Formerly shunned, shoes have now become the in-thing in every school
Olive, while studying at Gasave Primary School, in Gisozi Sector, Gasabo District in the 1980s, was ordered by a teacher to remove her shoes “because they were not allowed in class.” The teacher then told the nanny who had escorted Olive to school to take back the shoes home, leaving Olive barefooted. “It was very challenging for me because I could not walk without shoes. So our nanny used to bring me the shoes at lunch time so that I could walk in them on my way back home,” she says, adding that she changed school after just one term because she could not bear with that ‘hard life’. “I joined Sainte Famille School (in Nyarugenge) because they had no problem with learners putting on shoes,” Olive says.
Unlike in the past where students were discouraged from putting on shoes, today anyone barefooted will look out of place. (Timothy Kisambira)