W. I. N

…..”if you don’t fear anything then time slows down, and you can see what you need to do.” After Earth, Will Smith….

…..”if you don’t fear anything then time slows down, and you can see what you need to do.” After Earth, Will Smith….

Performing “Women are the secret movers of the kingdom” @LNDW (The long night of the words)

Piano: Eva

Location : Kaiserslautern

Women Are…

"Women are the secret movers of the kingdom. Men rule by day, women rule by night. Men perform deeds in public, women undo them in private.
Men make history, women make legend. Legend lasts longer.
Men conquer bodies, women conquer hearts. Hearts feel longer. Men think, women dream. Dream create the future.
Men fight, women bring light.
Men think they rule the world, but find the world has turn to water. Women understand that water.
Men make law, women make ways.
Men Build, women make the building live. Men know death, but women know life.
If men make mistakes thousands people die, if women make mistakes a whole nation perishes.
The folly of men ends in fighting, the folly of women leads to death.
The folly of men is a stupid thing, the folly of women is of historical significance.
Men can be stupid and the world will not fall down, but if women are studpid the world comes to an end.
The responsability for women to be wise is truly great. The greatness of a people is a tribute to the wisdom of its women. (..)
It is women who bring hapiness to the world, through their mysteries.” 

Staarbook p.29, Author Ben Okri, Read by : mR

The book I read/ Best Quotes from Steve Jobs Bio

Hello Dears, I just finished to read Jobs Biography…the One by Karen Bumenthal Not the “Big” one. Somehow I first wanted to be sure I could finish a smaller version and then go for a longer one ;) It was very inspiring! great Read! We more or less have already heard it here&there…Standford commencement speech, interviews, quotes etc…But it´s always a great reminder.

Here the pieces I chose to share&remember…#Be.Inspired!

1) Jobs: Visionary.Showman.Artist.Tyran.Genius.Jerk.

2) The journey is the reward.

3) “When you are a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you are not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You will know it is there and so you are going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back!” Job´s dad (Job applied this lesson over an over again on Apple products)

4) This man has changed business forever! #Cover of Inc magazines image

5) Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

6) “For the first 30 years of your life you make your habits, for the last 30 years of your life your habits make you” Hindu proverb

7) I hope that throughout my life i will sort of have the threads of my life and the thread of apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There maybe a few years when I am not there but I will always come back.

8) Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in a successive outer layer of the product or service. It´s not just what a product looks like or how it feels, but how it actually works.

9) Get your mind around it…you can do It!

10) People think focus means saying yes to the thing you have got to focus on. But that is not what it means at all. It means saying no to the one hundred other good ideas you have. You HAVE to pick carefully.

11) Simple can be harder than complex, you have to work hard to get your thinking clear enough to make it simple. But it´s worth it in the ends…because once you get there, you can move mountains!

« He believed the journey was the reward and trust that the dots will eventually connect. He followed his heart and never settle for okay. He did what he love and if he didnt love what he did, if he didn´t believe it was great work, he redid it again! and again! He tried to live each day as if it really mattered, even before he had cancer»

#W.I.N (Write.Inspire.Nurture)

Michaella Rugwizangoga

A W.I.N minute with Aissata Lam

I start this interview with a quote in my mind “To who much is given much will be ask” introducing to you Aissata Lam, founder and head coordinator of the JCC Mauritania.

Young, driven and highly motivated this young woman is on her way to change the status-quo and make a difference in her native country.

Aissata Lam´s background include HEC Montreal, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, ESC Bordeaux. She was successfully enrolled at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Science, where she is currently completing her Master.


Name: Aissata Lam

 Company/ Name of Business: Junior Chamber of Commerce Mauritania

 What do you do? I am currently pursuing a Master degree at Harvard 

 What inspired you to start the JCC Mauritanie ?

3 Reasons:

 - Mauritania is an unknown/forgotten country, and it frustrated me to see how low people would talk about my country.

