Defying the odds: Vision impaired couple, landlords, ideal of self reliance

By Desire Muhire.

Pierre Nyankiko and his wife Venantia Mukanziza are vision impaired couple; they own tremendous properties including around 20 houses they lent and they never hesitate to inspire other people to adopt self reliance system to live a better life.

The parents of four children live in Gasabo District of Kigali City, Kimironko Sector, Bibare Cell, in Amariza village.

Nyankiko became vision impaired when he was ten due to measles infection.

Their story is inspirational as the couple own houses, plots and other properties, they advise those who are always fighting for ‘Ubudehe categories’ low echelon to change their mindset and fight for working hard as they did.

Nyankiko during the interview with The Inspirer’s journalist.

“I started dwelling here in 1999, it was a primary house that government gifted to me, I cut off the bush which was surrounding here, I was in secondary school at Gahini in Kayonza District where I met my wife, after I joined physiotherapy career.” Nyankiko narrated about his academic path.

In 2006, Nyankiko opened a physiotherapy center at Kabeza to help Rwandans but in vain as many, during the period did not know its value.

That is when Nyankiko gave up and joined ‘Ubuntu Edmonton’ project, and later he become entrepreneur after the project brought to an end.

“After the feeling that I should live as other ordinary people, I started creating a job, after school I used to be a street vendor despite my impairment, I had young boys who sold my products and I pay them in the evening.” Nyankiko said.

Some of Nyankiko family’s houses that generate money to help them live better.

“I left my home to live in Kigali as a beggar and I failed, that is why I chose to create a job, I found myself here in Kimironko where I could mix various businesses such as physiotherapy, cars spare parts and also I was a dealer, I did all these to be self reliant and now I am among respected and tycoon residents in my village.” He testified.

His criticism on people who fight for ‘Ubudehe’ low category…

Many people are heard claiming about their Ubudehe categories due to some advantages offered to those who are classed low, such as students’ bursary, medical insurance among others.

According to Nyankiko, some should not run after that cheap category, they should work harder instead.

“They are lacking something crucial: [self-reliance norms], they should be directed towards development pathway, they are busy with support stuffs, it is shameful to see a man with almost twenty million Rwandan francs and he is fighting for Ubudehe category one, which was set for those who are vulnerable, the kind of people put on torn dresses to show off their poverty, that is poorly mindset which leads to a poor Nation.”  Nyankiko said.

Nyankiko and his family.

He advises local leaders to put more efforts in educating citizen on self confident, self reliance and working spirit.

Nyankiko went on saying that, when Ubudehe categories established, he also used to attack local leaders, seeking first category basing on his disability, but he afterward realized he was in a wrong way, now he is in third Ubudehe category which he is satisfied with.

The family can earn around Rwf 400,000 per month, which is an estimative rate.

Presently, Nyankiko owns twenty houses to rent, his own houses and two plots to mention few.

He married a vision impaired girl and, once you meet them in their household, they are happy with their three sons and one daughter.

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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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