Kagame on the world stage giving a lecture at Yale on September 20, 2016, was spectacular. The man appears sophisticated, and argues passionately about Rwanda, which, according to him, is a model nation being frustrated by the West. Because of its arrogance, the West dictates that every country must follow same political norms dictated by the powerful – says Kagame.
During his Yale lecture, Kagame dished out his standard line that the West makes unfair “assumptions” and has prejudices against not only Rwandans but Africans. Kagame defines this Western “moral superiority.”
When questioned about his human rights record, Kagame would have none of it – he instead reminded the audience of the economic gains he has made since genocide. In other words Kagame’s “Singapore of Africa.”
This is great acting. Kagame deserves an Oscar Award from Hollywood. To his naive Yale University hosts, Kagame is convincing in his role and accurately portrays elements of an African statesman who has singlehandedly rebuilt the nation of Rwanda. In front of Yale cameras and a largely unsuspecting audience, Kagame demonstrates masterly acting skills.
As I look at this first rate performance at Yale University, I can’t help wonder what would happen, if the same audience listened to a Kagame speech in Kigali, delivered in the same month on September 12, 2016. Addressing university students, Kagame made his infamous “I Will Kill You” remarks. These were his words:
“Those noise-makers you hear all the time, those people who want to mess with us and undermine what we have built. I will kill you. I am not one of those people who are shy about killing. Not me. I will finish you. Those who make noise. I let them do so. But should they cross a line in the sand, you won’t know what hit you.”
The man speaking in Kigali was the real Kagame – using the thuggish language with which he has terrorized Rwandans into total submission. The Kagame speaking at Yale University was a make believe.