Former Sports View Hotel was among the first buildings that changed the face of Migina. (Courtesy of Christianne Murengeratwari)
Former Sports View Hotel was among the first buildings that changed the face of Migina. (Courtesy of Christianne Murengeratwari)

For many years, Migina was known as a place where people seeking quick, cheap thrills went, whether it was drinking and dancing the night away or finding a temporary sexual partner.

Located strategically right opposite Amahoro Stadium, for many years, Migina thrived as a hotspot for all sorts of things, given its slum setting, yet tucked in one of the busiest parts of Kigali, neighboring Gisementi.

Situated in Nyabisindu cell, Remera sector in Gasabo District, Migina was originally known as ‘mu Kinunga,’ which is the heart of the neighborhood perched behind what used to be Sports View Hotel.

A buzzing neighborhood with a myriad of bars and nightspots, Migina cut its name as one of the neighborhoods that never sleep, characterized by loud music, a beehive of night activity, and the delinquency that came with it.

For the fainthearted, Migina was a no-go zone in the late hours and, in its heyday, often, people who did not belong to the locality would get mugged, with a phone or handbag snatched in the process. Anything goes in Migina.

On a random evening, a fight between a sex worker and a client would erupt in one of the bars or dingy lodges and for the residents, it was routine. Cheap alcohol and the watering holes that sold it were all located in Migina, which attracted all sorts of people to the neighborhood.

Back in the day, Migina majorly thrived on events and activities at Amahoro Stadium where sports and music lovers flock to first grab a drink and bite before the event.

Whenever Rayon Sport or APR FC won, Migina would come to a standstill. Being adjacent to the main stadium which is currently under renovation, it also meant that the old ram-shackled bars lining the main street had to undergo a facelift.

Today, the old, shoddy buildings that characterized Migina have been refurbished to match the importance and vision of the area where it is located.

With the completion of BK Arena in 2019, the ongoing renovation of Amahoro National Stadium, and other developments, including Gisementi expansion, Migina, which was once a slum became a hot cake, with land speculators and dealers eying its strategic importance.

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