“From the moment I landed here on the campus, I had set a vision of four goals”, says Erickson Mugisha, a Year Four student in Law Department and Guild President in URSU Huye Campus with other titles.
It is Saturday afternoon within the grounds of the University of Rwanda Huye Campus, a resting day for most of its habitants. As a result, there are few back and forth among students. I am sitting near the office of the Guild President waiting for my rendezvous. A hard worker, I tell myself to work on the weekend.
Describing himself as a young man, Mugisha is a patriotic Rwandan. Indeed, as a consequence of the Genocide Against Tutsi, he was born as a refugee and spent the seven first years of his childhood outside his country, in Uganda. Attached to the Rwandan culture and values, he is passionate about leadership and social transformation.
“I believe to see people getting transformed from their negative past to a positive future”, he says.
With a huge Curriculum Vitae at the age of 26, Mugisha is a humble man with historical background.
“I was very crazy and stubborn; I had scars all over my body as I used to fight with other kids of my age”, summarizing his early childhood.
However, even in the little things, Mugisha wanted to lead.
“I think I had always a spirit of leading. With my stubbornness I wanted to take a lead; in the different games we played or if there was a task that demands a high rank, I had to be on the top”, He says.
He is a Year Four Law student
Mugisha is a first born in a family of ten, he embraces a sense of responsibility at a low age. Respected by his siblings, he has never limited himself to doing household tasks as for him being a leader is to be followed not to ask others to do your tasks.
“I am respected by my siblings because they are younger than me but more than anything because I respect myself. When I am home, they respect me because I deserve it not because I just want them to respect me”, He reacts.
He adds that being the big brother is challenging because you are responsible of each of your siblings; you are the one to give a good example.
Dreaming to be a high technology expert in his childhood, he discovers who he wanted to be in the first year of the Advanced Level in High Schools.
“As you grow, you discover more of what you can do better. In Senior Four, I made a decision that I should go for law. I got lucky to have good grades and I applied for the Bachelor’s degree in law at the University of Rwanda”. He pointS out that since the day he made that decision to embrace the career of law, he has never regretted his choice.
He graduated from Gabiro High School located in the Eastern Province in the combination of HEG (History, Economics, and Geography) where he was the most signing student in his option, he mentioned with a little smile on his face.
“I had never been a class representative at Gabiro High School but I was leading other activities in the school such as the debate club and I was part of the student leadership”, he answers when asked if he has been representing students since high school.
Today, leader of more than three thousands students, Mugisha Erickson has achieved one of the goals he set before stepping into his four years t the university.
From the Chairperson of the Pan-African Movement in Year Two and Speaker of the Board of Representatives in the third year to Guild President in his final year is a big accomplishment for him.
“When I landed here, I did not know many persons or high-ranked people in the university. I only knew two of my fellow students in high school. But I had a vision. Yes, I will live in a community but I had to influence it in terms of leadership”.
The Pan-African Movement has opened doors for the young year two student he was as he started to expose what he was capable of.
“At that time, the Pan-African Movement at the University of Rwanda has no power. I had to work hard for the movement to be known and seen. It has also opened a door of opportunities when meeting with influential leaders of the students’ decision making”.
Winning the Speaker of the Board of Representatives election, he believed that he had accomplished what was in his power, but a strong belief in his heart kept pushing him toward his initial goal.
That day he obeyed the voice in his heart and on August 13th, 2022, Mugisha Erickson was declared as Guild President after a journey of many sleepless nights, a loss of confidence, tight competition, a supportive family, and a team of friends who kept pushing him. He is a Vice Coordinator in Charge of Students Mobilization in Rwanda National Students Association- ‘Intagamburuzwa’ and also Vice Chairperson in URSU Charge of Academics at university level.
Very much concerned about the youth, he advised first-year students to set a vision with goals before jumping into university life. As he says, the youth are not only the future of this nation but also the present.
Ready to enter a new season, he has already set goals. Never despise the power of a vision and having an objective to open his law firm as he says.
By Orlane Marvella Kado