Isn’t Covid-19 leaving behind lessons?

Who said its going?! Well, we ain’t certain if it is here to stay, since as it sweeps on African countries with infections and deaths, as usual, we still await upon the west for the cure.

The pandemic introduced a new and ever first calmness, which was brought by the lockdown. The ‘forced’ program by African governments yielded two faces; the positive and negative, good and bad, advantages and disadvantages to it- which depended upon people’s location, and placing.

First, this lockdown further helped public dig deeper in history to further discover or prove how something similar had ever happened. Yes, the Spanish Flue, which similarly once nearly swept the earth.

For once, families, or all statues had to ‘forcefully’ reunite, since they all had to stay home. Yes, the busy work, hustle, toil schedule was muted, or paused, that parents clearly got to recognized in observation of how grown their kids are, or how they behaved while home.

But it can’t be denied how this confinement led to other couples splitting too, since to some who would play hide and seek- where the jobs had sheltered many from facing their spouses- reality hit in, and hence Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases registered.

GBV cases weren’t only directed towards wives only, but to also kids, boys and girls, were abuses were worse.

The lockdown further opened us into realisation of what jobs and activities the world and society can do without. Yes, the world saw most jobs halted, since they weren’t that essential to the ailing public, yes! ‘They can wait!’

Essential jobs like the Medics, Security organs and Media, were and are still on the frontline, while farmers too operated on, since we all had to be fed. But, more and more employees have been laid off from jobs, as employers aren’t earning

With activities halted, everybody back home, feeding was still an requirement- though not everybody could afford it, that with no doubt; famine resulting to death might have certainly hit vulnerable families, who away from their daiky jobs-couldn’t afford a daily meal.

The Surviving Challenge

The fact that most governments lifted the lock down doesn’t imply that the pandemic has been contained, but because they need to survive and sustain life.

But some, if not most African countries still stagger in doubt; wondering if the Covid-19 is a politicized fallacy, a fuss, a scam planned by some niche of highly placed world leaders to stagnant economies. Most African youth have given up on crucial health guidelines; which explains the drastic rise in infections, which will definitely spark more deaths.

Menstruation- a subject still hidden from society, but is it fair?!

To most, especially men, or the boy child- this post will at most be skipped, ommitted- just because of it’s tittle, which definitely hold the word ‘Menstruation’ in it, but why?

Just before we proceed to (I barely know where), just know that as I pen down this all, I challenged myself into thinking; I was born of and by a woman, I have a Sister/sisters, was raised around female relatives(Aunties, grandmothers, sisters, nieces…), yet still surrounded by more females than males, yes(check the population statistics), and wait! Did you know that there is a likely possibility that a boy child into a man will at one time own a daughter?

Menstruation is a subject still mentioned with utmost silence. Though closer to sex, it is rather ignored for the embrace of sex(even when most humans barely understand how the science sex even works) strange!

Did you know that the thought and odd attitude towards Menstruation and Menstrual Cycle, period and Blood dates over 500 millions years ago?! Yes, with weird, brutal segregative acts around it faced by the girl child and women at large!

For instance; When a New Guinea tribesman found his wife lying on a blanket at the time of her menstruation, he divorced her, but when he continued to feel her evil influence, he could then kill her with an axe. It was a sanctioned behavior, based on a belief central to his culture: Any contact a man had with menstrual blood -or even with a menstruating woman – would, as one anthropologist put it, ”corrupt his vital juices, permanently dull his wits and eventually lead to slow death.”

Another past study by UNICEF reveals that 48℅ of girls in Iran and 10℅ in India believe how Menstruation is a disease, while in Africa 1 out of 10 girls will drop out of school because they cannot afford a sanitary towel.

Am joined by a team of youth, mainly young men- to delve into the matter of Menstrual health; How much do we know?, how do we find this matter?, how is it perceived amongst society? The stigma around it, Can guys help our a girl child?, how so?, the view of sanitary pads.

A discussion on Menstrual Health and Menstruation among women and girls

Online service by artistes is the new normal in lockdown

By Andrew. I Kazibwe

Though deeply eating into their space of making both ends meet, the ongoing lockdown which has lasted weeks due to the Covid 19 pandemic has not only paved way for more online innovation amongst Rwandan Artistry, but a space to ponder on its sustainability. Just like globally, where Artists are better accustomed to the use of Digital media for virtual online, concerts Rwandan Artists have in the past weeks lately gradually embraced online media to further reach out to their audiences.


