A Poem for Congo


Congo’s dearest resource is its people; That must enter everyone’s mind, especially Congolese people; It is their mothers, not their minerals that’s most precious; Their talent, not their Coltan that’s priceless;   Therefore: It is their children, not their diamond that need polishing; Their youth, not the oil that needs refining; The education, not the mines that need investing; Their ...

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Rwandan elections: Who shall observe the observers?


“And Jesus turned and said to them, ’Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.’ Luke 23:28 The European Union has announced that it won’t be observing Presidential Elections in Rwanda. I am pleased to note that our elections pose no concern to the international community. I longed for the day that Rwanda ...

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Mwa ndangamirwa mwe! The Long Walk to Success


For the up-coming tenth edition of your cohort, I thought I would tell you a story. In his book ‘The long walk to freedom’, Nelson Mandela describes the ritual of circumcision in the Xhosa tribe: ‘WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN, the regent decided that it was time that I became a man. In Xhosa tradition, this is achieved through one means ...

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Trumpocalypse Now!


When Trump was elected and Brexit happened, I felt amusement of some sort, mainly because after all that happened, we Rwandans do not take kindly to people who come here for a week and immediately seem to know better than us what’s best from us; worse yet, those who do not bother coming, just sit in their offices in London, ...

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We Must Unite now or Perish – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah


Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah’s speech at the founding of the OAU has since become a classic, even iconic. In front of 31 other African heads of state who met in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 24 May 1963, Nkrumah appealed, cajoled, and did everything in perhaps his greatest speech ever to convince his colleagues to go the whole ...

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My last coordinates


GPS is a new technology. Just over two decades ago ships navigated on the high seas using stars. My father was a Navigant. He’d been regional best in maths and physics, so Mobutu paid his astronomy and maritime Science. Predictably, Mobutu’s fleet had gone bankrupt by the time he graduated, he spent his young adulthood aboard Belgian supertankers navigating away ...

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‘Petit, viens..’ The true face of the French Army


This is a photo of a Rwandan peacekeeper in Central African Republic (CAR). It was twitted by french channel France 24 and much of the French media with their story: ‘UN peacekeepers accused of Central African Republic Abuse’. In the alleged abuses, Rwandan troops aren’t mentioned, yetFrance 24 chose to tweet a peacekeeper with a Rwandan flag to go with ...

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Did Umushyikirano 2016 signal the end of ‘Atalaku’?


“What has really differentiated Koffi Olomide to his emblematic predecessors in Congolese music was the role he assigned to the ‘atalaku’”. Who is an ‘atalaku’? It is the annoying guy in the background of a soft and southing rumba, announcing random names of random people that no one cares about, throughout the entire song. For your name to be mentioned, ...

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The cleaner the University of Pretoria assigned to my apartment was called Violet. A mother in her late forties. She was very pretty, always smiling. She liked me and encouraged me to eat more. ‘Look at you, you are skinny, you must eat!’ she said to me. I liked Violet, I called her Aunt. In my mind she was part ...

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Abasongarere bo muri leta


You can’t really be passionate about changing the world and passionate about logistics at the same time… John Kayihura, a veteran Rwandan Tour operator is having an early, much deserved breakfast on the shores of the Shanga River in the ‘Dzanga Sangha Forest reserve, situated deep in the south-eastern jungles of the Central African Republic and nestled between Cameroon and ...

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