Monday, 20 December 2021

With So Much Love

This post is in memory of one of the kindest, most caring souls I have ever known. I received the news today that my dear friend Kwizera Emmanuel, Emmy, passed away. We met a few years back through a friend. He was a driver and tour operator. Mum and Merrick got to meet him when they visited in 2019 and he took us to Akagera. 

Emmy, far right

Everybody who met him loved him, he was just one of life's truly genuine people. He came to my rescue more times than I can count. Once, when I was sick, I texted from the hospital to ask if he could pick me up, but I was too ill to check my phone again. He drove around the clinics until he found me, and he took me home and bought medicine on the way. I was in a perticularly projectile-vomity state and terrified of messing up his car, but he just laughed and told me to get in.

Another time, I was in a car crash in Kigali and he came hurtling across the city to find me, and then proceeded to drive me all the way to Gisenyi (a four-hour drive), because that is where I had been going. 

I have so many stories about his kindness. Any time I was in trouble, he was there to dig me out. He would go above and beyond for his friends. During the first lockdown, our friend Andy needed to take his family to Burundi and Emmy managed to pack up their entire house in his car and get them to the border. He was just that kind of guy.

Such an incredibly kind and gentle superman. He dropped me off at the airport two months ago, as I was returning to see my family in the UK. The thought of stepping off the plane in Kigali and not seeing his big smile in the crowd is absolutely heartbreaking. He loved elephants, he loved nature, and he loved rain. Whenever I would complain about the wet season, he would just smile and say 'it makes everything grow.' I will miss him very deeply, as I'm sure all those who knew him will. It was an absolute privilege to call him my friend. We'll raise a glass again someday. 💔

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