Category: Kigali Escapades

A sail through a real life experience, ‘Around and about’ in one of East Africa’s smallest capital ; Kigali- Rwanda

Africans harnessing forced marriages (i)

Much as African- which was not long ago (though even to date) is referred to a primitive, backward society, and to a much more extent we’ve embraced modernity through ‘civilization’, marriage is  quite an institution that we’ve ignorantly tarnished with blunder.

Among the primitive habit still creeping through many is how the older generation is shaping the current- through which results are to be emulated by the next generation.It’s quite peculiar, weird, or interesting the issue of marriage get; as more emphasis has been place onto preparations for the ceremony (I mean walking down the Aisle) and may be yes- binding it legally- all the way to Divorce Issues(which are a trend too). But we’ve always looked up to and upon the older generation for inspiration…

One female friend of mine came out honest with me by whispering that, “Marriage is a business today…”-which she complemented with a wink of an eye.

Forced marriages is a growing custom eating deeper into African society today. Noticed how young men and women will in a nick of time flash out a wedding invitation (same manner as if its ‘just’ a business card), then next we’ll hear is how they are ‘happily married.’

Strange is that- even that best friend of yours, whose fiancée isn’t well versed with his or her mother-in-law’s both names is crowned mister or misses a month later.

Well even when buried, truth is how culture is remembered on realization that a girl or young lady is pregnant. See- families then gear up wedding preparations, further sealing it up all before the almighty ‘Till death do us apart’.

In religious ways(just as it is amongst most African traditions), its forbidden to first of all sin through fornication. Am just wondering how further it gets for an action of officially religiously  wedding a couple-which is expecting!

Forced marriages have since edges been amidst society, maybe not for the case of violation of ‘human Rights’, but for actually crucial reasons.

From the African ancient cultural point of view, customs were a core value, from which society was built. Norms and taboos were a focus; for instance boys or girls were trained to be real men and women through hard work (activities like hunting, cooking to marriage and parenting), while with age; as early as their teens, any lad or lass was seen ripe for the marriage institution-and so trained or shaped for it.

Though most parents and families have claimed not to face the ‘shame’ that comes from the taboo of teens giving birth before marriage and rather of leaving a couple to think it through by themselves), events following up forced marriages are toxic- a cancer eating up societies today. Why Divorces are a trend, broken families a lifestyle, yet domestic violence a repercussion too today all majorly roots from the fact that young, lost couples are wedded, then left out to embark on Marriage- which isn’t a piece of Cheese…

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African- Rwanda based writer- curious about life, and as a learner openly expressing unfolding issues about it…

Cashless Economy, an overwhelming Trend

By Andrew. I Kazibwe

To those well versed with the business language, Cashless Economy is what they are well versed with- though not much of its deep rooting consequences. Above and beyond its chemistry and puzzling physics-that lay man would marvel at in agony, am imagining a growing era of no longer touching money notes for any reason.

Those born in present times will have stories to tell their younger generations, but not as we do- as we evidently embrace rapid ‘modernization’ trend through technology-whist ‘unnoticing’ the innocence old era vanishing away.

Not touching money!, yes- and as to some, a few it seems their ‘daily bread’, that they are now accustomed to, most can hardly imagine this irony- magic is it?!

Trending is the use of credit or debit cards, mobile and swift cash transfer payments among other payment forms, where by today receives his salary or wage through smart transactions to their account numbers, yet they can further spend all of it without physically touching a penny- but only handing over their credit card, and payments are done!

From transportation systems, hotels and restaurants, grocery stores, bars and night clubs, casinos, gas stations, schools, coffee shops, one can be assured of only carrying their credit card. Am quite sure that holy places like churches and mosques are soon advancing their offertory style- and how will this seem!!!

Smart it is s it saves many the burden of the long bank queues, a waste of precious time, being neared by boring people from all walks of life- at least we can save that for health centers.

But it also saves most from problems that may result from money forgery, and also carrying calculators along, as the Maths needs to be done-for certainty of physical cash notes.

Ever imagined how and what would transpire if the great grandmother to a forty year just re-surfaced onto these streets-maybe for life’s second chance!. Chances are that they would face psychological torture and torment arising from this tech boost.

Sad is that it poses an ‘economical question’ of ‘Why should we need to employ these human beings as tellers-yet this load can be done electronically?’-ATM Machines have proved this!

It also only leaves a few to reminisce the ‘sweet old times’ of one posing in the spot light, while boastfully counting money notes- for all to see, and of course admire his greatness!!!