Throughout social media platforms like mainly Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, various Artists including Deejays Eric Soul, Pius, Marnuad, Selector K’Ru, Africano, Princess Flor, Toxxyk among others, Musicians like Adriane Misigaro, Bruce Melodie, Tom Close, Deo Salvatore, Miss Shannel, Dany Beats, and visual Artists, alongside comedians like the Comedy Knights, have since March, organized solo and Joint performances for their audiences.

Eric Soul & Miss Channel on IG live

This has further been a sole gateway, and hopeful channel to keep relevance in the eye of the public, then further exploring the online digital venture. Even though sole channels blocked their earning bit, some artists view things differently, “I definitely miss the live performances, but thankful for the internet,” explains Stella Tushabe, a Saxophonist, “Personally, I’ve got to know what kind of content followers enjoy, through the analytics that social media provides, which is a bit different from live performances,” she adds. “This breaks all the barriers involved accessing an Artists; from booking flights, hotels, venues, organization has been eased,” explains Eric Kirenga, a Deejay and administrator of AfroGroov, an events management company. Having so far brought together over 35 Artists from countries Rwanda, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Canada, Sweden, Belgium, through several live online sessions, he states how it is a worthwhile experience, “It allow one to easily create rich experiences that would otherwise have been different to attain in a normal setting,” Kirenga explains. “We are trying exploring different ways of reaching the audiences online,” explains Clement Ishimwe, a Music Producer and Manager of the Kina Music Artists’ label. To Daniel Izere alias Dany Beats, a music producer the lockdown has rather diverted him off the usual busy work schedules to further availing him time for research and studies. With it gradually making a buzz throughout the once partially active digitally Artistic circles, one is drawn into curiosity of whether Artists are earning from this lately adopted venture.

Mr. Ishimwe cites how this might not be easier in execution as it is for developed countries, where digital media is more adopted. With Artists setting up spaces, organizing and produce live sessions, there is real input, but no guaranteed earning from it so far. “With people are watching at the comfort of their homes, Artists don’t earn from their sessions,” Ishimwe explains, “Though it might not be as huge as that of the usual organization normal venue concerts, but there is a financial input and a cost into organization of the sessions,” Mr. Ishimwe adds. Venturing into online performance is a culture which is gradually being embraced, and a risk free option. According to Martin Kasirye alias MC. Tino, a musician and events Emcee cites how these lockdown times have been overshadowed by the fact that local companies haven’t yet fully developed a culture of investing in Artists, “The public would be enjoying sessions sponsored by companies, but that isn’t so,” he explains. Lessons learnt “Every entertainer is facing a big financial problem especially in Rwanda, where by the artists are not paid anything from the use of their work if not on stage,” explains Mani Martin, an Afro pop and traditional Artist. “The fact is how Rwandan Artist have been badly hit by the lockdown,” explains Alain Mukurarinda, a long time experienced musician and entrepreneur. “As Artists, we need to jointly work on advocating of proper establishment of proper channels to closely collect our royalties,” he urges. Mani Martin urges the public not to ignore the fact that the consumption of this Art should also be paid for in support of its owners. Tushabe further cites how attaining of quality sound in homes is extremely challenging, which affects the quality of our content.

Eric Soul also acknowledges how this is experience is to further push Artists into paving a way towards production of quality content for their audiences.

This Article was first published here:

Telling Rwanda’s story with an illustrator’s comic book

By Andrew. I Kazibwe

With illustration and animation, a locally less recognized venture, Mika Twizerimana Hirwa, 23, beats the odds as an emerging illustrator, whose ambition has not only seen him practicing from backdoors, but further into the local publishing industry, where he is finding his footing as a comic book author. The self-taught illustrator is one whose Art abilities were discovered in primary school shortly after he had moved to Uganda, where he accomplished primary in 2009. There he enjoyed Art lessons, “I used to draw sketch Art of comics in books,” he recalls. Returning to Rwanda, he joined secondary at St. Bernadette de Kamonyi for Ordinary level, then later accomplishing his Advanced Level of Education at Ecole Technique de Kabgayi, where he offered Motor Vehicle Mechanics. Inspired by Disney movies, where he fantasized over animations, alongside his secondary studies his journey into digital Art initially kicked off with learning Photoshop software, “I took lessons from online tutorials across YouTube,” he explains. But this was only for working around his photography passion, which he used to do. He further embarked into illustration Art, which he gradually mastered. In 2016, when he joined Akagera Motors Limited, as a Mechanic, life moved on, but with hesitance, “Even when I had a paying job, I felt like didn’t belong there,” he explains. Hirwa recalls when he took a stand, and not only left his mechanic job, but also a Motor Vehicle Mechanics scholarship, which he ditched too, since it didn’t have an Art faculty, which he desired. “My mother was a bit upset about it, but wasn’t harder on me,” he explained. He further embarked onto his journey into digital Art by experimenting on several private projects.