- We have a very promising economy, good natural resources, and lot of room for any idea that one might have. I see Mauritania still as a ‘ground zero’; lot of potential, lot of opportunities, vibrant youth (half of the population is under 30)

- More and more international attention: due to our booming mining sector more and more companies are willing to settle in Mauritania thus, it was a perfect timing to think of having an organization like the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Plus all other countries, including neighboring Senegal, Morocco, and Mali have one. Why not us!

 How did you get started with the JCC Mauritania?

It took exactly a year and a half from the idea generation, business plan writing, to the implementation. Mauritania is not an easy country, so I needed to be extra careful regarding the message I wanted to convey not to be misunderstood or misinterpreted. I was still in my Montreal office when I was writing the business plan, brainstorming about how to create a platform where young professionals could interact and be exposed to the international community. I was exposed to the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montreal and it inspired me to do the same in Mauritania. My Experience at HEC was also a trigger, as all the activities we did inspired me to develop similar throughout the JCCM.

 Is this your first initiative? Yes, It is my first.

 How big is your staff? OR How many people do you manage in your position? Currently we have people in 3 different locations: Nouakchott (6), Montreal (1), New York (1) and Boston (1).

What is an average workday like for you?

I like waking up early. My alarm is set at 7.30 am. First thing I pray. Take a shower while listening to some Bossa Nova. I drink coffee (in love with Burundian and Rwandan coffee!! ). Catch up with the news. On school days I go to school. After class I sit at a Starbucks, and work on the JCCM. When I don’t have class, I prefer staying home and work on the JCCM. 50% of the time I’m on Skype with my co-workers to get some work done over there.

 What are your Targets? Finish my degree and go back to Africa to work there. Get the JCCM running and be the most successful Youth-led institution in Mauritania.

What are the most crucial things you have done to put the JCC Mauritania where it is today? I would say the presentation of the Project to the UN. Without the UN backing us, I think it would have been more difficult at first.

 What plans do you have for expansion? We are thinking of having representation through out the country. In all major cities in Mauritania, it is important that youth everywhere in the country to be represented.

What outsiders have been most important to your business success?  The first two people I met when I presented the idea in Nouakchott were the Secretary general of the Mauritanian Chamber of Commerce and and a Young professional working in Mauritania named Djindah Bal. The latter was and still is a constant support for me. I don’t think I would have done it without her. She runs a communication agency, Butterfly in the city and is one of the greatest person I know, and We met only early this year. She is definitely a role model.

What is the best news you have received in the last few days? Ahhh The UN endorsing the JCCM. I was so happy!!!

What’s the worst advice you´ve ever received? Ooh though one (lol).  I can’t think of any, sorry, I tend not to focus on those usually, my brain selectively deletes those.

What´s the best advice you´ve ever received? From my dad, that I should consider Harvard.

 What three pieces of advice would you offer to other young Africans?

- Be good ambassadors to your respective countries

- Don’t ever think: ‘it’s impossible’

- Have faith in Africa, so that other will too. If we, Africans don’t believe in our continent, I don’t see how foreigners will.

Favorite part of your job ? I get to go to Nouakchott more often now!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced ? Racism. As shocking as it’s sounds. Mauritania is still very segregated and I had some rejections from people whom I wanted in my team because I was a woman and black.

 In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going? I am very very very Stubborn. Just ask my Mom. When there is adversity, it encourages me to keep going. I like Sun Tzu’s Art of War when it comes to that. He says “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

 If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?  Hmmm nothing, I am very content with everything, even the challenges; they are part of the journey.

Tell us about one person that you admire? My grandfather. My mom’s dad. He is a warrior! He has had a successful career in Politics, was engaged in the war with France (like many others) and is now the president of the Veterans office in Mauritania; He is 91 and still up and running (God protects him). He works everyday from 9 to 5, is involved in the development of our village (Boghé), runs the Family. I love and look up to him.

 If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you choose? Michelle Obama , Nelson Mandela and India Arie.

