is at the heart of everything, their presence. It reigns supreme.

They generously and visibly happily give to beggars on the streets, those seated at the entrance of the Mosque.

The main lessons from these experiences is that, while Christianity as a religion is harmless, many of its practitioners fail it, fail its doctrines and philosophy.

Christianity appears to be a religion of exploitation or put simply, it has been used by many people in the world – over centuries, who falsely claim to be Christians – to do evil things, to exploit others and justify their evil deeds and exploitation.

It’s Christianity, as a religion, that was used as a precursor to European colonialism all over the world. It was used as a weapon to attack the mind and moral fibre, soften the minds and hearts of the colonised people whilst supplanting their existing socio-cultural-traditional-moral values systems with Christian morals and value system.

Christianity and its moral-value system emphasised unquestioning obedience of authority – the authority of one God concept that Christianity introduced and on which it’s predicated. This made it possible for whoever represented the authority of God in society to wield absolute power and do evil, safe in the knowledge that no questions would be asked. No one would dare question their actions because it would be questioning their authority, and their authority being the authority of God, therefore no one would dare question God. That’s how evil was perpetrated under the name or authority of Christianity.

It appears very little has changed today, in that mindset, seeing how much power religious leaders wield and how people submit themselves to these religious faux leaders and their will and/or whims. How they unquestioningly accept and submit to their demands and whims, allowing the perpetuation of their exploitation.

In the same vein, I’ve learned that Islam, with all it’s blamed for in the world, like Christianity and its practitioners, mainly due to the “un-islamic” practices of some of its practitioners, is largely a charitable religion and its practitioners take that seriously and openly practise it.

I also learned and concluded that the best way to get people’s money – both poor and rich- whether one is a beggar, homeless lying (sleeping) on the streets or struggling poor person, is not through [by] begging, by trying to appeal to their compassion and morals – religious or otherwise.

The best way is to appease and/or promise or provide – if possible and if one can – solutions to their fears, insecurities. The other way, and quite as effective as providing real and effective solutions, is by lying but with grandeur, the kind of grandeur typical with evangelical pastors.

Happy Sunday. Happy Sharing Day. Be genuinely compassionate, give what you can with a warm heart. Give more if you can. Help with what you have and can afford. Don’t just pass by the beggars, the homeless lying (sleeping) on the streets, stop and talk to them, they’ve interesting, rich stories and perspectives you can learn a great deal from.

 

 

Wealth, Death, Beautiful and Ugly Cemetery – Education, Skills, Qualifications, Degrees and Certifications

While on my routine cemetery visits earlier on today, to commune with a long dead friend now a permanent resident at a cemetery for spiritual, mind and soul nourishment, my long dead friend, started off our chillingly silent conversation with a flurry of questions that seemed rather obvious however turned out to be unexpectedly challenging.

How is your education? Do you have any skills? What are your skills? My long dead friend’s voice sounded, rather calmly.

My education? Which education? I calmly asked back in amazement.

Education, the socialisation process through which society subjects its individual members for the purpose of creating a collective, preferably, similar although not identical social mind. My long dead friend’s crisp voice clarified.

How can I possibly know and/or be able to tell the level of my education? I asked, even more amazed and confused. I would suppose, based on that definition of education, that only society, collectively, can judge its members’ education levels but not easy for an individual. I further proffered.

Yes, you’re right. Society does judge the education levels of its members, individually and collectively but, each individual member of society can tell their level of education by their place in society. My long dead friend’s voice asserted.

Human society is stratified in various ways and categorically places its members in various groups, according to many criteria but education takes priority. Where you stand in society, i.e, in relation to your immediate social cohorts, is a good measure of your social education. My long dead friend’s voice bellowed, jolting my now clearly disconcerted mind into an “Ah” moment!

So, are you saying our social education will and does determine our places in society? I, childishly, asked.

Yes, precisely! I mean and am saying, quite emphatically, that. My long dead friend’s voice emphasised.

How do I get and increase my social education? I asked, curiously.

Develop a strong, deep passion to understand society. Study society and the complex dynamics of social interaction. Study and understand human interaction, human relationships, how people in society relate with and speak to each other. While you do, take great caution, be prepared for and expect the unexpected. There are innumerable hazards along this study and educational path. For instance, don’t, as a matter of guiding principle in your study of society and on your journey to acquire social education, ever talk about truth. It’s an almost insurmountable obstacle in such pursuit. Keep your truth passion to yourself; if you can, it is highly advisable to completely kill truth – the idea of truth, and more so, telling truth. It’s a dangerous thing, because truth – whatever that means, is the greatest enemy to society.

