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.
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.
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.