Though initially using a normal laptop and PC Mouse for drawing, since a Digital Tablet for this domain was unaffordable to him, he connected to friends, through which he acquired his first Wacom Tablet from Mbaza, a friend. When he joined Imagine We Rwanda, a local publication house, here he further actively ignited his skill as an illustrator to the writers. In 2017, he released first ever comic book entitled Isimbi the Inventor, a Rwandan story, told through dialogue and illustration, “I grew up reading books, but the trouble accessing comic books was worse, since they are barely on the market,” he explains. Isimbi is inspired through daily living within society, with Rwanda being the focus. Working with Imagine We Rwanda, as encouraging the publication for producing Rwandan content was also a push, “Before it all, I barely could imagine how books could locally be published, but I’ve witnessed and further been part of this, which motivated me further into the industry,” he explains The reaction was encouraging to him, which also boosted his inner skill of writing and storytelling. As an illustrator, Hirwa has worked on several books, which include; Izuba (2018) by Isaac Nkusi and Atete Rugege on New Face, New Voices, under the UN Women project. He further worked on That Child is Me by Clever Irakoze, Ysoldie and her Magical Shoes by Dominique Alonga, Rwoga among others, which have been embraced. Kami was his breakthrough comic book. A 2019 Super Hero story of a Thirteen-year old Rwandan orphan who rising up in Anatwe village embarks onto a mission of exploring life beyond on a quest of finding his parents, hence discovering super strength within. Its first issue dubbed The Power of Ancestors is one he received numerous acknowledgment from the public. Taking bold decision of embarking onto publishing doesn’t come easily. Hirwa invested RWF 1.5million into publication the book’s first edition, “I published and printed 100 copies, which I gave out for free even across my website, since I wanted more to send out a message of how Rwandans too can do this,” he explains. “It took me a month to let out the first copy, since I was so skeptical about how it will all be perceived,” he explains. Hirwa recently published the book’s second issue dubbed An Old Friend, which is also feely accessible on his website. The Artist takes the reader into graphical and interesting fantasy of a Rwandan Superhero, while he brings to life ancient Rwandan customs like dressing, architecture, hairstyles and culture. Making his works known through social Media, he has been publishing it in bits, where he releases a chapter each month, “For now am still marketing my works so as to make them known in Rwanda and beyond,” he explains. Besides illustrating stories, Hirwa hopes to venture into animation, where he hopes to further turn his creation into on screen films, something he hopes will cement the African Animation industry.

The initial Covid 19 African Shake Up

By Andrew I. Kazibwe

While it was detected in December last year when Chinese authorities alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) of its outbreak on December 31, this is definately when the Covid 19 had already been cited earlier on, and it was going out of hand.

Then in a space of 2 months, over 170,000 cases had been registered and over 7,000 death cases by February 20, 2020.

To be exact, it is only in the last two and a half weeks, that Africa has been woken up and realised the seriousness of the Covid 19 scourge.

With most African economies tasting the deeper effects resulting for the lockdowns, where all activities are at a stand still. The situations leaves many at crossroads.

A statement by Rwanda’s Prime Miniter

To African countries, just or not like several countries, this wasn’t predicted,which explains why the fracases and crackdowns have have escalated as total or parcial lockdowns were declared (since most citizens survive on a hand to mouth means), which won’t leave them back home at the comfort of the couches (for a few) while they ain’t sure of where the next meal is to come from. So we’ve witnessed police and military deployment onto most streets so as to effect the #StayHome #StayConfined policy, which has turned out into dramatic pain too- since humans learn the harder way!

In India
Kenyans too have had a taste
Caught, pleading for mercy in Kenya
In Kampala, Uganda
But, alongside the fury, not all in Kenya, not all!

Even those who have for long seemed shadowed by the comfort of a monthly earning are lately waking up (if at all they sleep) to the thought of whether a check is to come in.

For instance, if its a tours and travel company that heavily dependent on foreign guests, no assurance is guaranteed. With powerful entities like the Marriott International Associates (which oversees the Marriott Hotels globally) openly coming out in acknowledgedment of how harder its been hit so far, what will that nearby restaurant say?

Take a look at Arne Sorenson, the Marriott International Associates’ President and CEO’s Message

With powerful entities like the Marriott International Associates (which oversees the Marriott Hotels globally) openly coming out in acknowledgedment of how harder its been hit so far, what will that nearby restaurant say?
Covid 19 Report this week

With the WHO declaring it a deadly pandemic, while countries like Italy have served as living cases to justify what may arise, and is certainly unbelivably already in most African backyards, many more country leaders have come out, and declared a total lockdown against the scourge.