Always remember, although society talks so passionately about truth, publicly praises those who tell truth, it secretly resents truth and people who tell truth. Remember too, truth is analogous to the blind and an elephant, each of us in society have our own perspective of [to] truth.

Equally important, remember too, despite our social education that seeks to create a collective, similar social mind, we are still different from each other. As such, don’t ever treat and speak to people the same. Know who you are speaking to, adjust to their level.

My long dead friend’s voice, finally settled into a pause of silence after delivering that critical call of social awareness. We both settled into a recess of deep reflective silence that seemed to have gone on for eternity before my long dead friend’s voice broke the silence.

Once you understand that – my long dead friend’s voice, after breaking our deep reflective silence, went on – continue your studies of society and adjust accordingly, ensuring you don’t raise suspicion by being and/or acting conspicuously different from the rest around you, then you have a social education, essential in society.

That’s your education! But do you have any skills? What are your skills?

Oh! Skills? My skills? What do you mean, skills? I asked, with a sense of resignation because, at this point, I no longer trusted my own little knowledge of things [KoT].

What can you do, on your own? What are your abilities? My long dead friend’s voice, repeated, audibly exasperated by my rather ignorant questions and a clear lack of self-knowledge.

I paused, tried to think and reflect on my skills but I struggled. Feeling rather embarrassed by my inability to not only articulate my skills but also to distinguish between my social education and skills, I flatly but with a deep inner feeling of shame, responded, none. I have no skills.

No. That’s not true. My long dead friend’s voice, audibly softer and with concerned kindness, interjected. You certainly do have skills, immense skills. You’re simply ignorant of what skills you have. It’s obvious you underestimate yourself, your abilities and sell yourself too short because you have no clear perception of your skill sets.

But, unfortunately, you aren’t alone. There are many people who have no idea about what their skills and/or abilities are simply because they confuse their social education with [for] skills. My long dead friend’s voice, sounding rather re-assuring, asserted, while I listened with a sense of helplessness and disappointment at myself.

You mean there’s a difference between our social education or what we call education and skills? I asked. Yes! there’s, although the general tendency is to ignorantly confuse qualifications, degrees, certifications, for education and skills. Contrary to general perception and assumption, not all educated people have skills, although they may have immense knowledge and/or information about many things.

Not all people with degrees and/or certifications have skills, corresponding with their degrees and/or certifications. There’s evidently a gap between degrees, certifications and real skills, in some if not many cases although the degrees and certifications are supposed to indicate, to prove one has a certain level of skills.

In the same vein, not all presumably uneducated people lack skills. Many do have a lot of skills, acquired skills from what they do in society, primarily, for a living or survival. My long dead friend’s voice continued.

Their skills may not be or match what society obsessed with qualifications, degrees and certifications wants or requires but that does not mean they have no skills. This is the tragedy in society. But the good news is that, it provides opportunity to blend education with skills.

Now, the task for you, my long dead friend’s voice raised for my attention, went on, is to figure out, through a personal skills assessment, what your overall skills, core skills are, in relation to your social education and the needs of your society

Importantly, stop underestimating and selling yourself short. Make yourself [into] a valuable product. Put, not an inflated but reasonably high value on yourself based on your demonstrable skills, social or otherwise, and demand the right price. Do not accept anything below. Do not under-price or overprice yourself.

I was standing still throughout and during that enlightening hour or so, long moment. I left overwhelmed with feelings of emptiness, of not knowing who I am, what I am capable of, what my skills are or whether, indeed, I have any skills. I cursed but was thankful for the moment.

 

 

South Sudan and Violence

Violence is the business model in South Sudan” George Clooney and John Prendergast.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/10/03/george-clooney-john-prendergast-violence-business-model-south-sudan-column/2438988001/

Sadly, this is not only in South Sudan, home to a place of my ancestral origin. Violence is undeniably big buck business all over the world.

But violence is perpetrated in different forms – raw, primitive and advanced forms of violence. Power, often with the help of established coordinated structures, gives options and the ability to be violent without necessarily the application of force.

