Newspaper buyer beware

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I buy newspapers from the many street sellers hawking the streets Kigali at least once per week. I tend to buy local Kinyarwanda language papers – which I don’t understand – and I ask some Rwandan friends to tell me a little about what’s inside. Umuseso – which I’m told means “from dawn to dusk” in English – appears to be the most popular. Apparently, it’s the only “tabloid” available in Rwanda. Along with the Kinyarwanda language papers, I occasionally pick up one of the local or regional English language editions. Sometimes The New Times, very rarely Rwanda Focus or, like yesterday, The East African.

I now know there are a couple of things to keep a look out for when buying a daily rag in Rwanda. Firstly, check you’re not being sold last week’s edition, or even last month’s… Secondly, do you spot anything a little odd about the cover of my copy of this week’s East African? The weekly normally retails at US$0.75 – around 500Rwf – but with a bit of not so subtle scratching and, magically, the local cover price disappears. I end up buying it for 1,000Rwf. I don’t begrudge these guys their 500Rwf profit, but I might raise the issue the next time I buy my morning paper…

Photo taken from the Kigali Wire Pikchur account

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