#washYourHands #SafeStay #SelfQuarantine #StayHome #Sanitize #NoHandShake #SelfQuarantine #Covid19MustGo are all online and on ground campaigns that governments are pushing.

Did you know that WHO recommends the N95 as the facemask to use?! , but we use the ordinary dust masks!

With no cure, yet patients cases are still on rise daily, avoiding Contact, Staying hydrated, Avoiding crowded places, self isolation, staying home(self quarantine) are some of the safest measues.

Fr.Kasole family – the test of Restoring Kigando

By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

This is quite a rare post, for a rare breed or generation of people, but if you feel anything, reach out to me through the comments section.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each and everybody who has stayed, you who still holds on.
Maybe we hadn’t seen it coming, maybe some had seen it coming (I mean the earthquake, that shook up Kigando), yes for there was a start, the sowing and blossom before it all…
Yes, and when the earthquake hit, it hit so hard, that it shattered not only the visible, the tangible, but much more. And there arose a ridge, a split, controversy , anguish, guilt, pain, wails, lament, regret, blame…which drove most to various corners.

And as the storm prevails, not many stay, not many return, not many have held on, coz we are human, weak, not so persistent especially to the physical storms.

And we cant forget, how it was amidst this storm that Rev. Fr Rochus David Kasole was called by the lord.

The lord himself knows why it happened , for he works in ways beyond our know.
But much as it prevailed (the storm), we might not have placed much emphasis onto why, or how it has turned around things…
It is from here, that we have seen names, of young women and men rising to the test, yes test.
Thanks to you who has kept a thought, an eye, lifted a finger, set a foot, extended a thought, and financially contributed to any cause at Kigando.

Well, its lately that my soul woke up to the deeper realisation of three names; Kigando (St. Joseph’s Kigando) and the ‘Fr. Kasole Family)
See what was taken advantage of was St.Joseph’s Kigando Family- which was abused, then came the storm, hitting badly.

The Fr. Kasole Family had long been there way before most of us learnt of it, but seemly held most preciously by Rev.Fr.Rochus David Kasole and VERY FEW others.
The Fr. Kasole Family didn’t necessarily mean the biological family, no- it rooted from the core objective of his mission, and divine spirit of setting up St Joseph’s Kigando Family.

At the shattering of everything by the storms, St.Joseph’s Kigando Family has seemed no more… Think about it.

While as the storms prevailed, or still prevail, a young group of individuals have risen to the test(storm), setting pace of what ought to be, facing the reality of St.Joseph’s Kigando Family… This is the Fr.Kasole Family, for they’ve unearthed the ‘Omutima gwa Fr.Kasole’

Yes, just like the storm, they’ve in turn challenged many, including me- for they hold a rare drive, persistence, spirit, heart and spirit towards the St.Joseph’s Kigando Family.

There is a lot of learning here, for even those who thought they knew Kigando, or Fr.Kasole’s mission barely did, for not many have held on, or faced the test, for not many gather courage others hold, for we rise from the same family, yet turn out different, for we don’t respond at the same time- even when we are aware of the call, or its direction.

Rev. Sir N.Richard Kisolo Ky’amaanyi holds a great testimony to tell on, for she has witnessed vast amidst the storm, yet has stayed.

Sr. N.Richard at one of the school buildings closely after the rains had taken off its roof

And to thank you who is reading this, for time can never be taken for granted, since it is sacrificed.

Curam Habe, De Bono Nomine

Quoting a Post- and what it implies

Quoting posts, re-posting or sharing them is a norm lately being embraced by many. As one lands on any post, with curiosity it attracts them, hence of course getting their attention, but we barely think twice before or even after reposting, or quoting a particular post.

A Quoted tweet

Clearly stipulating what entails quoting of a post is first recognizing it, giving it attention, then further elevating it. Am against the notion of people confirming how they are against a certain post (its contents) by quoting it in a manner of placing its origin onto their timelines.

Look at it this way- a local, or international media house- or lets say a person with hidden interests (there will always be hidden interests) comes against you, posts false information, or fake information, then all you do in response- you get the original post, which tarnishes your reputation then quote it by posting it?! It implies how you have empowered their original intention of spreading the false or endangering info.

Could imply that you might indirectly be in support of the post you are against. Quoting a media further drives an audience to it, there by meeting its goal.

Nune’s Tweet

The ideal way of bypassing this situation is by rather ignoring the post, since by quoting it- you give it prominence and there more tarnishing your reputation.

So, have we been doing it right?!


