More Than Regular Ep 1: From Corporate Lawyer to World Traveler, and Building Waka Fitness in Rwanda

Over the past 6 years Jeanetta Craigwell-Graham has gone from being a corporate attorney in New York, to being a transactional advisor at the Rwanda Development Board, to co-founding a gym (Waka Fitness), which she is now working on making the premiere fitness and lifestyle brand in the region. We talk about how her Barbadian heritage prepared her for this kind of life, how she made her professional transitions, and what it’s like living and doing business in Rwanda.

Stay in touch with Jeanetta through her fitness brand, Waka Fitness: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube.


6:00 – Jeanetta explains why she went to law school, and how it did not align with her passions. (If you’re considering law school, check out my blog post, Don’t go to law school just to “save the world.”)

8:30 – Jeanetta gives advice on how to navigate finding a great legal or international development job.

If you personally are trying to pursue a job abroad, and live abroad, it's probably better that… Click To Tweet

12:15 – We talk about “useless foreigners” who don’t add value to their new countries, and the persistent issue of salary disparities when you’re paid more than your local colleagues.

17:15 – How do we redistribute wealth among black people? We’re focused on dealing with racial inequity, but there is an increasing gap between rich and poor black people that must be addressed.

20:15 – The “Back to Africa” movement emerging in the African diaspora, and how it manifests in Jamaicans vs Black Americans.

Jeanetta Craigwell-Graham of Waka Fitness, Rwanda.
The best trick they did was to just take away everything from Black people...all the history...we… Click To Tweet

26:45 – How Jeanetta decided to start Waka Fitness, a fitness facility and emerging lifestyle brand, which is one of the companies with the highest brand awareness in Rwanda.

32:00 –  How Jeanetta found the information to start Waka Fitness without any background in the fitness industry.

35:30 – Jeanetta’s recommendations for succeeding in the Rwandan business environment.

39:00 – How Jeanetta managed to start her business while working full time, getting engaged, and having a baby.

43:15 – Her plans for expanding her business.



Thanks for listening! Tweet me your thoughts about the episode or suggestions for the show at @mtrshow, or send me an email at And if you enjoyed the show, please share this blogpost, or the Soundcloud link below with someone you think would enjoy it.

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