This April, Rwanda is observing the 26th commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. As the world is currently engulfed in the COVID19 pandemic, this year’s commemoration will not include public mourning events or communal discussions.

The experience of genocide is matter and place-based. There is no genocide without a person or a place, and that is why remembrance and mourning are physical and place-based. Kwibuka26 is going to be exceptionally hard for survivors who will not be able to visit their beloved, lay down flowers on grave or water-bodies or meet in one place.

Places like memorials don’t…


At the age of ten, Aloys Bigirumwami entered the Minor Seminary of Kabgayi. He didn’t return home for more than a decade. Reason: missionaries did not want their recruits — potential priests — to be confused or misled by local religious beliefs and practices.

He went on to become the first African Bishop to be appointed in the Belgian colonies. The extended stay away from the enculturation was to benefit the Church. The Church deployed all efforts to swallow African religions instead of finding common ground for working together for the benefit of society at large. …


“Bye-bye Nyakatsi”, by the Tuff Gang rapper Bulldog, who began his music career while still in high school in Kigali in 2006, was known for tackling important social issues in his songs. A Kinyarwanda-language entertainment website described him as “an outspoken artist” who “speaks his mind on problems in the Rwandan music industry such as injustice and inequality”. His fans love how is “good in Kinyarwanda”, and one of the smartest rappers in the agakino (game). Born and raised in Kigali, he’d studied for a time at the National University of Rwanda and was studying literature.

Let’s consider for a…


In my heart, the songs of Solomon resound
Off my heart beats, my emotions rebound
Banging, in despite of the barrier that it pounds,

This love, a feeling that rewinds and reminds
Me of the pure and effortless beauty that I found,

On my road, not to the promised land
But on the road on my way to Zion
Perfect setting, quiet and smooth,

I have seen everything that was done under the sun;
And behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind

So was it, until myself and my soul danced
On the cadence of John Coltrane’s rhythms,


What right do you have to take away my right to write my confessions and guilt - perceived or real; of my false or true; or of my beliefs, agreeable or not? They are mine, to share and defend, to honour or offend.

What right do you have to put together a tale on film or mail that tells what I know is true and good? What right do you have to dramatize my lived experience? It is my tale, my truth and my belief in our good to tell.

I want you to see all that I do. Tell…


They say it is better to lie low these days. They add needlessly, “…given the 'climate' at present” Which atmosphere? Why lie low? What and who is everybody afraid of?

They say "mwihangire umurimo" add empathetically "You are not hungry" to find a job. while they get comfortable in your money.

They say, "This city is for everyone" and never 'who' is everyone.
If you still wonder then you are not in the 'chosen' one.
If you are in read mode only — know that you are the #Winning one.

They say, don’t express an opinion. Why? Just don’t, they…


It had become traditional to check in with him every time, I visited Kampala. He is a person that I have the privilege to call a friend. Once in a conversation, he looked at me and said, “I think for this crisis to reach its epitome and force all parties concerned to resolve it. These things - illegal detention and torture - should happen to someone like you.” I was a bit confused. But he insisted and clarified “You are popular - on social media - and, you have vocal individuals on both sides (Rwanda and Uganda) who like you…


This week, I was honored to be on a podcast “Breaking Silences” hosted by Nicky and Aline. We discussed about my own experience in the genocide, trauma and grief - and, healing process.

In sharing a bit of my story with them and their audience. I talked about my time in refugees camps in Congo. I hardly talk about my time in congo. It was my first time.

I talked about how when my mom risked everything to come find me in Congo. …


7 avril 2015. C’est un matin clair et calme. Il y a peu de motos ou de voitures, et il y a encore moins de moins de monde dans les rues.

Ce matin me rappelle le 7 avril 1994 à Kimihurura et cet étrange vide dans les rues. Ce matin-là où à la maison on refusa de nous laisser aller jouer dehors.
Nous cuisinions dans la maison, et assis, nous écoutions la radio volume bas bien sûr, de peur d’attirer l’attention sur nous. Mes grands-parents ne se doutaient pas alors que la liste des Tutsi à tuer était déjà prête.


Right after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, the last genocide of the 20th century that killed more than 1 million.

The west suggested the creation of two states: one for Tutsi and another for Hutu. This suggestion sounded logical and certainly the easiest considering that The 1994 Genocide was a popular and proximity genocide.
But it was also a solution straight out of the book of ‘Hutu power” push for ‘racial purity’and the damaging anthropological work by western researchers and theorists that lead to divisions and the genocide itself.

Refusing the proposed solution was also a risk; How to…

Nelson Gashagaza

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