Whereas it’s true that force is a tool of violence; violence doesn’t always necessarily require the use and application of force. It’s possible to be violent without the use and application of force and with far more devastating effects than the use and application of force can cause. Violence by other means but force!

However, what is happening in South Sudan, as unfortunate as it is – what is largely behind the brutal, physical violence in South Sudan, is a combination of people with power – people with competing power interests but with a complete absence of established structures to give options other than and beyond the use and application of brute force.

Those currently in power in South Sudan have brute force as the only option of violence to exercise and apply in their competing power interests. I’ve heard people, on various occasions, moot what is to me, an extremely interesting but quite naive idea of “accountable” power.

Similarly, I’ve heard people, preposterously going so far as to suggest that those in power in South Sudan should be accountable. To which, I painstakingly ask: accountable to who? A question that often draws and leads to a protracted debate.

But what I find particularly and strikingly naive is the idea [suggestion] of “accountable” power, more so, that people actually, rather gullibly, believe in such thing especially its possible application in perpetually conflict prone zones – South Sudan currently being one such zones.

Let me be upfront, the idea of “accountable” power is, frankly, an oxymoron and it is an insult to the intelligence of many who are victims of power. But this an idea that’s, by and large, entertained and promoted by perpetual optimists of power, who also equally entertain the idea, deep down their optimistic souls, that power has a conscience!

The reality of the matter, however, is that power, by its very nature, is unaccountable and seeks to be as unaccountable as possible, or as minimally accountable as possible. In fact, that, arguably, of course, might explain why people seek power.

Why people who seek power are willing to do all kinds of things, go to great lengths to see to it that they get power, which gives them the ability to be unaccountable about many things.

But more importantly, power gives the option and ability to be violent without using and applying force.

Those in power and, note[1], with power, (I make this distinction deliberately) with the help of established power structures, can engage in and use other forms of violence against competing interests and achieve their objectives.

Note[1]: I used “those in power and with power“, on purpose because I believe, based on numerous observational studies, there are those in power, especially positional power, which on the outset looks powerful but without real and effective power.

These are simply power conveyors and cannot do anything or act on their own volition. They often have to seek [for] permission to do things and their main role is more to execute commands than make decisions on what commands to give and subsequently execute.

These are often characteristically ostentatious in their outward efforts to display and demonstrate their “power” – how powerful they are, usually borne out of their inner feelings of powerlessness despite their positions.

The more they feel the need and want to demonstrate their power, how powerful they are, the more their actions and underlying intentions demonstrate, expose and hence validate their lack of power, for a truly powerful person will, in most cases, feel no need to demonstrate it and hence prove their power. It’s naturally evident.

Power is conspicuous by its very nature, in its intents and purposes. It has its own inimitable ways to show. It’s felt without muttering a word. Power is felt even in both complete silence and utter deafening noise.

But too often, these types in power without real and effective power are the most characteristically dangerous in a sense that, often in their pursuit to execute commands, from those with real power, and to impress them so to maintain their positions, they will do anything, ethical or not. Without regard to clear and/or underlying due process!

They will, without a thought or care, do and undertake the most grotesquely inhumane things simply and primarily because, their own survival depends on their own ability to execute commands well beyond and exceed expectations.

Theirs is simply a battle of do or else. And the “else” is often unimaginably, extremely and life threateningly punitive, and therefore, rightly so, one that must be avoided at all costs. It’s a battle of competing to impress those who give commands.

But this kind of power arrangement is only possible in non-conflict zones, places where there’s no raging wars going on, where there’s no complete breakdown of social order and social structures, like it’s currently the case in South Sudan.

In conflict tone places such as the South Sudan, power is primarily derived from secondary weapons such as guns. Therefore, whoever has a gun in their possession, has power to the extent that they can use the gun to force and have their will prevail on [over] those without the same weapons or more and perhaps superior.

So, more power is in numbers of weapons, who has the most and more powerful, possibly advanced, stock of weapons in their possession. And equally, who has and controls the most numbers of those who carry and use the weapons, conventionally known as “soldiers“.

Soldiers“, those hapless human beings who will open fire at anything or anyone at the point of a commanding finger or indeed, voice and a mean, disapproving and condemning look, often from someone in a position of a “superior“, the most dangerous but incredibly stupid designation insofar as hierarchical structures are concerned.

Because it denotes [a superiority of] primacy, hence why those under such stupidity hardly question it and explains why fairly good and well meaning people end up doing things they would otherwise, under different circumstances possibly never do, without such hierarchical structure.

