Stop What you’re doing. Read. Then Listen to Audio.

I work on Saturday, raise your hand if you do too….no? Really? Well, let me tell you about this particular Saturday morning….got to my desk, made my to-do-list then plugged in my earphones to listen to Blake Shelton because the whole time in the taxi on my way to the office, honey bee was playing in my head.

As usual, I read my emails…I use two different accounts, one purely work related and the other, my personal one. The latter receives all things non-work related and personal emails, etc. I get updates for new posts on the blogs I follow through this box….I have no idea why I’m explaining to you how my mail boxes work so I will skip to the main point.

Two weeks ago, I was in Kigali; just like the first time I was there 4 years ago I was amazed at how neat the city was and how fast it was moving in the right direction. A bit had changed this time and I honestly was in awe! Like how do they do it??? This is a country just next door! Not far off in Europe that we have to watch stuff on TV. We pretty much have the same resources they have or at least access to. I kept wondering whether they don’t bicker amongst themselves or have petty wars or things like that like is the norm in motherland dearest which eventually leads to zero service delivery. I wanted my work assignment to last a while longer so I can stick around and watch this country literally build itself.

At the start of March, the leaders in Rwanda had a leadership retreat led by the President himself and if you’re a twitter person you probably followed it, hash-tag #umwiherero …I don’t know what the word means, I knew that was the tag for the retreat and followed it on there. I read bits and pieces of the President’s speech on there but really wanted to listen to the entire speech and have spent the last couple of days trying to find it.

Back to my mail-box jazz; today when I checked my emails I found a new post from Simon Kaheru’s blog (I recommend you follow this blog if you’re not)… and this particular post was about President Kagame’s opening remarks at the leadership retreat. I had found it! I was looking for the speech and there it was, delivered to my email! Thank you kind sir! I immediately paused my playlist and played the speech. The last time I remember paying this much attention to someone speak was in my organic chemistry classes, and even then I was left confused.

Part of this speech is in Kinyarwanda, and if you don’t understand, like I don’t, just hold on for a little bit, he switches to English at some point. You don’t want to miss a sentence of this speech, even the Kinyarwanda bits will start making sense. It is a little long but best believe you need to hear it. Place yourself in that audience and direct the President’s speech to yourself, because that is how we should take it. What he told his team is exactly what WE ALL need to hear! It’s about time!

I tried to note down a few lines from it, though to be honest the entire speech is one huge #NoteToSelf.

…We need to sit here and reflect and have time to meditate and think….we need to be kept in one place doing nothing maybe and feel how good it is doing nothing…and reflect over that and then maybe when you go back you can do something, something different, with different results…

…Why are you not interested in delivering what you must deliver to your people?…

…I’m not asking you to deliver on impossible things…how can we fail to deliver on what we have means for?…

…Young people always making everyone aware that you are young….yes, but what are you delivering?…

…if you’re not doing what is expected of you, it doesn’t matter how much educated you are…

…better listen more to the one who criticises you, because it challenges you to think…

…compare yourself with those who have achieved what we’re struggling to achieve…

I could honestly go on and on! You really need to listen to this speech yourself, and not just listen but share it with your team, family, friends, children and children’s friends. He spoke to his people, but this is a speech for all of us.

Here is the link —> President Kagame’s Opening Remarks at the 12th National Leadership Retreat – Gabiro, 1 March 2015

Again, it starts in Kinyarwanda but patience patience…keep listening, he’ll switch to English.

Also, here is Simon Kaheru’s article on it that I recommend you read as well. —> paul kagame’s tirade – it is addressed to YOU and ME, not just the Rwanda

Thank you for reading, and don’t forget to share the President’s speech.


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