Opinion

The Headache of Finding Durable Toys in Kigali

The festive season is here.

It’s that season where malls are crowded with parents looking for toys and gifts for their children. But as a father, I am share an unpleasant story—I am quite disappointed that I can no longer find durable toys in Kigali.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I struggled to find toys for our two boys. We visited several shops and malls, and all we found were those toys you buy now and they get broken the following day. All of them are imported, cheap toys that I think were made simply for the quick money.

The oldest son is on my neck the entire past two weeks. Whenever I come home in the evening, I find him by the door-side waiting for me, hoping that I am bringing him the toy car I promised. As a parent, I feel the anticipation of a child waiting for the magical unboxing moment, but I also don’t want him crawling behind me in the morning when his toy breaks.

I am helpless—and it really breaks my heart to sidestep and leave him puppy-faced.

My woes began when Nakumatt was declared bankrupt last year, and later closed. I remember that this once mega-supermarket used to have toy cars made of hard plastic, the kind of toys a child tosses and throws everywhere but it still doesn’t break. I remember that these toys we relatively cheap, but I also liked the fact that they were made with this basic thought of how kids play.

I am pretty sure that “Made-in-Rwanda” can provide homemade solutions. I know they can. It’s time.

Do you know of any toy stores our distraught father should know about? Drop a comment below! 


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