2019 Rwanda Day- Reflections on Platform(1)

Rooting from Rwanda, Rwanda Day is a quite unique platform I had for several years barely reflected on(Yes- not many do-since it might seem from afar as just a lavish day for Rwandans to meet and interact with other Rwandans in Diaspora) in the company of President Paul Kagame, and other Rwandan officials.

Rwanda Day

A brilliant move it is, and more so a rather quite inspiring plan the day sets; first inline with reuniting Rwandans globally ever the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis, reconnecting with roots and country’s tradition, imploring and physically discovering gaps and opportunities that Rwandans in Diaspora can pursue back home, and as well as marketing the Rwanda as a destination for tourism and investment opportunities.

With Bonn, Germany having hosted it this year, unique issues were highlighted, which quite will for long be recounted by closer attention. Having more incorporated young Rwandan Artists into this exercise is a way tremendous step, which further contributed to this year’s dialogue too, a sign of how the nation is waking up to more realization of their potential. More to this was awakening…

Adulthood: The wildest scam ever!!

I love your piece. So deeply speaks to me. Oooooh how I at times regret. Now 30, but thought I would have it all my way, hah!

Kia's Notions😊

When I was a child, seven years old there there, I was always given one slice of bread at tea time, which was okay until I realised the adults got two!! I didn’t understand it. Did they think I couldn’t finish it? Was it my baby teeth they were worried about? Did they not know I’d started losing them and replacing them with much better teeth that could chew those two slices to nothingness? I couldn’t wait to become an adult too so I could eat two slices of bread at teatime!! So many years later, it’s so easy to laugh at how trivial my thoughts were. I mean; bread?!!

Of course as I got older, my dreams of adulthood became more “real”. Or so I thought.

” I can’t wait to be an adult so I can go out when I feel like” Bwahahaha!! What a scam! Turns…

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Xenophobia hits harder again- it’s just a tip of what goes on elsewhere

This week will surely sink in, and deeper into history, but more so into our hearts and minds. With our South African brethren holding high the Xenophobia flag, this disheartening feeling and mood holds much more.

Yes, message delivered dear South Africa. Message?, Yes, for in looting, lynching and raping of foreigners, South Africans are sending out a message that they are fed up of not owning what is ‘supposedly theirs’

South Africa is apparently hosting the 28th World Economic Forum On Africa, with this years focus onto inclusive Growth In The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
With over 1100 government officials from 100 countries in participation, we are hoping they’d first address the Xenophobia issue. Or they’ll rather dine, and toast to the blood filled atmosphere?!

Meanwhile the Xenophobia trail takes effect in the same space where the world morns Uyinene Mrwetyana, a young lady who after along time missing was found dead. She had been raped too. This goes on worldwide(even when most ladies/girls aren’t murdered).

The late Uyinene Mrwetyana (Net photo)

What Africa do you want?

Dear South Africa, Nelson Mandela just fought against Apartheid, which similarly comprised of what your children are bragging with today(Bloodshed and discrimination). When he won the war of bringing freedom to the land, it didn’t imply that you should sleep, and wait(cause as you slept and gave birth to children, these have risen and been awakened to the hate seed). The many who haven’t been groomed rightfully now quench themselves to blood.

Am very disappointed in our African politicians, with each sitting back, and debating of whether to release a statement against this evil affair. We further learn more of who you are. Bloodshed knows no class or late passes!

The world has clearly heard Bongani Mkongi, South Africa’s Police Deputy Minister;

South African Deputy Minister of Police backs up Xenophobia

These attacks are deeply to pain South Africa as a violent state.

South African Citizens are being quenched by Blood
What even the young can interpret

But again, basing on how fast-paced the world runs, ‘How will you claim not being employed when you are illiterate and under qualified?’ If they have raided a Shop, looted all products and burnt it, they will definitely return back to the same position (since looting doesn’t in any way place one into business, but send them into hiding).

Say No to Xenophobia

And what the Nigerian government did for South Africa was beyond sheltering the late Madiba (Rip)

Madiba’s Speech about Nigeria’s involvement against the Apartheid

We all have space on this earth, but the opportunity one gets depends on his/her effort. Gone are the ancient ways of bush wars- of capturing land, property and slaves, for there is no more free lunch for anybody!

What South Africa faces is just a clue of what goes on with in African countries, and other greater states too, but never unearthed, so the world needs a remedy.

Many African countries have been to this day(even when they are building towards peace and prosperity) stained by the gruesome past, which were geared by selfishness of a few youth. This is not easy to recover from, and holds deeper repercussion.

For any matter, bloodshed shouldn’t be the solution, for it will forever haunt your generation.

Ubuntu, ubumuntu, Obuntu bulamu…

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