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African Rwandan-based freelance Journalist , a learner, Arts enthusiast and advocate. Passionate about what goes on within lives, he shares whats within, around and closer to you. Its an Insight!!!

NB:This Piece was first published at

Isn’t Religion a hope fading?

By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

It was just recently through a sermon that I reflected onto the madness we are surrounded and are drawn into. It’s the hatred, divisionism, the brutality, bloodshed and killings that are highly ‘trending’ within bulletins! See, I point to one thing, that those involved innocently or by guilt are faced with. See, at the sermon, we as Christians were challenged through faith- that the church is behaving contrary to its roots, roots that preach of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’… Islam and Christianity, just like other beliefs don’t teach ‘hate’ but ‘love’, but amaizing is what is being practiced today. See, religion, when taught to us is and was that one thing that brings a feeling of salvation and hope it is for the world’s peace, since from the outside, it can be defined as ‘LOVE’. Yes, divisionism overtime eaten further into all beliefs, all of them have faced twists, and as a result rebelled against each other. Christianity too has taken a strange route, that believers rather preach than practice and that hate is surpassing love! Within various Christian denominations like Protestantism, Anglicanism, Catholics, Orthodox, Seven Day Adventists, Born Again Christians among others church sections have further split, not to spread love, unity and build a God loving people, but rather collide- a friend referred to it as ‘Church Politiks’, that I ponder at it all times, church has been compromised, invaded! We’ve over time heard small, yet powerful religions arising amongst the Islam religion. Of late the ‘ISIS’ has come up to complement Al Qauda, Al shabab…, as they showcase brutality through media. At a point, am drawn back to ponder, of the long gone innocence that human once possessed- that’s way back before technology, money and immense superiority, yes when ‘Religion’ didn’t exist, that humans thought of each other as equal being worth living…It a thin line that separates each of us, since we all respire, and grasp for the greatest gift that is ‘life’. The question is ‘Who is to save Christianity and Islam?’, ‘Who is to save religion?’ and ‘Who is to save and revive humanity?’

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African Rwandan-based freelance Journalist , a learner, Arts enthusiast and advocate. Passionate about what goes on within lives, he shares whats within, around and closer to you. Its an Insight!!! 

What happened to who we used to be?

Andrew Israel Kazibwe

For those who have lived through that era- of the 70s, 80s and mid- 90s; when technology had not taken really deep roots into society, times when life within people was so innocent, the real feel of live social interaction; this was when a face to face conversation was more valuable that through this whole session a lot would be achieved.

Gone are the days when we used to have that sweet conversation as we rode in buses, trains, taxis or in cues while in banks or hospitals; quite jolly and memorable they would turn out to be- so we can only save those for occasional events, a few schools and funerals, maybe. All these were replaced by modern Technology- the gadgets. Have you noticed for a moment what goes on event social gatherings?; all eyes and finger tips will be focused on a phone, an I-pad or a Tablet- the gadget I meant!

Thanks to the new Tech, helps us avoid bumping into people we don’t desire, lie about our location, save us from the boring people we are surrounded with and raising addiction for using our gadgets. Amazing how one can easily forget, their transport fare- accidentally of course, wallet or important documents at home, but never their smart phone. The movies and play; the art of real theater is advancing and with this, originality is lost. Today we definitely go for fiction and mythical movies that we pay for, willingly and enjoy

Funny how this is but amazingly we welcome and even spend on high costly technology ignorantly. We are increasingly introduced to new tech, using it, appreciating it even before knowing what it really is!. A friend of mine recently went into a shop and bought himself a smart phone-little did he know on how to use it, till to date- he is learning through the curiosity alongside the challenges faced; I wonder whether he went through the phone manual. But all the same, he is glad because he has joined what he believes is a blessed trend of technology!!!

It’s those heart-felt emotions of reality that have been robbed off from us, leaving cyber expressions as a substitute. Can you really feel one’s mood; their joy, sorrow, pain, reaction… through a text! We no longer are closer, socializing, sharing than it feels yet we have to move on; yes, its development and new experience it brings, faded moments it leaves. It’s an advancement that all ages are deeply sinking into, with praises; guess we really get to take a further step in its reality.

Of course, those who have shared both generation and finally found their way into the transition can admit to this fact; a feeling of emptiness, that gap -too hard to be bridged is all that feels their day to day lives. To the young generation, and that to come; its sad, may be they will know of what used to be-through history, but to them sharing it will be a dream; Gone with olden moments.

