HUYE – The Heroes Day was marked in different villages on Monday with a call on Rwandans to emulate the country’s heroes.
Names of different heroes were cited like late Maj. Gen Fred Gisa Rwigema, King Charles Leon Pierre Mutara III Rudahigwa and Agatha Uwilingiyimana, the former Prime Minister who strongly opposed the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Governor Fidele Ndayisaba, of the Southern Provincial, urged residents of Ngoma Sector, Huye district, to draw the inspiration from Rwandan heroes.
Officiating at the celebration that brought together different villages at Huye football stadium, Ndayisaba also called for hard work and sacrifice.
“The sacrifice, and determination to succeed demonstrated by our heroes should spur us to build our lives and country,” he said.
The Governor took time to highlight the achievements of Rwandan heroes many of whom hailed from different parts of the Province including King Charles Leon Pierre Mutara III Rudahigwa.
The Governor paid tribute to Major General Fred Gisa Rwigema remembered for his patriotism and charisma.
In Karongi district, residents welcomed the decision to commemorate the day at the village level, saying it helps to foster unity and patriotism.
“People will always be closely encouraged to build good character and hard work in order to jointly participate in the development of the country,” Richard Mugambage, one of the residents observed.
Like him, most of the other people insisted that the cultural traditions like folks and plays that are performed in each village during the commemoration are important in boosting the wellbeing of the society.
“The messages that are passed on and shared by elders and opinion leaders are very vital in nation building,” Saiba Gashana, the Executive Secretary of Bwishyura Sector in Karongi district told The New Times.
At Umutara Polytechnic University in Nyagatare district, students and staff marked the day in style.
Celebrations began with a march from the main campus across Nyagatare town round about towards the district headquarters and ended at the university auditorium.
Speaking at the function, the RDF commander in Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts, Col. Eugene Nkubito, reminded students and invited guests the role played by Rwandan heroes in transforming the country.
Col. Nkubito noted that heroism starts from child hood.
He highlighted discipline and patriotism as some of the attributes of a hero, urging students to embrace seeds sowed by Rwandan heroes in making the country a more developed and respected nation.
‘Most of you could have heard Fred [Rwigema] in history and stories. But I got a chance of being with him either in the army or where he was teaching people the culture of heroism. It is a trend that he started since he was young like you. You should strive to act like Rwandan heroes,’ he said.
The Mayor of Nyagatare, Fred Atuhe Sabiti, who was the chief guest told participants that the current peace in the country did not come by mistake.
‘Making this country respected today was due to sacrifice of different heroes. These heroes left a legacy of sacrifice and discipline which you should emulate,’ he told the crowd.
Meanwhile, in Musanze district, the governor of the Northern Province, Aime Bosenibamwe, said economic transformation is a good platform to display heroism.
“We still have many challenges especially as we embark on a new phase of transformation with the most glaring being fighting poverty which needs concerted action,’’ Bosenibamwe said.
The Regional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent, Rogers Rutikanga, said that residents should consider what they can do for the country and not what the country will do for them, if they are to emulate the present and past heroes.
Compiled by Paul Ntambara, Sam Nkurunziza, Dan Ngabonziza and Bonny Mukombozi