Tell us one company& or initiative that you admire? TED. I think the Idea is brilliant.

One person who most influenced your life? 2 people: My parents.

Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met? Famous is very relative lol, I met a few and can´t really scale them from themost to the least famous. But The latest I met were the Attias Couple , Cecilia and Richard. It was good talking to them.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to be where you are today? Give up on relationships lol. Being a woman, it’s always a challenge and at a certain point, I felt like I needed to focus either on my love life, either on work. I chose the latter. I hope to be able to do both.

What is one of your favorite quotes?  “It always seems, impossible until it’s done" Nelson Mandela

One person I would like to meet is? Michelle Obama.

You are still young, but what is the best decision you have ever taken in your life, so far? I guess, go back to school and at the same time work on implementing the JCCM. Very fulfilling so far.

What is your vision for the JCC Mauritania? Be the Largest Youth-led organization in Mauritania.

One teacher you remember, and why? René Gendreau. My former teacher in Montreal. He selected me to be part of the International competition team for HEC and we traveled together everywhere; we developed a mutual trust relationship.

One most valuable work lesson, thus far…..Always trust your gut feeling.

If you could write a book about anything, what would it be? The role of the African Diaspora in Developping Africa.

Which book are you currently reading ? I am currently reading “War and Peace” form Tolstoy.

One tip for time management?  To- do lists

One way that you use for resolving conflicts? Never get  angry and keep calm.

One favorite activity when traveling? Visit museums. It´s the first thing I check when I get to a new city.

One macroeconomic variable you keenly watch e.g. GDP, or interest rates…etc..?  The unemployement rate. More that half of our continent consists of youth, unemployement is crucial. We should closely watch it.

One dream you would like to chase, later in life is? Develop the artist in me: Painting.

In 5 years you will be?  A Young professional at the African Development Bank.

 What do you consider to be the 2 main keys of your success?  Success is a strong word lol, but I am building my steppingstone to Success slowly but surely.

- I never take no as an answer, I am a pusher, it’s sometimes annoying..I heard.lol

- I am a hard worker.


Name one thing you are an expert in ? Though one again. But I would say, presentation skills. I am confident on stage and in front of an audience, in fact I love it, I feel empowered every time I have to speak to a crowd.

If you had only one year to live, what would you work towards? Be there for my family, and spend every single minute with them.

What would you like people to say about you after you die? To quote Beyonce “To leave my footprint in the World” so that people see I was here and did my best to love, give back, be my best.                  

What do you enjoy most about your life right now? The fact that my parents are so proud of me and that they tell me everyday! It is worth all the struggle.

What activities are you passionate about? Painting!

Name one lesson you will teach your children one day…… To be tolerant. I met a lot of people that I can´t even describe. Being a loving and tolerant person is key: regardless of religion and belief.

Describe a time when you felt as though you had really accomplished something great… When I won the Competition in Hong Kong. A business plan competition.

 What book has had the biggest impact on you ? l’Alchimiste de Paulo Coelho.

 One book you think is a must read for anyone L´élégance du hérisson.

 Are you a collector of anything? great people. ?? not really.

 Which is your most favorite place in this earth? Boghé, my Home village.

 What is your idea of fun?  A play at the theater.  A dinner.  A lounge with live jazz. That is my idea of an Awesome night.

 What is your taste in music? I can listen to everything. But my absolute must: Jacques Brel. India Arie. Miles Davis. Beyonce. Baaba Maal.

 Who would you consider to be your hero? My Parents.

 What is your favorite daily ritual? Praying. And my morning Coffee!

 What´s your favorite movie to watch over and over again? Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I have the collector edition.

 What was the best concert you ever attended? India Arie.

 What’s your favorite restaurant? In Montreal: Le Local, in the old Port.

 When you were a kid what was your dream Job? To be a Pediatrician. lol

 If given a complete freedom to start a fresh, what profession would you choose and why? Be a painter. I love art. I love the idea of self expression and discussion around it.

