REAPING REWARDS
Forbes Africa|December - January 2021
In green Kigali, Viateur Ndahayo is adding his own aesthetic touch to the city with his booming flower business.
STEVEN MUVUNYI

RWANDA IS RENOWNED FOR ITS GREEN AND immaculate public spaces. And 35-year-old Viateur Ndahayo is a flower farmer playing his part, beautifying the capital city of Kigali with his ornamental flora. At Gacuriro, a leafy neighborhood in Kigali, dressed in a white shirt and blue jeans, Ndahayo shows us around his RWF250 million ($253,000) nursery. He has come a long way to be in this prized spot.

After primary school, he could not pursue his secondary education due to limited means. As a firstborn, he had to help his widowed mother bring up his siblings.

“I was competent and excelled in my studies but my mother’s land was too small to finance our education,” he recalls.

With a heavy heart, Ndahayo made the decision to drop out of school and concentrate on growing flowers.

Little did he know he was sowing the seeds for a successful future.

“I grew flowers as an experiment because it was not a common activity here. Only one Belgian company used to do it,” he says. Ndahayo explains that when the Belgians flew back home from Rwanda, the people who took over their business weren’t doing it right.

“I had never seen colored plants before as I was used to green ones. They caught my attention and made me very inquisitive. And creative.

“I didn’t envisage a profitable business growing flowers, I was just driven by passion.”

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