Between them, their pure creativity while living on foreign, though familiar, terrain paired with their fiery love for Rwanda keeps us hopeful about life in Rwanda. In this Travel Noire expat interview, you’ll discover what to expect from life in Rwanda as a Black Diasporan:
Tell us who you are.
Tell us who you are.
Mama Moon: I am the proud mother of 2 adult children and the grandmother of 3 adorable girls. I have spent a good deal of time traveling and relocating as one of 7 daughters of a career military man. I was born in Verdun, France and lived in Frankfurt, Germany until I was 5 years old. My family moved back to the U.S. and I spent most of my youth growing up in and around Columbus and Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, as an adult, I have lived in California, Michigan, Oklahoma, Virginia and Florida. I am the Founder and Chief Strategist of Domino Strategy Consulting, LLC, an international business development firm. I also started a company in Rwanda, East Africa Impact Investments Ltd., under which I own and operate Culture Coffee Cafe located in the town of Musanze.
Colin: Trinidad and Tobago is the land of my birth. At the age of twenty I migrated to Los Angeles, California to fulfill my dream of becoming an Industrial Engineer.
After my studies were completed, I got married and raised two sons and worked in corporate America for decades. Beyond my busy professional life, I needed questions about my heritage answered to fill a void deep within. I joined an African history group and researched African history. Reading provided some answers but after retirement and a divorce I decided to live on the continent.
Courtesy: Lady Visionary
Lady Visionary: I am a Jamaican born, who left at a young age for the UK. I spent most of my life in the UK where I obtained a degree in Physiotherapy. I have worked as a Physiotherapist for the past 10 years and also have a Masters in Global Health and International Development. I went on to study a Masters due to my growing interest in becoming an influencer for Development in Africa.
What led you all to Rwanda?
Courtesy: Lady Visionary
Mama Moon: One of my life’s goals has been to live in Africa. Even though my intention was to one day move to Africa, I always thought it would be West Africa. In February 2020, I travelled to Rwanda with a group of women on a business seeking trip. I had done extensive research on Rwanda during the previous 6 months and I was very impressed with the information I had gathered. I felt that it was a place that deserved a look and see before deciding if I would move somewhere on the west coast like Ghana or Senegal (where I had visited on my first trip to the continent in 2004). During my stay in Africa, I spent 10 days in Rwanda, traveled to Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. At the conclusion of my stay, I decided that Rwanda had all the bells and whistles for me because I felt at home. In addition, as a business woman, I knew from my research that Rwanda was a great place to be at the time with a myriad of opportunities and options for me to start a business.
Colin: After the horrendous tragedy in Rwanda in 1994, I followed the rise of a phoenix from its ashes as this tiny nation in the middle of the continent outpaced the rest of Africa in its rapid development. The choice of my new home was easy. Rwanda was on its second phase of a twenty-year development program when I arrived here in October 2019 and I lived in Kimihurura a pleasant section of Kigali.
Lady Visionary: During my teenage years I grew up seeing alot of negative media on Africa. In my twenties I decided that I would explore the African continent as I believed that there was a different side to the story. I visited Ghana first and it was an eye opening experience. Although Africa has many challenges, there’s a lot of beauty here too. I learned more about my history and my identity. I was inspired to continue to explore Africa.
When I meet my partner then, now husband who is Rwandan, I expressed to him I would like to live in Africa.
He invited me to visit Rwanda. I started visiting Rwanda regularly and I was blown away by the history and progress influenced by the current President Paul Kagame.
I wanted to position myself and family in a country that aligned with my vision and exponential possibilities. I also wanted to break away from the usual cycle of the West; work, retire and die. I didn’t want to be like so many others in the grave, who failed to make their dreams a reality. I wanted to live a more purposeful and influential life, that would deeply inspire my children and others around the world.
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