21-year-old Fred Mfuranzimais an author, poet and the founder of Imfura Arts Centre, affiliated to Never Again Rwanda, which promotes writing, poetry and any form of art that calls for peace.
He is also a student at Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) pursuing Peace Building. He talked to Sunday Magazine’sSharon Kantengwaabout his work and documenting how the Genocide against the Tutsi was planned and executed.
When did you begin writing? What inspired you?
I started writing when I was still young, participating in writing competitions in different publishing houses. What inspires me to write is that when I cannot find an explanation to something, I always try to find its meaning and the more I find meaning, the more I write. My love for poetry also encourages me to write.
What are some of the books that you have written?
I have published three books so far. The first one ‘Urwandiko Kuva Ku gasozi Bututsi’, was written in Kinyarwanda and is about the history of Huye district in Southern Province, where many people were killed. I decided to write its history with the help of National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)and the Rwanda Academy of Language and CultureRALC because I felt we haven’t documented it.
The second book is called the ‘Sister’s Left shoe’ which is like a letter from a brother to sister, giving her advice. The other one is a gospel book, ‘A good morning to change in Jesus Christ’, and a poetry book ‘Dreams to find another world’ that I wrote during this year’s commemoration period. The book documents different testimonies and stories from media but in form of poetry. I have also written children books in different publishing houses here in Rwanda.
What are some of the messages that you would like readers to take away from your books?
I write for different subjects but the first thing that I focus on is peace. Peace goes with many things and so I decided to start with changing people’s mindsets. I also write a lot about the history of the genocide because it is something that has taken a big part of our lives as Rwandans. It’s our responsibility to write that history and teach the world.
Who are some of the authors that inspire you?
They are many, such as poet and author Dr. Dibinga Omekongo, he also played a part in writing my recent book, as well as William Shakespeare. In Rwanda, authors like Tharcisse Gatwa, Alexis Kagame and Diedonne Gakire also inspire me.
How can you describe your writing experience?
I have had several trainings and different workshops that have improved my writing tremendously that I meet different authors and publishing houses in Rwanda who ask me to edit their books.
I used to write poems a lot and the more you write the more experience you get in writing. We also used have different poetry workshops and poetry slams in different places here in Kigali like Impact Hub Kigali, Goethe Institute and Imfura Arts Centre.
What are some of the projects that you are working on at the moment?
I will be launching my recently published book, ‘Dreams to find another world’ on July 13. We also have a poetry slam coming up very soon.