In conclusion, the basic reason why, apparently, “Violence is the business model in South Sudan” is primarily because there are many people the South Sudan in possession of weapons and there are many competing political power interests who see their salvation, their survival and hope of achieving whatever their objectives are, in the wanton use of weapons in their possession.

 

Rwanda Day 2019, Bonn, Germany

Background.

Concept.

Rwanda Day, is essentially a social [mass] mobilisation event geared towards Rwandans living outside Rwanda, thus referred to as The Rwandan Community Abroad (RCA).

Prior to Rwanda Day, there was Rwanda Diaspora Convention, therefore, it’s fair to surmise that Rwanda Day naturally developed out of Rwanda Diaspora Convention.

The first Rwanda Day was inaugurated in December 2010 in Brussels, Belgium.

It was followed by Rwanda Day, Paris, France, in September the following year, 2011.

Un grand rencontre
President Paul Kagame with the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Rwanda Day, Paris, France, 11 September 2011

There has since been a series of Rwanda Day events held across North America and Europe.

Social Imperative.

Mobilise Rwandans living [abroad] outside Rwanda (The Rwanda Community Abroad). The event brings together many Rwandans living outside Rwanda [The Rwandan Community Abroad].

Rwanda Day offers a tremendous opportunity to meet and interact with various Rwandan government officials as well as people from the Rwandan business sector (community).

It is also a great opportunity to build and strengthen alliances, social bonds and partnerships among community members from different and various countries and regions.

Such a large single gathering of the Rwandan Community Abroad does more to help build as well as strengthen community and social cohesion within different communities interspersed in different parts, regions and countries.

Such community and social cohesion is vital in the process of preservation and integration of the Rwandan cultural and traditional value-systems.

This integration of the Rwandan cultural and traditional value systems is vital among, mainly the young generation, most of whom were either born and have spent a significant part of their lives outside Rwanda, possibly have not been to Rwanda yet, or who left Rwanda very young, have been back only a few times, possibly never been back, and those who do not have the privilege of travelling to Rwanda frequently for various reasons.

So, among other important things, Rwanda Day serves to preserve cultural and traditional memory.

As such, Rwanda Day, among other things, serves as a great opportunity to bring the experience of home – Rwanda – close to them, within their own communities without the burden of, say, high costs of travelling to Rwanda.

Put otherwise, Rwanda Day, brings home – Rwanda – to them, the young generation of Global Rwandans as well as the entire Rwandan Community Abroad.

The experience creates such strong positive community and social impact, raising more awareness about Rwanda and consequently creating a close bond within the Rwandan Community Abroad and as well as a close connection between the Rwandan Community Abroad and Rwanda.

It is undeniable that previous Rwanda Day events and experiences, over the course of nearly a decade, have resulted in tremendous awareness about Rwanda within, have seen increased interest and participation by, the Rwandan Community Abroad in the socioeconomic transformation that has occurred in Rwanda by leaps and bounds, in the same course of time.

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Kigali Convention Centre

Kigali Convention Centre

 

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Kigali Convention Centre Aerial View

Rwanda Day has served as an effective social mobilisation strategy and thus, community and social engagement and cohesion have not only significantly improved but equally increased. There’s more positive awareness among the Rwandan Community Abroad and this is, in largely part and massive credit to the Government of Rwanda for taking interest in its community living outside the Rwandan borders and henceforth taking strategic decisions and adopting policies geared towards engaging this equally vital community of the extended Rwandan society.

The upcoming Rwanda Day, scheduled on the 5th October 2019, will be held in the city of Bonn, Germany.

It will bring together throngs of Rwandans living, mainly in Europe, and a sizeable contingent from Rwanda composed, mainly, of Rwandan government officials, heads of parastatals, Rwandan businesses and various members of the Rwandan business community from the private sector and other various members of Rwandan society who are interested in forming social alliances, bonds and partnerships with their communities living in Europe, thus, referred to as “The Rwandan Community in Europe”.

Economic Imperative.

Part of the strategic plan by the Government of Rwanda has been to call upon the Rwandan Community Abroad to be part of the ongoing great socioeconomic transformation of Rwanda and contribute to national development.

The opportunity to be positively and proactively part of the national reconstruction process rather than stand on the sidelines and wish for magic to happen.

