A prelude of patriotism in Rwanda

Published by Rodrigue Rwiharira
On 9 June 2011 saa 05:38
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Rwanda existed long before European colonization. Born in the current district of Gasabo in the city of Kigali, the country grew over different conquests of neighboring kingdoms, like Gisaka, Bugesera, Nduga, Kinyaga, Ndorwa, etc. It is throughout these conquests it recorded a unique patriotic and heroic history. Having kings like Cyirima Rugwe, Ruganzu Bwimba, Ruganzu-Ndoli, Mibambwe Sekarongoro Mutabazi, Yuhi Mazimpaka, Cyirima Rujugiro, Kigeli IV Rwabugiri, and others as the foremost conquerors of the history of Rwanda, the country grew so vast until the 1888 Berlin conference that demarcated it to what it is today 26,338 km2.

The country had its political and socio-economic organizations, its culture and customs. It was a sovereign nation. Within the same organization, clans or clan based structures played an important role because they constituted important links in the commanding chain of that time. The society was under a well organized monarchy system that coordinated socio-political and economical schemes towards the well being of the people.

According to IRDP (2005) Gihanga is the founder myth in Rwanda and the origin of the Banyiginya dynasty. KANYARWANDA Gahima, a mythical King is the founder of this myth and this nation.
The following are his legacies. He gave a name to this country, "Rwanda rwa Gihanga "; He gave a national unity ideology, uniting (Hutu-Tutsi-Twa) ethnic group that shares language, beliefs and love for the country as children of the same father, in one nation, all of them with complementary roles.

A King, Mwami, federator or unifier protects the rights of all the Rwandans (political and administrative power, judicial power and moral power). Until the arrival of Lyangombe, who said to be the only intermediary between Imana(God the creator) and the Nation. His mission was to protect the borders of this nation and to expand the Country, to ensure peace and security of all the citizens (Rubanda rw’ umwami) and to protect them from the foreigners. Nobody was allowed to violate the rights of other citizens.

Here is the assumption; all nations observe in due course their internal norms set to promote the inner culture which identifies themselves amongst the rest of the nations and none of the cultures should be regarded as the dominant. Regardless of how their norms should appear in the eyes of foreigners, the cultural values are self contained and cannot be distorted in any way. In this case what Rwanda had as cultural values are self contained and cannot be compared to any other nation’s values.

Colonization, post independence regime policies or the dominance of western culture in Rwanda did not erode that much patriotism and heroism as far Rwanda is concerned. Patriotism involves morality and loyalty and these are individually driven and shaped. None can be said to be born a patriot, he learns and grows to be that patriot, the true sense is that, it comes much from him rather than the heard propaganda. He values what he sees and believes and therefore vows to preserve and protect them passionately.

If that is the case, patriotism ideally amongst some Rwandans was and can never be deteriorated. As a matter of fact the liberation war that took off since 1990 was much driven by the same patriotism that rejected the mistreatment of the core values characterizing Rwanda before, which have been distorted by the post colonial regimes, excluding the Kagame regime.

Specific details are coming soon.