What a coincidence to learn about Rwanda’s cultural icon’s death on a cultural gathering? The mood is cultural, Sudi Mavenge is doing the crowd with his Gakoni Kabakobwa, Ingenzi Cultural group are ecstatic, its Banyarwanda Cultural night in Kampala which takes place every last Sunday of the month.
Proudly being one of the organisers, I am chatting with Intore Bukuru Jean-Claude, a nice guy by any measure and member of the National Cultural troupe Indahemuka. We are discussing how we can improve on the performance by inviting Rwanda’s cultural music heavy weights likes of Samputu, Cécile Kayirebwa, and many others.
Bukuru excuses himself to answer a phone call and returns teary, Minani is dead; he breaks the news of his mentor’s demise.
Having born and lived outside Rwanda, grew up in diverse cultural environment, I hardly knew a thing a bout my own culture, until I met the Indahemukas. It was timely, I had just come back home, the country that had lost almost everything and seemed to offer little hope.
But here I was, feeling a stranger in my own country because I had no idea about the culture. But when I met Minani’s Indahemuka, I was like a toddler who has learnt how to shout the word Dad, it was my rebirth, and I learnt everything about our culture. This is a testimony many would give.
Minani was no ordinary person, a hero and a true gentleman who loved his country, just like Bukuru put it “The country has lost an icon, that man was a tiger when it comes to defending his culture. He was a cultural fanatic end.”
The fact that he went to the same primary school with Hon. Charles Murigande, Minani would never swank about it like many do.
Simplicity blended with intellect defined Rwema Minani. He has gone when Indahemuka so dearly wanted him, when the culture he promotes is blossoming world over.
I wish you had lived to harvest what you sow. But its ok, God calls to those he wants and loves most. Good bye my Minani, I am sure, not only Bukuru and Donna will miss you, the nation mourns. Peace and comfort be with your family.