Rwanda Day, therefore, offers not only the occasion to socialise and have great fun but great opportunities to discuss various economic opportunities and possibilities that the Rwandan Community Abroad can, either individually or through cooperatives and other forms of pooled investment initiatives, take advantage of and engage in, creating socioeconomic value as well as contributing to enterprise and socioeconomic development.

This is made possible by the presence of major and mid to lower level Rwandan businesses, both from the public and private sectors, all armed with business and investment information on areas of business and investment opportunities.

Sectors with potential business and investment opportunities include but not limited to, broadly speaking, the financial services sector, the ICT sector, the real estate development and management sector,  the construction sector, agri-business, the mining sector and a host of other vitally important economic sectors with immense, almost undiscovered and/or untapped potential, as is almost always the case with any/every emerging markets.

Therefore, the upcoming Rwanda Day Event, among other things, will provide a platform and space through which, mainly the Rwandan Community in Europe and European businesses with interest, will interact and engage with Rwandan businesses, from both the public and private sector, exhibiting their products but also pitching investment opportunities and making value propositions to prospective investors, business partners and customers.

Rwanda Day is a comprehensive package of both social and economic imperatives brought together in a unique and great ambience, almost always, honoured by the presence of the President of Rwanda, H.E President Paul Kagame and The First Lady of Rwanda, H.E Jeannette Kagame and many Senior Government Officials.

It’s indeed a great opportunity that comes once in a while, not one to miss!

 

Wealth, Death, Beautiful and Ugly Cemetery – Cemetery and Absolute Power

A long dead friend – clever, intelligent, sharp witted – once asked during a conversation about power and its dynamics, what I understood of absolute power.

Oh! come on! that’s obvious, isn’t it? I said naively!

The long dead friend, not the kind who let go easily, pressed on and challenged for my opinion, adding: prove you aren’t the fool I think you’re. Piqued, I waxed lyrical in response, regurgitating all kinds of things I was told, taught or simply read about absolute power. What all those various voices said it is and/or what they said it means and their own definitions of it.

With the benefit of hindsight, I realise I was regurgitating other people’s opinions on the subject, mistaking them, rather ignorantly, for my own opinion.

The long dead friend, listened but with an obvious look of amazement, not believing what I was saying while I went on about with all the nonsense I had absorbed from other people on the subject. Having had enough, the long dead friend cut me short, remarking: you’re really such a fool I think you are!

Surprised but certainly not insulted by that truth, I attempted to contest it by asking why?

The long dead friend, added: you aren’t creative either in your regurgitation of other people’s opinions. At least, be clever, learn to make them come across as your own opinions. Everyone does. That’s the nature of this world. When we express what we often think are our own opinions on many things, we are, albeit, unconsciously, expressing, regurgitating, recycling other people’s opinions, who also do precisely the same thing, hence why we tend to sound the same, have the same views on various issues despite our different social backgrounds.

The long dead friend, then said: absolute power is not marked by/with, and certainly does not lie in possession of all powerful weapons and armies. Absolute power is, lies and is expressed in ultimately having the final word, in having the power to make the final decision. If one has the final word, if one has the power to make and take the final decision, one has absolute power irrespective of the process before and leading up to the final word/decision.

Absolute power is the power to override all decisions, made and taken by others, with one’s own decision. Absolute power is the power to be the final arbiter of truth and falsehood. Absolute power is the power to decide what is right and what is wrong and have everyone accept that as the norm.

You can have all the powerful weapons, armies but without the ability to have the final word, make the final decision and be the arbiter of the final word and the final decision, you’re certainly powerful but without absolute power. You have limited power, limited power is borrowed power. You have, therefore, borrowed power from one with absolute power. You’re, needless to mention, beholden to the power source – one with absolute power.

Those who have the final word, who make and take the final decision, are the arbiters of truth and falsehood – they have absolute power. These are the people who define, shape and decide the narrative, who direct our communication, who decide on what is and isn’t news, what we consume as news and consequently define, shape and decide our thought process towards the world and form our worldview.

The long dead friend, concluded, there was a long moment of silence between us, of deep reflection before we both agreed it was time up, for each of us to run for our next trains back to our humble abodes. But one thing was clear, although we didn’t waste any of our time discussing it, no one of us had any power at/in anything, let alone absolute power.

We realised, there and then, that we were at the mercy of those with power and their power sources – those with absolute power.