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African Rwandan-based freelance Journalist , a learner, Arts enthusiast and advocate. Passionate about what goes on within lives, he shares whats within, around and closer to you. Its an Insight!!! 

A Human thing

Forgive my innocence, Oh Mother Nature you should indeed.
My days of innocence taught me just a few things- which were to be feed and cuddled all the way to my peaceful slumber.

Attention is all I needed- that nothing mattered, but that warm feeling of attention.

My infancy transformed to a complex, sophisticated being that I’ve slowly became; that naive I no longer was(I thought), up and down I ran, with the level of curiosity rising, yet the few things that mattered before, now slowly faded- Oooh, how I didn’t realize!
And today, I’ve grown to see how tough it is out here.

To realize how to struggle, work, love, lust, hope, envy, smile, cry, make decisions…is all human!
Yes, forgive me Mother Nature, I’ve grown to feel like no one is watching, but the tough law enforcement, to go out and work, that thought of hunger strikes in, to search for my coat when I feel cold…

I indeed admit how much I at times envy growing up…I miss being cuddled and watched over without worries, that sweet time of innocence…

Ooooh I wish…, but its ok, after all, it’s a human thing, and a life’s journey for we all to trail through.

Thank you Mother Nature!!!

A dimensional view of Success

If one asked me how it feels being successful, its something I am not inline to fully express…

Everybody views it in their own way; It is that good feeling that make one feel proud, satisfied, relaxed, at rest-of course after an accomplishment…

Success differs from various dimensions, it depends on who takes on the position of success and that one who views it.
It is reality that everybody out there will reach success-which is at most times simply by ‘achieving their goal’, and however little it my seem, it is massive ad huge to the achiever.

See success will at most times pull crowds, people and attention. A lot of friends are made when success is achieved, Surely who wouldn’t wish to ‘rub shoulders’ with the successful?, to celebrate their achievement, and to a few-learn of what it took to achieve such progress.

Talking of friendship, success(unlike failure) is that magnet which will attract masses of ‘friends’ to you who we know very well wont last or stay when ‘failure’ shows up!
Success doesn’t at most come in handy to all, one has to pass through a furnace- hardship, pain, toil, handwork, patience… are what the achiever will go through. Even when effort is viewed as little or not much, still it is a step and effective in turn.

Success’ levels differ, so do people(achievers and onlookers), and how success is weighed too differs. A big achiever will view one below as nearly a looser, since to them its nothing, not felt…
Though however light success might seem, it requires a great back up of friendship which will help it thrive, not wilt. So, not in success we should sink, for it’s roots might be forgotten, success isn’t what one views but what it feels up when there and after.

Strange these dimensions!

Africa’s thirst for Human Rights (2)

It can hardly be sieved-the difference between Civil Society and the governments, of course those in governance, elites and the a few who’ve come across this knowledge in a higher learning institutions can; leaving the majority at crossroads. Most education curriculums in Africa aren’t designed this way that Human Rights are ventured into at a later stage not early stage; yet it wouldn’t be expensive if it was otherwise.
Human Rights Vs African beliefs and norms
When one talks of ‘Human Rights’, in Africa this paints a contradicting picture. For instance, in the most traditional African societies the ‘elders’ are meant to be respected and highly regarded as blameless whose orders and decisions are taken unquestionably; a child would never come out and claim to be punished (even under mistreatment) in line with fighting for their rights or a woman over taking a lead in decision making. Yes, this is changing, but slowly and not entirely.
A lady enlightened how rights could simply be taught- from a simple perspective; it’s just a sense of objectivity of how all human beings should be treated, a fair treatment for all that in the end maintains peace in society. So, child rights, women rights, workers’ rights to mention but a few may from a broad sense from the African perspective be seen as a disgrace to society.
It may broadly be seen and sensed as a form of selfishness; that most people are still naïve about Human Rights, who and what Civil Society organisations are and as to why all this isn’t directly incorporated into the curriculum at an early stage. Of course, this is the governments’ role and form of sensitization.
Most African citizens should be blamed less for ignorance about Human Rights, since in one way or another they back lash with the African norms and customs and make governments in power unease. Hope an calmer remedy can be sought soon.

