Sunday, 17 November 2013

A week in Kigali. UPDATED.

The Kigali Stock Exchange. 

Bodaboda Baby is ashamed. Correction, she is very* ashamed. That is because this is a boda blog and for the first time on her travels in a boda-friendly country in East Africa (that being Rwanda) she did not (not) dedicate any time to finding boda stories and this was because she was to busy marvelling of all the other sights of Kigali. The er, clean roads (Kampala!), and some more clean roads, and some more clean roads and... Okay there were other attractions, which she will now detail. Well, she did go to every single one of them via boda.


Best. Cakes. Ever. Rz MANNA. 

OMG where does she start? Let's just say that before her nine days in Kigali was up she'd been offered a loyalty card by the* manager of Bourbon Coffee and Rz MANNA, because they'd seen her "around" (natch) and managed to fill up both. Sigh. Although Bourbon Coffee at Kigali City Tower was highly convenient for location and internet, she must say Rz MANNA, with its free samples of almond loaf and the like wins. In fact one day Bodaboda Baby actually slipped over on the floor*, much to her humiliation as all the staff rushed to help her, racing to get a complimentary piece of churros in Rz. True. That will serve her right for being greedy. Then there's the chocolate mouse at Brioche...She didn't manage to find a bath plug for the bath tub in her hotel at Bethany Investment Group (the Presbyterian Church mob) but the cakes certainly made up for it. Kigali, she'll be back. Prunes Kampala, watch YOUR back. 

*It was also raining heavily in Kigali that day, as it was most days during her stay.

The* churros that nearly led to a hip replacement.


While we're on the subject of sugar... Okay, so it's not real. But being from the land Down Under, home to The Big Banana, The Big Prawn, The Big Bull etc she also became quite fond of The Big Coke Bottle downtown. Has Rwanda learnt a thing from Oz? As one Twitter follower commented, " 2023 Prediction moves from RED to BLACK . Gotta love globalisation.

The Big Coke Bottle in downtown Kigali. 


Really, how pretty are they? Everyone else agreed. Well apart from Mum, who said, "I've got that plant growing around the pool" upon receiving a photo of them via email. 


Obligatory inclusion. If you look closely you'll see it's not real.


Love this place. Good find Anna Kućma. 

More leaves at The New Cactus. Sorry Mum, but it is The New Cactus. 


While Bodaboda Baby didn't have the privilege of being served by Micha and co, she couldn't help LOV-ING what a McDonald's rip-off it seemed to be. Good one, Micha.

Micha's Bistro-Cafe, Kigali. 


Bodabdoda Baby loved this when she first saw it (pls refer to pic at top of this post - it is nice and shiny), but she loved it even more after the bank situated in side it was able to return, pretty much pronto,  her 50,000 Rwandan francs ($74 USD) which the cash machine withdrew from her bank account in Australia then did not give her. Thanks Bank of Kigali. Is it any wonder Rwanda was voted the third best country to do business in on the continent? 

Rwandan designer Colombe Ituze Ndutiye. 


Fancy the second Kigali Fashion Week being on while I was in town - who told them I was into style. Designers whose creations went down the runway included Sonia Mugabo, South African menswear designer Sheldon Kopman (the only international designer exhibiting) and Candy Basomingera. Here's one story I wrote on KFW and another. 

Sonia Mugabo (in blue) with a model wearing one of her designs on the catwalk at the second Kigali Fashion Week.

South Africa's Sheldon Kopman takes a bow. 

 Candy Basomingera with a model wearing one of her designs. 

Counting down to the first Bujumbura Fashion Week next year!!

Nice one, Kigali. Look out Kampala, love you but you have got to lift your game after this trip.

Finally, and on a more serious note, I was glad to have spent time visiting both the  Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and the Nyamata Memorial Site and would recommend to anyone going to Rwanda to go to both these memorials. The audio guide at the Kigali memorial was informative and valuable and the trip to Nyamata - a 45 minute ride in a matatu - was also worth it. During the course of my stay in Rwanda I also read the following articles which helped me better understand the country's history:

Rwanda genocide 20 years on: 'We live with those who killed our families. We are told they're sorry, but are they?' by Chris McGreal of The Guardian. Part two, is here. 

The Global Elite's Favourite Strongman by Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times is also worth a read.

I read this piece by The Guardian's David Smith before going to Nyamata, which he describes as "harrowing" (and it is).

This report by Consultancy Africa Intelligence (CAI) looks at Rwanda's successes and failures (via Development Diaries).

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