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Knowing Kigali: What caught my eye?
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Knowing Kigali: Something for the children
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Knowing Kigali: Shop till you drop
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Knowing Kigali: Kigali Genocide Memorial
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Knowing Kigali: This is no walk (or run) in the park
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Knowing Kigali: isoko kimironko
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March in review
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G.L.i.B – bed: The Undead
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G.L.i.B – bing: Laughter is the best medicine …for your body and soul
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Reaching the first two digits

Knowing Kigali: What caught my eye?

#1. The cold I thought it rather unusual the chill I felt during the journey to Kigali, but I put it down to the annoying sniffles I had. Then again it had been raining steadily and quite heavily before we left. No respite in the form of rest or peace either during the trip; I had to keep a keen eye on both children, especially after T threw up twice. She has that ringing sensation in her ears, got it from her dad. So my sniffles continued into the chill that characterized the prevailing temperature of Kigali and enveloped us. The kind that dogs your every move, stays on you like a second skin and follows you around like your faithful shadow in the dark. It didn’t help that we arrived during the rainy season. Twice the cold. Even when the sun peeked out through the dull and gloomy weather, that chilly wind always registered its presence. As if to say, I am not going anywhere, people. My morning walks were more acts of bravery and courage than actual exercise. And I certainly didn’t want any added weight at the end of the holiday. The security guards must have thought[…]

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Knowing Kigali: Something for the children

‘Mummy,going from one shop to shop buying things is no fun.’ Chairman blurted out at the fair as his grandmother stopped at the third stall, in a row, to check out their array of cosmetics. For his sister and him, it wasn’t. But for us women, ha!, it definitely was. Retail therapy all the way! I felt for him though. We had done this at the African market until one of the traders gave both of them drums to beat out their boredom at the exercise, and allow us womenfolk continue ogling and haggling in peace. Now, here we were again at another round of endless, tedious shopping where they’d have to tag along and bear it. Then they discovered a toy shop directly opposite the clothes stall where we moved on to from the cosmetics’ place. Instantly, the whining stopped, and there was quiet and contentment on both sides. Unknown to them though, we had plans for them. Plans that were exclusively theirs unless the adults decided to bring out the children in them. Our next outing was to Bambino, an amusement park loaded with fun games and things to do for children. We drove almost 30 minutes out[…]

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Knowing Kigali: Shop till you drop

While on holiday in a new city, the sightseeing is always a big deal and something to look forward to.. But there exist another activity that holds a much bigger appeal than monuments, mountains, cobbled paths and the local cuisine. Retail therapy. Any traveler to a new land wants souvenirs of the place as hard evidence and/or tangible reminders of the memories of the trip. I am no different. The other day, my mum and I went to isoko kimironko , a typical local market to buy signature Kigali items. Our visit to the African market (which I tagged the Akerele of Kigali) was not only for sightseeing purposes. Unique products sang to my senses, my mum’s and my sister in law’s. And ultimately reduced our currency. Not that we’re complaining. If only we had more to spend… To round off the collecting spree, an Egypt and Middle – East International Shopping Fair coincided with our stay.Thankfully, we had see the advert early enough to reserve some money for it. We would have gladly followed the shop till you drop bidding of the fair’s banners at the entrance (of the venue) if only we had more to spend;the traders came[…]

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Knowing Kigali: Kigali Genocide Memorial

Anyone, and I mean anyone, who hears the name Rwanda would immediately think of the genocide of the ’90s. Unless, of course, the person has been living under a rock for the last 20years. Besides, who goes to a foreign land famous for something or the other — food, music, monument, fashion, event, etc – and doesn’t experience it? Even if your visit is business – related, you’d probably make time no matter how little. It’s like going to Paris and not visiting the Eiffel Tower. Or,London and not touring its signature sights – Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Madam Tussauds, etc. So two days ago, we were at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Morbid but I couldn’t not visit and see it for myself firsthand, in all its gory details. That’s why it took the week of our departure to go there, and two days to bring myself to write about it. Even now it is taking quite an effort. The visual and verbal content on display flash clearly and relentlessly through my mind as Ndandika. The deluge of the images wane as the days go by but they are there, nonetheless. This will not be the first time I[…]

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Knowing Kigali: This is no walk (or run) in the park

‘Mwaramutse,’ replied the elderly security guard to my greeting, walking and pulling his well – worn coat closer to his body to counter the morning chill; His tired legs slowly making their way towards the estate gate, one after the other. He’s probably thinking (in Kinyarwanda): Who is this crazy woman in biker’s short and a short- sleeved t-shirt braving this biting cold at 5.45am? I would ask the same question too if I were in his position. He is one of the three guards I come across on my daily walk each morning. Temporarily, I have abandoned Shaun T. for the lure of the alpine terrain that is Kigali. The first morning, I skipped up a stormy heartbeat rate and enough perspiration in the living room before braving the low temperature that was the breaking dawn. Once outside the gate, I took off in a sprint, up the slightly elevated lane right in front of the house. Big mistake. Huge. I almost didn’t make it to the end of it, where I stood – bent over, hands on my knees, breathless – huffing and puffing like a dog who just got outran by its owner’s faster car. I might[…]