Africa’s thirst for ‘Human Rights’ (1)

It is at this discussion at Goethe institute in Kigali that I further realized what the common people-that matter most do ever miss out!
Our main center of focus was ‘Human Rights’ and the panelists mainly constituted of representatives from civil society organizations. And ofcourse as an interesting discussion can be; the panelists did their first bit of breaking down the topic and pondering on issues closer and related to it, then minutes later it was opened for the house to be engaged.
The world today is under various leadership and political systems and yes, as civilization came; with it much more was born and to this day continues to be nurtured.
Human Rights is a word that today appears back and forth-as political obligations and aspirations are continuously raised everywhere. Governments, under different leadership especially in Africa are continuously pointed at and cautioned by the western world through organizations against the abuse and dishonor of Human Rights; of course in most societies where wars, ambushes, anonymous murders and freedom of press are rampant, this all provides a straight platform for accusations of ‘Human Rights Abuse’
Most African leaders do in turn point back to the accusers- due to the fact that the discomfort of the pressure is unbearable, that they are just being discriminative in their actions; Why is the International Criminal Court mainly focus their attention onto African leaders?, are they the only ones abusing the rights of people?!
See, in the ‘democratic’ leadership today, principles are put up and clearly stipulated by a Government but if they were to be fully implemented as designed in the first place, then the world wouldn’t be what is dreamt of a ‘paradise’.
As part of the government’s roles is to protect the people’s rights. Bodies which like ‘Civil Society Organisations’ are then established to further help; mainly with a role of sensitizing and giving people a platform to realize and claim for their rights. CSOs are to further act as watchdogs, guide and caution governments on issues that won’t violet human rights.
As a matter of fact, most CSOs have been set up by the governments in rule, so a strong possibility of governments acting ‘Am the law or the law is under my might’ happens. What happens when the government meant to protect human Rights doesn’t?
Ignorance of Rights
Knowing, acknowledging and implementation of Human Rights doesn’t come in handy; Dr. Peter Stepan says it took most of Europe hundreds of years to get where they are when it comes to this. Africa has just and is still in the transformation of most leadership systems-of course which are new to us all, and we are yet there.
Reality is that, a peasant has no clue of what ‘Human Rights’ are and why and how they should matter; to most Civil Societies are not known and ignorance of one’s right sometimes (if not most) saves them; since the few who are informed and willingly come out to claim or fight for them (rights) are seen as posing a great threat to the oppressor.
These days, by most, Civil Society is mistaken to be ‘political Rights’ not ‘Civil Rights’, maybe because CSOs are nurtured by political systems in power…

Divorce- Parents’ Selfishness

By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

As always I ponder about reality; and marriage, relationships being one of them- yes, many do, and amazing it is.

Recently, in a conversation with Brenda, one of my students, she disclosed something that had for long been tormenting her- least she knew it was. Being raised by her only grandmother, her mom resides in Burundi and her Dad Rwanda-but distant from her, she has grown to see no feel of what a family of mum and dad is. Rarely does she make visits to them. She feels nothing wrong with putting up with her grandmother, something she is used to.

Been realizing, and among that vast issues surrounding and of course facing society; Divorce taking high ranks currently. Have you noticed how fast divorces are out weighing marriages in terms of speed and numbers! It no longer is wired, for a couple to divorce- as it used to be anciently- when this was considered unfit, shame and disgrace to families.

Divorce these days is legal, so a couple may happily or unhappily ‘File’ for divorce; the two can now make a legal separation, and feel, nothing- not guilty about the whole matter!.

See, reasons might be there, justifiable too. But it gets really painfully emotional when parents of a child divorce, children from ‘broken families’ face a lot of challenges through their time of growth and development; which it is here that they would count or look on to both parents for guidance.

All that leads to divorce isn’t in any way caused by a child, but it directly affects them; since a child now is a result of the couple’s union. So, aren’t parents opting for this through being selfish? , since they do it for themselves, their desires, relief…yet not taking the children into consideration!

In marriage, vows are made, before God, in front of thousands friends who witness all this being sealed with a ring and the lord’s blessing, for most these days, a few months or years along this road, the vow is broken-for a reason or two and DIVORCE is called for. What amazes me is that it is mostly through whisper that such happens and unlike the event before which involved thousands to witness; with Divorce only a one will- a lawyer, oh, the papers and a pen to seal it off. Shame!

Since today, children too count and unlike before, they possess a voice that can be heard legally; they too should be included among divorce discussions, to have a deeper say in it. That way, parents will more work well on bettering their relationship in marriage than facing that moment when a child would have a say on the divorce issue or else, many(parents) will face the law to answer charges related to divorce when they are sued by the children- since they are the most affected and hurt here!