Interview: Highschool Student Dennis Agaba

I met Dennis at an entrepreneurship event hosted by The Office and the Babson-Rwanda Entrepreneurship Center. He’s an eager student who I enjoyed talking to and I thought an interview could shed some light into life as a young Rwandan. You can reach Dennis at dennistony8@yahoo.com.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Dennis Agaba, a true Rwandan teenager, aged 18 years old; I’m in form six at Kagarama Secondary School (The school of excellence in Kicukiro District). And my home is in Kanombe.

What’s life like for a young person in Kigali?

Most of my time with friends is mainly dedicated to hot stories about high school life, debating and arguing about different social and political issues worldwide and also taking time to work on several projects we are involved in.

What kinds of things do you enjoy studying the most?

Basing on the combination of subjects I take, I mostly enjoy Entrepreneurship and Economics; the reason being those two principal subjects literally meets my fully current and further interests both in business and career.

How did you become interested in entrepreneurship?

I developed interests in entrepreneurship not long ago after acquiring different entrepreneurial skills and knowledge not only from school but also from different entrepreneurs and business people within and outside Rwanda that I managed to share ideas with… that strongly inspired me hence pimping up my own creativity with more knowledgeable ideas thus getting involved.

How important will entrepreneurs be to Rwanda’s future?

As the government of Rwanda strongly fights unemployment, I truly believe that entrepreneurs are the best solution to that problem, the higher the rate of successful entrepreneurs in the country, the less the rate of unemployment problem. So I literally believe entrepreneurs will be of a great significance to Rwanda’s future.

What sort of ideas have you had?

I developed an idea of starting an educational student’s magazine. This was long after acquiring all the possible skills and knowledge about publishing basically from my continued writing and also from the fact I was the chief editor of our school magazine. All of that inspired me to go forward with the idea. My main idea is to produce an educative magazine aiming at promoting career guidance in high schools which is greatly needed as I literally believe thinking about possible career direction while young is a guideline to success.

Another thing I want to do is to promote entrepreneurship and the culture of reading and writing among the youth and so far actions are already in progress.

You write for the New Times… what sort of articles do you write?

I write in The Teen Times, a weekly magazine published by The New Times basically for teenagers, I usually write inspirational, educative articles and also different articles about high school life which I strongly believe have made a positive impact on students and teenagers in general so far basically from their feed back back to me.

How did you become interested in journalism?

Back home it’s an inspiration from two of my family members who were both journalists by profession i.e. My Father and brother and later on at high school I have been serving as the school journalist since 2010 up to date which I think all that serves as an inspirational fact and base for my interests in journalism.

What do you think about the state of journalism in Rwanda? What are the challenges?

From what I see there is tangible development in the field of journalism in Rwanda day by day
Well qualified journalists rise from time to time and also and as far as I know the government’s support is also available, however the main challenge still remains that the upcoming journalists lack inspiration from those who are already in the field.

What do you hope for your future?

First of all I hope to see myself as a great writer in future, a writer whose materials educate, inspire, motivate and provide a voice to the voiceless which am sure will have a positive impact on the readers especially the youth. Secondly I hope to see myself as a successful entrepreneur in near future.

Do you feel like Rwanda has a lot of opportunities for young people?

Sure!! Rwanda has a lot of opportunities for young people and in different fields all aiming for their growth and development although; some of the young people haven’t utilized those available opportunities yet. From my point of view, I see the government of Rwanda has so far done its part, so it’s our turn too as young people to take a step ahead and take the necessary actions.

What are some of your favourite things to do in Kigali?

Kigali is really a calm city and I comfortably find myself in, it provides a lot of opportunities for me. I enjoy dedicating most of my time trying to utilize those opportunities and also another thing enjoy doing in Kigali is visiting new places not forgetting trying to catch up with the new technology.

Do you have any message or advice for your fellow students and youth in general?

I encourage all my fellow students to discover their life. Purpose is an important factor that yields great benefits to anyone’s life. It provides the necessary motivation to constantly pursue our dreams. Even in the face of negativity, it helps one to objectively look for solutions to problems and view challenges as a stepping-stone to success and a better life. Remember life must have a purpose to have meaning.

Do you have any advice or recommendations for new arrivals to this city?

For the new arrivals to our calm, clean, adventurous, peaceful city all I can say is to wish you a warm welcome, feel at home and as our culture we truly love visitors. For those who wish to stay for long I can say murakazaneza.

About Kirsty

A Canadian who left in 2001 to wander around the world in search of sun, beautiful views and goat brochettes. Found Kigali in July 2010 and it seems like the perfect fit. I expect to be here until I get kicked out for defiantly walking on the grass while wearing flip flops.