Letter to my fellow youth: My COVID-19 chronicle to my beloved Ndeko – Rwanda We Want

Letter to my fellow youth: My COVID-19 chronicle to my beloved Ndeko

Hello Ndeko ,

I know you’re probably wondering who Ndeko is, but just for context, it means “friend” in Lingala.

And hey you’re my friend right?

I was wondering how you were holding up, you know global pandemic and all…

Before you respond to this letter, here’s my experience with this whole situation.

The morning before the lockdown announcement, I was casually getting my hair braided at a saloon (facemasks and other precautions in place of course). Hairdressers usually have the best stories to tell, but on that day, you could feel the tension. Through all the hours I spent there, we only talked about COVID-19.  That was already a terrible sign. That night, we were told we were going on a two weeks lockdown. As many people had initially thought, I was persuaded it would only last two weeks. And then 2 weeks turned into a month and school being reported to September. Oh, Corona…

The first 2 weeks were spent talking to old friends mostly, but then when I realized it wasn’t going to be over soon, I read. I read a lot of books, watched many YouTube videos and took lots of pictures (at home). I even started a workout challenge, I know you’re like Daniella working out? But yeah, I am a workout junkie now. If you need workout apps let me know too. I also perfected my Lingala, hence the little brag with the “Ndeko” [s/o to my Mom!!]

I continued running my small business after other businesses were allowed to open and surprisingly it’s going well…

Time went by so fast this year and I’m thinking we should cancel 2020…

Okay let’s not, but instead let’s make the most out of the 193 days left. I know you will, you’ve always been the most optimistic soul, Ndeko.

One thing’s for sure, I’m never taking “holding hands” for granted anymore.

This year has brought about many changes and so many more are waiting to happen, I can only hope the rest is positive.

You know I’ve never been a good writer but I hope this letter is interesting enough for you to actually finish it. If you made it here then it probably was, or you’re just a being good friend.

I hope you spend the 193 remaining days safely, I love you.

Your Ndeko,


Daniella Ngarambe is a varsity student at University of Rwanda (Mechanical engineering) and University of Kigali (Business Information Technology, BIT), and an entrepreneur.