26-YEAR-OLD Fils Gides Irasubiza, known by his artistic name, Rwononamirera, has found a niche in doing Kinyarwanda poetry and is motivated to make foreigners embrace it hence knowing more about Rwanda. The poet said that he has loved the country since childhood, adding that his love was boosted when he was watching Japanese and Korean movies and realised how citizens loved their countries, teaching foreigners about their history through movies – which compelled him to apply the same for Rwanda. Born in Jabana sector, Gasabo district, Irasubiza currently lives in Zambia, a country where his poetic talent developed. Before 2019, he was a script writer and has tried to act although he didn’t get a platform to showcase his talent. He revealed that Junior Rumaga, one of the leading Rwandan poets, has helped him to discover his talent. “I discovered my talent when I met him 6 years after our graduation. We studied at the same school and same class at Kansi. I told him that I had too many things to share with people about Rwanda while I was abroad, but didnt have any opportunities. He encouraged me to pass my messages through poetry,” he said. Irasubiza loves poetry because it is his simple way to share what he feels inside, adding that he can talk about people’s challenges, especially through gospel. He revealed that what inspires him is the love he has for Rwanda and Rwandans, adding that sharing Rwandan ancestors’ history worldwide is his aim. Currently, he has three poems uploaded on Youtube and others written. His latest, “Bamporiki”, is themed on “reuniting”. “I was telling a young child about an imagined history just as an artist. It is about a place called Ndorwa during the time hunger called “Ruzagayura” was happening. I also talk about how people failed to reunite after defeating it,” he said. “In the poem, I was requesting that child to tell the new generation to look forward and build unity, even with those who dont love them.” Irasubiza revealed that whenever some Zambians say negative things about Rwanda, he tries to show them the beauty of the country and uses his poetry - the art he plans to expand to the English language to reach a large audience. He shares Rwandan culture by using different ways such as his hair cut (Amasunzu), his dressing and Kinyarwanda which makes people get curious to know more about the country. Irasubiza sees Rwandan poetry thriving although the journey is still long, and he is cognizant of the need for poets to work hard. His challenges include the hardship of making Kinyarwanda poetry while residing outside Rwanda and the uneasy way that results in his quest to find promotion where even his fellow Christians say that poetry he does is against Christianity. However, he is planning to keep working on poems that have a good influence on society and those that talk about history and share deep knowledge – along with gospel poems since he is still a Christian. He can be found on social media as RWONONAMIRERA, a name that means destroyer at the war, where “imirera” is a type of bulletproof which he said has been used in Rwanda, many years ago.