By Mwalimu James Ngugi.
Recently, we visited Kigali, Rwanda ostensibly to learn few things about what makes the tiny country tick in information technology and her environment.
We also wanted to know East Africa’s cleanest country made quick recovery to nationhood following the 3 months’ blood bath ordeal commonly referred to as Rwanda genocide of 1994.
Realisation struck us that Rwanda is a beautiful country full of extremely kind people. The level of hospitality of Rwandans is outstanding.
Kigali, its capital city, which is located on a hilly terrain, is very clean and organized. Muggings and its attendant violence are almost nil.
The ever friendly Rwandans are always willing to help and despite the fact that they are not very proficient in Swahili and English, they are not afraid to try and engage foreigners in a conversation.
I noted that Rwandans love education and will freely engage you on matters education. They are full of courtesy!
However what moved us to tears, literally, is that moment of madness between April-July 1994 when a section of people descended on others with grenades, guns, machetes and many other crude weapons in the name of ethnic cleansing.
Many years, before the horrendous butchering of humans took place, ethnic profiling was ‘taught’ in schools, churches and through vernacular radio stations.
Some teachers openly profiled children in school; you can read accounts of this in the book titled “We survived” which I am still reading.
These evil activities led to the execution of over 700,000 moderate Hutus and Tutsis. Many of the executed humans were killed cruelly and painfully in cold blood using crude weapons. They were made to die slow but painful death.
Today Rwandans have learnt painfully that murderous hatred that is harboured and passed on unchallenged from one generation to the next has the potential of breaking down an otherwise thriving human civilisation.
It’s illegal in Rwanda to discus tribalism. Even to refer to one another using their tribal profiles is highly discouraged.
Entry to Kigali Memorial Museum – a state of the art facility – is actually free to enter and that’s another food for thought.
I wish we can all go to Rwanda and learn through first hand information that untamed hatred, harbored and perpetuated through institutionalised instructions can wreck havoc to humanity.