Gicaniro Iyamuremye is a talented writer. His first book titled “Igicaniro cy’impanuro, so far is receiving a large readership.
Recently, The New Times’ Mary Ingabire interviewed the 25-year-old budding author. She got an inside scoop on his inspiration and learned a lot about his writing process.
Tell us about the first book you published in 2014…
The book is titled, “Igicaniro cy’impanuro”, and it is written in Kinyarwanda. The genre was motivation, inspiration, and enlightenment. I realised that there is a lot of terrible things happening in the world. A lot of pain, sufferings, unsolved challenges, and conflicts between people, and countries.
Hence, in the book, I offer solutions of how people can live in harmony, and to be masters of their own destiny.
Why did you decide to write it in Kinyarwanda?
One Rwandan proverb says, “a cow that goes out to graze starts by grazing on the grass around the house.” There is no way I would go out in the world and share ideas that would better others’ lives without starting with my own people.
Also, I was inspired by great Pan-Africanists, such as Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah.
Language is a part of one’s identity. If one is not allowed to own it, they happen to go in life dependent, worthless, and feeling inferior.
How did your first writing experience feel?
It was like sowing a seed which had to grow.
Did the seed germinate?
In 2010, I came across a website called PoemHunter.com, where many great poems are posted. Then, I challenged myself to write my own poems, and post them on that site. Amazingly, one of my poems spent four weeks posted up as the most popular poem. It is titled, “A widow like her.”
Any Pan-African activities that you have initiated?
In 2014, I started a Pan-African campaign called, ‘African youth revival’, and visited schools around the country, speaking about self-determination, Pan-Africanism, develop a sense of worth, and encourage to empower the youth.
In 2016, I initiated a social venture called, “Umuntu mu muntu”, which was inspired by the realisation that many organisations and programmes helped people, but at the end of the day they left those people still needing the same help. I said to myself I need to develop a programme that gives people a onetime help which is to empower the mind.
Are there things you ever dreamed to do, but didn’t get to do?
I planned to run for parliamentarian and even went to the national election commission, although I ended up changing my mind.
Have you been working on any new projects?
By August this year, I intend to release a book, which will be in English. Then at the end of year, I hope to have published another book. The genre of the first book is politics, and the other book will be a motivational one.
The two books will be in English, because I satisfied that inner understanding that whatever I do must begin with me, and then others.
Do you have any final remarks for the youth?
With the youth, comes power, the power to think, express and execute which vanishes as we get older. That is why many revolutionaries, who succeeded were young people, such as Che Guevara, Thomas Sankara, and many others.
It is young people, who have the nerves to face such challenges. It is also young people, who would rather go through fire to achieve what they love, than choose their safety and comfort.
My advice for young people is, this time is the time to pursue your dreams.
Malcolm X once said that, “if you give up your liberty for your security, you’ll end up losing both. Inasmuch, rather give up your security and seek your liberty; your liberty to express yourself, to contribute, to think for yourself, to be somebody and let the other person be somebody too.