“Ikosa Ryemejwe” which can loosely be translated as “Official Mistake,” is a title of a new book written by Honore Busoro to respond to questions that have been frequently asked by the youth who were born after the genocide against the Tutsi.
Busoro is a 23-year-old student at Mount Kenya University pursuing a degree in Mass communication. Having been born and raised after genocide, he had countless questions that he lacked adequate responses to, however, through interacting with a number of Rwandan youth; he noticed that they too had similar questions.
This propelled him to carry out research to addresses these questions. He revealed to Sunday Magazine what the youth will learn from his book.
What stirred the writing of this book?
I wrote this book mainly for the Rwandan youth. We grew up after the genocide with many questions about the genocide, ethnicities and the role of colonisers in the country’s dark past.
This book is written in Kinyarwanda; however, I am anticipating translating it to English so that people in the Diasporas can be able to read it as well.
Tell us about those questions that you are responding to in your book.
Who is the first ancestor of Rwandans? (This is due to the theory heard that Rwandans are from the same parent) So if Rwandans are from the same parent, then why did they fight each other?
The next question is about our physical differences. Young people are confused about how we are different in size, height, colour among others features.
A copy of Honore Busoro’s book. / Courtesy
Another question is about the names of the ethnic groups and how they came about.
The fourth question dissects claims that Rwandans came from another territory to settle here. Another question was reacting to why we refer to the genocide as “genocide against the Tutsi”.
There is also a chapter about the mindset, some people think you look the way you are because you took on your ancestors’ appearance, which is not true since there were cross marriages; these among other issues are discussed.
So far, how are people reacting to this book?
I made the book as small as possible for easy reading. A number of people are done reading it and they are giving me positive feedback. Other people have been answered some of the many questions that they have been asking themselves for so long.
The copies of my book are free of charge; you can read the book from the National Library or get a digital version at: http://rwagasabo.net/igitabo-ikosa-ryemejwe/
Where did you do your research from?
I researched for about seven years. We are blessed with a large collection of books in the libraries. I read different books about the history of Rwanda and after compiling all the information together, I approached elders, politicians, authors, and professors to make some edits and comments about the information I had written about.
After the edits and approval, the book was published this year. I started writing this book two years ago.
How did you come up with the questions?
I got these questions through discussions with a number of people and online.
Have you thought about writing another book?
Well, if I find anything that needs much attention or that is worth writing about, I will be more than privileged to write about it.
I am proud and pleased to say that I have gained experience unlike before when I didn’t know what it meant to write a book. I have been groomed by authors and experts.
What can youth do to aid the government’s campaign of Unity and Reconciliation?
I would urge the young people not to take anything they hear about as bare truth before they verify it. Parents and relative should find suitable means of telling youth the country’s dark without inciting hatred.
Unity comes about when we identify the history of our country and how best we can preach against the genocide so that it never happens again. Unity is considering and treating your neighbor as your own brother and sister and it comes from within your mind, no one can force you to unite, love or forgive others unless you accept to.
This book is just the beginning, it explains the source of the hatred that provoked the genocide, but after reading it, you are required to read other books about the genocide to be aware of the occurrences, before, during and after the genocide.