‘Of the dead only good must be spoken’ – African Proverb
This story is preemptive. I suspect to have to publish it as a rebuttal to those who will dare criticize our King from his resting place. Since they will have allowed themselves the right to judge my king, they will see no problem in me doing the same about them.
There are humans who like to keep track of the mistakes of the talented and gifted, as if that’s of any interest to history.
Great men and women, both self-made and born are sent here to inspire us. It is of no use to speak of their low moments. Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah of Christians, Mohammad the prophet of Muslims had many low moments, but it is not them that mankind seeks for. Of Cesaria Evora we should remember the voice, for that’s what she was put on earth for.
The colonialists sought to trivialize our kings and traditions. The modern-day republican order too, conceives kingdoms in Africa as a thing of the past. By criticizing our King then, we wouldn’t be adding much to the existing knowledge.
Rwandan history and legend date back to his distant grandfather – the founding father: Gihanga wa Hanze Urwanda. When assessing his great grandson, it is only appropriate to place him in that perspective. Rwandan grand parents are heartbroken, if we criticize thier king, we’d be lucky they do not read English; those who do wouldn’t be pleased with us
Let history forgive the unkind things some of us may say on our king, for I believe we wouldn’t know what we are doing. In spite of his lows, he remains ours and by insulting him, we insult ourselves.
By anticipating with this article I hope to push others’ thinking, although unfit, to surpass themselves when speaking of a royalty. The remarks on the King somehow help me better understand His Majesty’s position. He must have encountered many commoners who judged him, and didn’t know where to start because their heart was not designed to see…
I note the following about King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa. On the day of his passing, Rwanda continued on its path to stability and prosperity, undisturbed, which is the role of a Rwandan King.
I note that he was a reserved king who refrained from making populist declarations in the media and isolated himself untill the last day, in spite of the disparaging remarks by many unfits on his behalf. Every elder I ever spoke to, those who knew the monarch, never spoke ill of him.
I note that he died a chagrined man; dishonored, misunderstood and begrudged. Yet that in fact is in the order of things, for what matters most is our peace and prosperity, whatever the cost.
I note that he was contested from the day of his anointing. Commoners thought of him their equal, embedded him in their fights, their interests and intrigues, as he failed to show them the light.
Although he had taken the oath to no longer be Tutsi, Mbunyumutwa, a man who knew no honor, chased him as he chased the Tutsi. While in exile he did not offer any answers to his exiled subjects who waited for thirty years. When they took the initiative, he did not back them for reasons only known to him – he did not oppose them either!
A Rwandan king has not always been a position of privileges. Yet, those who wished his return offered material things, as it would have suited them. They went to a god and offered him a car, a house, a stipend and a photo opportunity. He knew that his return may have wasted our time in endless polemics and delay our progress, he chose to rest in exile.
I note too that there was nothing unusual in his demise in exile, for he died like his brother King Mutara Rudahigwa who died in Burundi, his father King Yuhi V Musinga who died in former Zaire, and other Rwandan kings before them who fell on the battlefield and in exile.
I hold no grudge against our King. There is a lot I don’t know. I have heard differing accounts from different people; I understand where each one of them comes from. I note that elders seem at peace with him, so I make the choice to be too.
The more commoners criticize him from his silent resting place, the more gracious I will think of him and less of them.
Rest in Peace Rwandan King