As early as seven years of age, Huye based businessman Theophile Mutabaruka, had started nursing a dream of promoting tourism in the area commonly known then as Butare in the Southern Province.
Mutabaruka worked in his fatherís shop whenever he came back from school and continued with the kind of work after his secondary education was disrupted due to the challenges related to its access.
He recalls that the electricity course he was pursuing never resonated with his dream. He dropped out of school after two years of studying in Rugunga, a Kigali city suburb. When he returned to Huye, he resumed working from his fatherís shop for three years. Shortly, his elder brother also a trader and father contributed initial capital that helped him to start his journey as an investor.
Commenting on the significance of the name and history of Galileo Stadium Hotel, Mutabaruka as its Founder and Proprietor observed that it came into existence in 2015 when Rwanda hosted CHAN competition.
He had started doing business far back in 1982 as a dealer in second-hand items including wears for all age groups and sexes. He started from scratch when he returned from Burundi where he had fled from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“All my property was looted and I had to depend on the wholesale traders dealing in merchandise in the early days of the aftermath of the genocide,” he notes.
Mutabaruka pays tribute to the Indian wholesale traders who helped when restarting his business by letting him enjoy the privilege of paying for the items after selling until the time he could independently raise enough capital.
The hotel, located in close proximity with Huye Stadium, symbolizes a blissful life that induces gratification and pleasure.
“Galileo Stadium Hotel was chosen based on the vision I yearned to pursue. From the beginning I wanted to contribute to the development of tourism in my home area, a reason why I embarked on beautifying the hotel premises with a variety of sculptures,” says Mutabaruka.
A variety of art sculptures are dotted on the premises, they include fish farming, fruits, animals as well as humans, and guests will not miss to see a variety of ornamental trees that characterize the environ of the hotel. The beautiful cranes at the hotel upgrade its serenity.
Mutabaruka is a passionate artist who inspires beautiful designs and revealed to Rwanda Dispatch recently that a great deal of the design of the hotel is his innovation.
The serenity and tranquility created by the uniqueness of the striking views induces a great sense of peace, hope and calmness in the visitors and hence the name Galileo.
Galileo Stadium Hotel enjoys strength in infrastructural and technical development. The modern and furnished standard rooms, highly qualified and experienced staff, vantage location nearly at the gateway of Huye City and proximity to the Stadium and Airstrip make it an appropriate destination for hundreds of visitors annually.
On-going and future projects
Mutabaruka says that every five years he unveils an innovation, and his propensity for trying to provide new services explains why the hotel provides numerous services. He is into agro-processing and owns some of the progressive rice processing plant in the Southern Province.
A proud fan of Mukula FC and Arsenal, Mutabaruka plans to invest massively in Sports activities. Currently, he says the hotel management is mobilizing resources to install a modern swimming pool, GYM equipment, Sauna, Massage, and build a Night Club.
Lack of such services has posed challenges to the hotel but the existing collaboration with Huye District and line Ministry have enabled them achieve a lot in the past and are hopeful for more in expansion plans of the hotel.
Meanwhile, Mutabaruka decried the widespread mindset among youth to loathe hard work and called the government to make efforts to cultivate the spirit of work and promote work ethics that are wanting on the job market.
ìImagine one getting a job and resigns or moves to another one after three months, this is a challenge we face in the hospitality sector and I call on the government to intervene,î observes Mutabaruka.