Some 6.8 million Rwandans will go to the polls next week to elect the country’s leader. One third of the electorate will be doing so for the very first time. They are known as the post-Genocide generation.
This is a very lucky generation; they live in what could be termed a “sheltered” life. They have never faced discrimination of any kind, everything is earned on merit. They never knew the horrors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and were never labeled “stateless”.
What they will have learnt from their parents or relatives, what they will have read of a life another generation before them endured, to them will read like a bad exaggerated movie. Many have come to take things for granted and that is a very dangerous trend.
There are still many out there waiting for an opportunity to pounce. They are the very people who engineered the Genocide ideology and divisive politics and are always looking for new acolytes and there is no better subject to brainwash than some energetic but fragile youth.
As mentioned above, the young generation was lucky not to have lived through hell. But they are also lucky to enter adulthood under a conducive environment and a leadership that has the country at heart. A leadership that has spent the last two decades reinventing the country and rebuilding its social fabric.
Even though today our youth are eating from a silver platter, they should always be reminded that the journey was not easy, many lives and livelihoods were sacrificed along the way.
As the new breed of voters begin to exercise their constitutional duty, they should be aware that they are not part of a caste in a movie; this is real life. They hold the future of their country in their hands once they enter the polling booth. They should think carefully and lucidly before they cast their ballot.