Category: In Rwanda…

On the ground in Rwanda- a real life experience…

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…


A letter to Rwandan Youth

It is from the heart’s wretchdness, with the longtime burning desire that he inks this.
A dark cloud was what shadowed and took hold of the once smiling, able, fruitful and ambitious lives of the nation. And with ignited wrath, greed,wickedness and innocence it merged young bodied lives. Blood spills were just a game, yet the wail and wary were ‘just a process to pass’. It had been instilled, a seed of vengence(for temporal power, wealth…)and they all had been convinced how lynchings and smiting throats would settle it all.

Dear fellow youth, it was able bodied, ambitious, talented, educated, hopeful, powerful…youth like you who were lured into bloodshed.

Manipulated into the darkest direction still registered in history was the Genocide, where youth were manipulated into using thier potential wrongly.

Rwanda fell victim, as youth turned against the elders, infants, teenagers and fellow youth- and through blooshed they rejoiced.
(Then he lifted his head high- there was a light that shone through his eye, like never before)

To you fellow youth, there is always room for judgment, bits of humanity with in each of us and more so is the power.
May violence, bloodshed and manipulation of the greed never take hold of us.

Rwanda lives to tell, a story from bloodshed to the light- hope, continued healing and love that the world has hardly witnessed.

May the youth prevail to more hold the banner of hope, love and more so a caution to humanity that the world will take lessons from.

Yours Sincerely


So the Oscars- now a platform for addressing Racism!

By Andrew I Kazibwe

Racism is more on the spot this week than ever before in years!. Yes, this week- why?, because this topic has been shone on by the famous legendary Oscars, which are quite a overtimes and high ranking awarding event.

Currently trending right from #Oscarsaresowhite, which has run viral via twitter, a campaign literally which has this year attracted a growing number of celebrities right from the Smiths, Spike Lee, Lupita, 50 Cent, Tyrees to the trending topic of ‘Should Chris Rock Quit hosting the Oscars?!’

See, much as the Oscars are being pointed at- they are gaining a lot of prominence, so are the businesses around them. Whoopi Goldberg’s reaction towards this whole heated debate is a unique one too- why does this issue surface and all of a sudden disappear!- Whoopie suggests that the public shouldn’t boycott the Oscars, but the movies themselves!. Could this be the therapy of approaching this issue from its roots?!- maybe!

Its surprising that #Oscarsaresowhite issues has for years been into existence, but it re-surfaces towards the vent, and disappears again!, Is it a marketing tool?, a platform for prominence for either sides or an irony?!

Actor and comedian Chris Rock is on the spotlight-since ‘his own’ are poking him off the idea of not hosting the Oscars. They do have an issue-which can clearly be pointed out if well looked into, but not hosting the event would rather seem not the solution. Wouldn’t hosting the Oscar by a black (sorry using it) more pass on a message to the world how racism should be put to an end?

As an artiste, if Chris Rock goes ahead to host the Oscars-which I hope he will (not because of the cheque, but the spotlight and the representation he holds currently), am sure he is to pass on a message not only to the Oscar’s committee-the selection team, the whites (sorry I used that again!), but to the world, which has for ages been haunted and scavenged by ‘Racism’.

Much as the platform is currently lucrative, Chris Rock will earn a reputation too by how he is to package it all.
While the blacks and whites in the western world are rambling and torn apart with ‘Racism’ and ‘Religion’, in Africa we are majorly torn apart by ‘tribalism’, which all cautions our humanity.

Good luck Chris Rock!!!

The Writer;
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!!!

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!!! 

Arts- a sector worth saving, investment

By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

What comes to your mind when the word ‘ART’ is sighted or said? With vast explanations and definitions, somewhere along the search, ‘Creativity’ emerges, which I strongly fall for. Though our indigenous identity-cultures of course, have over time been succumbed to anonymous traits we barely can define, but with pride we continuously grow them, a lot we fall prey of. What does the world refer to as ‘primitive’? To an African, look around you; food, dressing, architectural, livelihood… anything indigenous, say local is generally backward, unfit and not worth holding onto or nurturing! But why!?… There seems a hidden secret in the power of Arts. Most fame and wealth is derived or inspired through arts. Talk of music, film, technology, fashion…things we can’t do without. In an interview with Carole Karemera, an Artistic director of Ishyo Arts Centre in Kigali earlier last year, she paused a phrase, “Imagine how the world would be, without Arts!” With no terms like fashion and design, entertainment…This means separations of it from ‘beauty’. However, such beauty, all roots from the arts, and these derive inspiration from home. An Art is initially inborn, it is undeniably unquestionable, sprouts with wild curiosity that with good inspiration and nurturing, an embrace to the public it turns out to be!!! Even developed countries (in the west) hold arts industry as leading among income generating sectors, so why not, borrow that ‘art’ from them! Africans and African countries need to recognize, cherish and nurture the local arts and roots. Rarely do we proudly acknowledgement homegrown initiatives, politicians and leaders need to, since they are influential today. With honest recognition of an art, an inventive mind of investing in it emerges. Think of investing in something that ignites society into fun and relaxation, yet not harming it!!! Today investors are on a rise, but a challenge of arts recognition and nurturing is up. We need to unearth the buried art in us, recognize and nurture talent right from infancy, as through this, all that we long for will thrive, which is growth and developments.

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!!! 

To you, the woman I cherish

By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

Speechless I turnout to be if told to compare you… To you the woman who welcomed the idea of cherishing this feeble body that God had granted the greatest gift- life. And through those arms, you daily from day one connected with me, to understand me more-no doubt you know better.Watching me make my first step, smile and all effort lighted up your face.

A painting on Canvas by Antonaire Nshimiyimana at Yego Arts Center in Kigali, photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe
A painting on Canvas by Antonaire Nshimiyimana at Yego Arts Center in Kigali, photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe

It wouldn’t be unfair if I don’t look back at it all and return, just to thank you. So passionate  find them to be, so collected, considerate, calm a real woman is, that at this thought of her, all settles out…She is a remedy to most. A path for life, a soothing being, companion, teacher, inspiration, drive, an allure she is, indeed so uncomparable To you, the woman who has felt so compassionate, tender, loving and has listened to my pain, shared my dreams, bought all those flirts and complements, made me smile and feel cherished… To you, a women worth to be cherished, even when abused, neglected or holding the feeling of ‘lost’, to you the neglected, but hold that one thing so unique- being a woman…With love you should be complemented, respected and awarded. To you, Oooh the woman I cherish!!!

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!!!