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Knowing Kigali: isoko kimironko

Who goes to the market with a language book? When you’re in a foreign land and want to interact with the locals, you will too. We’ve been here icyumweru kimwe now – my mum, myself and the children- visiting murumuna wanjye, muramukazi wanjye and mwishywa wanjye for a forth night. And this is my first post in a while! Nothing I’m proud of but I did have a sneezing fit upon our arrival and it lasted for a couple of days, replete with headaches, cold feelings and spitting out phlegm. We’ve done mini – tours around the city, especially within our neighbourhood, giving visual and locomotive evidence to the words that confronted us as we exited the airport: ‘Welcome to the land of a thousand hills.’ Umusozi. They are everywhere. Under your feet. At your eye – level. Down your driveway. Up the street. And I have temporarily abandoned my Shaun T. routine for the appeal of jogging, running and walking up a hilly lane and down a sloping driveway. The very next day after we arrived, I drove around our vicinity to get my bearing and be independent of a guide. That experience gave me entirely new driving tutorials[…]

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March in review

And to think this month began with a bang that propelled me to march forth into it – conquering, achieving, succeeding. Another bang. I fell ill. The kind that required medication, rest and recuperation. The sudden halt this brought in my activities was more discouraging than the situation itself. Medication and continuous motion can be a deadly combination. I had to tell myself to take it extra slow and watch helplessly as I lost valuable time in the process. The one bright light though was T’s birthday towards the end of the month. A significant age too. She turned 10 years old . The beginning of the double digits years. She’s becoming a lady poco a poco. Any plans of celebrating the event in school were squashed by exams starting the very next day. She spent most her birthday reading after gulping a medium -sized cup of scrumptious ice cream. Perhaps once the exams are over , we’ll do a little something. I read three books this month (Whiskey Beach, The Carnivorous City and The Lazarus Effect) while still juggling my 9 – 5 job. My consulting gigs are still hibernating. Let’s hope I’d be ready (and still interested) when[…]

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G.L.i.B – bed: The Undead

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to read The Lazarus Effect immediately after The Carnivorous City. The cover art did me in. That hand, in the shadows, rising out from the ground was too much of a temptation. I wanted to know what was behind it. What was the novel all about? How was the biblical story of Lazarus woven into its plot? So I grabbed the book. I also couldn’t help but glean the similarities of both books cover arts – the same use of colour and shades to interpret the titles, the fact that they shared the same publisher… It was my first modern South Africa – based book, post-apartheid. Mine Boy, back in literature study days, did well to introduce my younger self to a glimpse of the South African way of life during the apartheid. Who can forget the ‘Free Mandela’ songs or the ‘Black President’ ones? My then innocent mind read for the pleasure of it; apartheid and white supremacy were concepts I didn’t quite grasp completely. I’m older and wiser with more exposure to the then black South African plight (I was well aware of the official end of apartheid in the ‘90s,[…]

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G.L.i.B – bing: Laughter is the best medicine …for your body and soul

Growing up, I read more editions of Reader’s Digest than I can count. Each and every time, the first pages I’d turn to were the humour sections. I’d have my fill of the jokes featured before reading the more serious issues of life contained therein. I haven’t read a copy of Reader’s Digest in a while. I miss it. In this present times of everything going sideways in the world and particularly in Nigeria, a good laugh is exactly what the doctor ordered. And causing me hearty, bellyfuls of it is a compact book I didn’t know I purchased last year. I stumbled upon it last week while searching for yet another novel to devour. Titled The Mini Manual of Humourous Quotes, it is divided into categories (eating and drinking, love and marriage, social…) where sayings of famous people from all walks of life are presented. The last two days of burying my nose between its pages have elicited loud guffaws as well as wry smiles from me. Reading through it has been worth every hilarious moment. It has also taken me down memory lane to my first year at the university. A volume named The Book of Insults kept[…]

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Reaching the first two digits

In editing, you are advised to write numbers 0 – 9 in words; once you reach 10, the instructions change – 10 and beyond are preferred in numbers. Perhaps to stand them out? Highlight their double digits significant? Or simply because attaining the number 10 and higher in any endeavor is no mean feat? Before now, there used to be quite an emphasis on the 10th year marriage milestone. We’ve been together for a decade. Wow! We’ve made it thus far! Congratulations to us! Not anymore. One year, two, three, five, seven, nine years anniversaries receive equal importance and relevance these days. Months and weeks too! However, nothing truly beats the 10th year anniversary; it’s the first of the major milestones anniversaries according to About.com. The harbinger of all the others. The zero in 10 in the form of circle is a symbol of unit, completing the meaning of the number 1 to show that the number 10 contains all preceding numbers as a whole contains its parts. A child’s 10th birthday signals the tween years and the last chance you will have to celebrate childhood as you know it. Double figures at last! Your baby has left single birthdays[…]

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