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Some relationships are like Karongi Roads, bumpy, and curvy with a lot of red signs

Ladies, gather around. We’re on to some Rwandan tea today – and not just the kind you sip in the cool evenings of Kigali. Today, we’re diving deep into relationships, distinguishing the green ones from the dry grass.

Did I ever tell you about my ex, Mr. X? A guy who thought “intimacy” meant not seeing other people but had no issue visiting his female ‘Best friends’ and spending the night without asking or even informing? I didn’t? Well now you know him.

I have found out that some relationships are like Karongi Roads, bumpy, curvy, and with a lot of red signs. Through the laughs and facepalms, I’ve gathered some wisdom to differentiate healthy relationships from those not-so-great ones.

Sign 1: Best friends and boundaries

In a healthy relationship, boundaries are clearer than Lake Kivu on a sunny day. If your boo respects your personal boundaries – be it emotional, physical, or even your nonnegotiables, you’ve probably got a keeper.

On the other hand, if every day feels like you’re navigating through the tricky roads of Muhanga to Karongi, it might be time to reconsider. If you always have to remind them that you do not feel comfortable with something over and over again, such as having intimacy…my friend pack your bags and go.

Sign 2: The thousand hills – and just as many stories

You know those couples who are like open books to each other? They share tales from the time they tried the famous Inka house steak or the Fazenda horse riding to eating brochette and capati on a hectic night in Nyamirambo.

That’s golden. In contrast, if your partner is as secretive as our Rwandan families, if he is always trying to hide the fact that you are a couple—you might be in for a spicy surprise.

Sign 3: The Agaciro factor

Our Rwandan concept of Agaciro, or self-worth, extends beyond economics. In a glowing relationship, you feel cherished and valued, unlike that second-hand imishanana gathering dust in the corner or the boda boda you wear at home.

If you do not feel cherished then that’s because you are not.

Sign 4: You are dancing Jazz, he is dancing amapiano

A strong relationship is like dancing to that infectious Intore beat. You’re in sync, even if one of you occasionally steps on the other’s foot.

An unhealthy one? It’s more like one’s grooving to amapiano while the other is lost in some slow jazz. There is no rhythm, just chaos.

Sign 5: Mama knows best

Ever introduced your guy to your Mama and she gave you that knowing look? Trust her instincts.

I once liked this guy, I won’t say his name. Tall, handsome, seemed perfect. But when Mama saw him, her only comment was, “Isimbi, the chicken is cute, but is it wise?” Took me a while, but I finally got it. I hope you did too.

Sign 6: It’s giving NGO meetings

In the same spirit of our traditional courts, a healthy relationship faces challenges with openness and dialogue. If you’re having more closed-door meetings than a secretive NGO, chances are, it’s not so rosy.

If your partner can’t open up and be sincere and honest with you, chances are he is a Rwandan man proposing to another lady.

To wrap it up, my beautiful Rwandan queens, relationships are as diverse as our hills. Some are worth climbing and conquering, while others are best admired from a distance. After all, why settle for an umushanana that doesn’t quite fit when the tailor can always adjust it, or better yet when there’s another one that’s just right?

As the Government is working on rebuilding the main road in Karongi to ease transportation let’s all work on our relationships to make them healthier.

Karongi is a district in Western Province, Rwanda
Karongi is also wonderful destination
The government has tirelessly improved roads to make them suitable
Karongi is known for harsh curvy roads

Straight out of Twitter