Former Chelsea manager Grant impressed by Rwanda
After a week visiting different areas in Rwanda, former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has been impressed with the way Rwandans have managed to uplift themselves to develop their nation.
Grant said in an interview on Tuesday at Kigali Serene Hotel.
Grant who is an Israeli by nationality visited the country to share experience his countrymen experienced during the holocaust orchestrated by military dictator Adolf Hitler of Germany during the Second World War.
During his tour, he visited various places like the Kagarama secondary school in Kicukiro, Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village as well as the Genocide memorial centers in Gisozi and Nyanza, a historical site and a centre of Rwanda’s old kingdom.
Grant said, “My father was a victim of holocaust, we buried his parents and sisters and we decided to go to Israel to build a new family and not to look to the past,”
“There is no word that can best describe the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi; it can’t even be compared to the holocaust. It’s more than the holocaust. People killing each other because of who they are, can’t find words to describe this,”
“What happened 20 years ago affected the Rwandese people but as my father told me, we should stop living in the past and look to the future. And these words built me into a strong person and helped me a lot,”
“I am therefore calling on Rwandans to do the same because just like in football, when you lose the game you can’t change anything but you have influence on the other matches,” said Grant.
He further added, “I must say that I was very impressed with Rwanda and its people. In my opinion the leadership of President Paul Kagame is in the right direction. I liked his speech because it gives targets which will be reached.”
“He gave reasonable targets and I was very impressed. Rwanda has potential but like in football, you need to use your potential for good things. People need to know that their leaders will do good things but they are bound to make mistakes sometimes, the most important is the global picture.”
“I was also very impressed with the unique decision of this country that the survivors and the killers are living together, I have never faced it in my life but it’s because you are Rwandese, one week is short for me to understand this, I will have to come back to understand this fact.”
“I respect it because you need to be very strong to take such decision and live with it. My father made me understand that not all the Germany were bad people even though I grew up knowing they were bad, he said no.”
Grant noted that Einstein once said that bad things happen not because of the bad people because the good people were silent.
“First we need to know that there are many good people in the world and good situations but the most important thing is to prevent such things that happened here in Rwanda but prevention is a very ungrateful job because you never know what you prevent.
“I am sure that there are many places in the world things like what happened in Rwanda could have happened and things that happened in World War II could happen but it didn’t happen because of the good people that stopped such things from happening,” added Grant.
He lauded Steven Smith and James Smith, head of Aegis Trust for what they are doing to help victims of the Genocide.
“I knew them because they did something for the memory of the survivors of the holocaust and they are not Jewish but they did it for the Jewish people and they are also not Rwandese but they are doing it for the people of Rwanda.”
“And I think it’s very important that you can help people from things you know you have experience and I was very impressed for the job they are doing here because you can’t do this job if you don’t have a big heart.”
“What I have seen here in very touching and it’s amazing to see people helping each other, a feat which is quite different from the holocaust because at that time no body helped my father, he needed to help himself because he was alone,” Grant noted.
Grant whose previous coaching position saw him lift the league title with Partizan Belgrade has taken a two-year sabbatical leave from football after an 18 and half coaching career.