Etienne Murenzi, Rwandan diaspora in Norway was born in Rwanda with arm and hands disability but tried to accept his status.
He lives in Northern of Europe in Norway since 2003, where he shifted to continue his life. he likes most Rwandan culture and Rwandans, thousand hills of Rwanda and the country itself.
Murenzi loves peace and strives to give peace to others. He is a father of four children, two daughters and two sons.
“I was lucky to comfort myself and accept my status since my childhood, I could before regret to see my body status and ask myself why I am not like others, I decided to create happiness in my life as I could realize it is the real source of happiness and well-being in my life a head.” He said.
He said that nobody advised him to accept this status; he made such a decision despites many challenges.
“I could face many challenges, like failure to do some activities, looking for someone to help me, but in my 15 years (teenage) is where I decided to comfort myself.
Born in Bugesera Distrit, he studied Primary School as other children and they used to play together.
He studied languages in secondary school. “I could not feel disabled, no, I could do whatever other children did, happy and courageous, I used my one finger to write notes and I could be better and faster than other children who were not physically disabled,”
AJEPO-Nyamata is where he studied languages before the Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi.
He said that he was lucky to make a decision to accept his status as it was a good way to make friendship with different societies in Rwanda and norvege as other people did not discriminate him.
He went in Norway and it was the country of his choice as he entered Europe. He shares the experience of life between two countries, Rwanda and Norway.
“Norway is an economically developped country and it caters most for people with disability, it is under their laws and they respect this, a simple example is mine, since I arrived there, I am not struggling to work, I was provided with a 100 percent pension (anticipated pension), which is given to people with disabilities, this is the only facility that is helping me to live my life-long as I am still in this world. Not only that, there, they provide physically-disabled people with various other equipments all easily installed in the house,” he said.
He appreciates the facilities and wishes that all people with disabilities worldwide can be helped the same way.
He also thanks efforts of governments who hire the team of facilitators to go and examine the needs of people with disabilities by reaching them in their homes.
The steps to accept his disability
“I did not start to accept my status while in Europe; I took this decision in my childhood when I was in Rwanda, my mother country. Even if I can confront with man challenges it can not take away the happiness of my life,” he said.
He said that sharing ideas with other people helps most to accept one’s status. He said that he turned his challenges into solutions.
“I try to help other people in Norway to accept their disability status from secondary to high schools and Universities, we see many people who commit suicide everyday there due to their life status, thus they have everything as facilities to help them accept their status, but today many of people there call me their ‘medicine’ to accept their disability status,” Murenzi said.
“He says he feels much pain when he meets some disabled people on Kigali’s streets because they should not be there begging, they should instead be doing another thing which is not begging, because they did not think on something to do without begging on the streets,” he said.
He thanks his parents who raised him even though they are not alive, he thanks them that they did not hear from people who could tell them that raising a child with physical disability is a burden.
He thanks the government of RWANDA to strive for the well being of people with disabilities as the facilities and inclusion that is making another step were not prioritized in the past.
“But there are many to do, I believe that in the capacity of Rwanda, they can work more, I think that when the Rwandan parliament sits together, they can find ways of giving pension to persons with disabilities.” Murenzi said.
He used to participate in Rwanda Day events, seeking for opportunity to hear from Rwandans and His Excellency Paul Kagame’s remarkable pieces of advice.
The Express News