Interview by Michaella Rugwizangoga @ W.I.N (Write.Inspire.Nurture)

A signature is Born

Here is an article i published in the summer 2011…I hadn´t started the blog yet. Almost one year after I think it´s still relevant and decide to make a small space for it on myW.I.N blog. At the end you will find all possible links about the amazing work of this Rwando-Belgian Photographer.

If i was around last friday at the Vernissage of your first exhibition in Kigali (Rwanda), this is what i would have loved to say.

 Our elders used to say that “Imana yirirwa ahandi, igataha mu Rwanda”…”God spend the day elsewhere but sleeps in Rwanda”. If you don´t know why, ask G.Ruboneka to tell you why.

Let it be birds flirting with the water at lake Muhazi, flowers blooming in early morning hours in Nyugwe, butterflies teaching us the element of fashion (si si!) or simply Amin&Sonia smiling at your camera during the last  Lauryn Hill Concert in Kigali-There is something about your photography that we do not find elsewhere-Simply because…You Art are taking “Instant”. Instant of joy, Instant of Strenght, Instant of Life…

Your pictures cast a spell on your viewers…and they no longer see with their eyes ; they see with their heart.

Well it took me some times but I guess i know now where your secret lies…G.Ruboneka you have a deal with Mr.Time!

In your world seconds are longer, minutes unfold space and on the spur of the moment WE see beauty in the most unexpected places. It´s a gift and we thank you for sharing it us.

 For those of you who are in Kigali these days, make yourself a treat and Go see our nature as you never did…illuminated!

Michaella Rugwizangoga @W.I.N (Write.Inspire.Nurture)

Important Link:

The virtual Exhibition on Flickr


Gael´s Work:



Gael Ruboneka @Gael_RVW

W. like Wisdom

Unshakable faith is only that which can meet reason face to face in every Human epoch.

Allan Kardec

W.I.N Initiative

The Africa Rise Expo.

I created and curated this exhibition in May 2012.

W.I.N quote

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”

Ben Okri (b. 1959); poet, novelist

"Be the One" by Amena Brown

Here is a text that I really love. Amena Brown is one of those greatest mind of our century, a beautiful soul that teach us more than we can except.

I got the opportunity to perform her “Be the one” at different venues in Rwanda, and Germany. (Here a picture from “W.o.W”#Kaiserslautern, Words of the world poetry night).

We stand many minds, backgrounds and voices but One Heart.

Accepting the charge to lead, to follow, to influence, to build communities, to do more than succeed.
We want to be significant. Leave an imprint. And this matters more than financial bottom-line. This is about the longer lasting, life-impacting currency of time, so No! you will not merely go along or go gently with mediocrity of how things have always been. You want to forge paths, create new ways. Change starts here, Start small, wants to grow tall but needs hands, needs feet, needs you, need me. As we are all rushing to become something great, something bigger, something better, we want to be Go-getters and sometimes in this pursuit we lose track of our goal. Assuming accolades and getting paid with make us whole.

But things leave us empty, in a world of complicated connections it´s hard to live simply.
We are simply searching. Except the more we are hoping for is hard to grasp, intangible. Will the little we think we can do be substantial? This is an opportunity to live out of the box. Think past the cubicle. And there are only a few seconds left on the clock, in between your palms, you hold the ball, you got a clear shot. Except here we are not talking court side, lay up, rebound or three point line…
Your place to score may exist in a Boardroom, home, community, on assembly line, in the field, one client at a time.

You have got your team. Each one, of you playing their position, but here, winning is not about the success of a system, not about points, pride, percentage, score, not just about doing but about being more.

The number one: never get its just Due. One seems lonely so we try to make it two but one gets things started. One snowflake can start an avalanche, and a single seed can birth a tree. The phrase Change begings with me, it´s more than a cliché, it’s a mantra, let’s make it a reality. What will begin with you? Who will you become? Imagine the change you could see in your world if only You…would be “the One”