Pan Butamire

We should guard against playing in the hands of Genocide deniers

While many kind people have all along been by Rwandans’ side in their time of painful remembrance of the hell that engulfed them in 1994, some have sometimes fallen prey to those intent on refusing to call that horror by its precise name, for dubious reasons. “Dubious reasons”...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 12:00 AM

We honour our departed by eradicating the barbarity of their time

Surprise, surprise! This was my first reaction on seeing destitute-looking boys hanging precariously on a moving freight trailer at the Giporoso junction, here in Kigali, the other day. I should’ve reacted with alarm and sadness I know but you know me and how I am always tickled by any...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 12:00 AM

This leadership has touched our society in ways many may not fully fathom

The effects of this leadership on the Rwandan society are manifest in many ways and those who put their lives on the line to rescue it know best. Uti how? I was shuffling along KK104 Street doing my routine exercise when, on looking to my left, I burst out laughing, startling passersby who,...

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 12:00 AM

The National Leadership Retreat, one of a kind

And so a few days ago it was the 14th Rwandan Great Migration where, unlike in the Wildebeest Migration to our east, no lions, leopards, crocodiles, myriad other predators lay in wait, ready to feast. But, like in that eastern migration, mauling, tearing, agonising, soul-searching, umpteen prickly...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 12:00 AM

To presidential hopefuls: Democracy Made in Rwanda is alive and growing

“Niko mwana wa…!” I looked around to check if he was calling attention to someone else, for a second forgetting that my neighbour’s visiting father is old enough to call me son. As an old geezer, I’m running out of chances of meeting my senior. But Mzee Kananga...

Thursday, February 23, 2017, 12:00 AM

Film-makers should always respect the subjects of their stories

When your travel ambitions ‘collide’ with more pressing needs, you cede, sit down and occupy yourself by lazing around. It was while I was thus lazing around during my holiday last December that I chanced upon this captivating story in the film, The Queen of Katwe. Pan Butamire It’s set...

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 12:00 AM

Are Rwandans in Kigali finally turning into urbanites?

My, how time flies! Whoever coined this phrase didn’t know the half of it. Tell me, isn’t 1994 only the other day, when some of us were emerging from a 35-year hibernation of exile and gingerly treading onto this place that was called La Ville de Kigali? And, at the hearing of which,...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 12:00 AM

May 2017 herald the end to aid dependency!

Today’s few remnants of gloaters at the misfortunes of this country must have laughed their scornful heads off a few days ago, on hearing this call: “We should resolve to set a deadline…[when we]…will no longer be waiting for what others hand out to us.” But so did...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

When will service providers know that our lives and rights matter?

Many people have bemoaned the shoddiness of the service delivery in this land and none can tell the reason for it. Is it incompetence, laziness, carelessness, arrogance or a combination of these and more? Personally, I am simply baffled by how this shoddiness manifests itself in some professionals...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 12:00 AM

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the best, and with only a little effort

If you have not been in some backstreets of Kigali, where disorder may still be waging a battle to keep residents in ‘garbage bondage’, you’ve started to take cleanliness in other streets for granted. Sure, you may be telling yourself that if there is still any battle at all, it...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 12:00 AM

The expression 'Manna from Heaven' takes on reality flesh in Rwanda

The launch early this month of unmanned aircraft to deliver life-saving medical supplies may not have raised ripples but I think it was remarkable. If the drones can save one life – and word is that the one already launched is giving a good account of itself – where the life would be...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 12:00 AM

The 21st-century tourist will be ‘a hard nut to attract’

In southern USA, between the states of Tennessee and North Carolina, there is a short stretch of road that has become a sensation among Americans, and bagged ‘bags’ of money for residents of the area in the process, for exactly not being a stretch! It’s an 11-mile road of “...

Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why Rwanda's swift turnaround should be celebrated

Whenever I visit my watering hole in evenings, I like to take a shortcut near my home as exercise while I’m at it. It’s ill-advised because the steep path can be perilous in the gathering dusk but I relish the challenge of seeing school kids effortlessly run through it while I’ll...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 12:00 AM

The Mediterranean drownings: the height of human callousness

Once upon a time, there rose what became the Scramble for Africa and it came to pass that the continent was invaded, occupied, partitioned, colonized and annexed to European powers. But we all know about that and don’t want to go there again. Try as we can, however, we cannot ignore...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 12:00 AM

Of the mysterious, and not so mysterious, allures of this land

If I waxed poetic about my journey to the north last week, it’s because some areas of this country never cease to amaze me, however long and often I’ve been seeing them. There are some interesting features of this land that our tourism promoters seem to overlook. Yes, an eye-to-eye...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 12:00 AM

A journey of discovery and rediscovery

And so it goes... It goes that time comes when I’m seized by this irresistibly compelling ritualistic urge to pay homage to my soil. And when it strikes, I must thither go post-haste, for my soul will never rest (don’t get ideas!) till it sees the slopes of Mt. Muhabura. The urge is...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016, 12:00 AM

Leapfrogging in Africa: to leap or not, that's not the question

In African countries, “The main leapfrogging that takes place is over the open sewers.” Imagine someone entreating us to look before we leap, after making such a comment. They have assured us that when we come down to earth it’ll be back in the mire of our dirty poverty and so,...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 12:00 AM

All-round cleanliness for all EAC countries is achievable

Last week when I was jolted out of my ‘cleanliness reverie’ (my musings about outsiders’ admiration of our cleanliness) by a sharp retort, I sat up and thought. Indeed, how could we talk about cleanliness for our cities when they do not enjoy central sewage systems? I know that...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 12:00 AM

Self-confidence, respect spawn hard work

Africans seem to despise themselves. What else can you call it when they get excited about being compared to Europeans? Or when African commentators think that everything good looks European, not African? That’s the message you get on hearing or reading the many comments by participants in...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 12:00 AM

Kudos all round for a successful AU Summit!

Rwandans should take time to give themselves a hearty pat on the back. Then, after that, they can go back to their favourite preoccupation. The preoccupation of driving the processes of placing their country and society among those that take hard and smart work, and its resultant good standard of...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016, 12:00 AM

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