Rwasibo Tele Indekwe ’09 has more language-learning CDs in his car than music CDs. That love of culture and language, he says, stems directly from his refugee past. The exposure to different cultures and a sincere interest in communicating with others led Tele Indekwe to proficiency in French, English, Swahili, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda and Lingala/Congolese - and it also led him to Thunderbird.
Rwasibo Tele Indekwe ’09 has more language-learning CDs in his car than music CDs.
That love of culture and language, he says, stems directly from his refugee past. “Having been dispersed from Rwanda by a refugee legacy, I had family in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Europe.”
The exposure to different cultures and a sincere interest in communicating with others led Tele Indekwe to proficiency in French, English, Swahili, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda and Lingala/Congolese, and study in Luganda and Spanish. His passion for culture, language and global interaction also led him to Thunderbird.
“Thunderbird is the world in one place. I met people of more nationalities than I ever dreamed possible,” he says of his time at Thunderbird. “I am a global citizen now – more than ever before."
Tele Indekwe says his country’s history also influenced his decision to attend the Thunderbird School of Global Management. “I have always wanted to return to Rwanda and help rebuild my country,” explains Tele Indekwe, who has lived in the United States, Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. “Thunderbird’s Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Management interested me because it combined management knowledge with a deep understanding of international affairs and world politics.”
Despite already having extensive experience managing small businesses in Africa and the United States, Tele Indekwe says he’s gained additional communication, negotiation and team-building skills at Thunderbird that are helping him meet his goal of rebuilding his home country. He’s already actively teaching seminars on conflict resolution, peace, unity and service to country.
As the territory manager for the Rwandan branch of telecom company, Millicom International, he works with distributors and dealers to help ensure expansion. “I enjoy the challenge of building new territories and creating and sustaining a healthy competition with our two rivals who are already well-established in Rwanda,” says Tele Indekwe.
In his spare time, the father of two young daughters enjoys swimming, transcendental meditation and hiking. When he looks to the future, he can’t help but consider another passion. “I think of someday opening a small business. My first passion is development work, but I’d love to simultaneously offer wine and cigars to the Rwandan customer. Wine is still a rare commodity, but a middle class is building here, and people are starting to demand more of it.”
(Testimonial-Text provided by the Thunderbird School of Global Management)