Preparations for the forthcoming National Heroes’ Day celebrations, due February 1, are in high gear.
The week of festivities that starts on January 23 will kick off with a tribute walk by the youth, civil servants, the civil society, among others, in Kigali.
All over the country, last year, Heroes’ Day was celebrated at the village level under the theme “Ndi Umunyarwanda, the pillar of heroism.”
The festivities will be held at village level but this year’s theme is different – “Ubutwari bw’Abanyarwanda, agaciro kacu” (loosely translated as ‘Rwandans’ Heroism, Our Dignity’).
“The walk will be followed, soon after, with other events, including performances by the national ballet, Urukerereza, and other cultural troupes at Petit Stade in Remera, in the memory and praise of our heroes,” Deo Nkusi, the executive secretary of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Order and Decoration of Honour (Cheno), told The New Times.
On February 1, the country’s leadership will lead the nation in laying a wreath at the Heroes’ Mausoleum in Remera, Kigali, to pay tribute to the fallen heroes.
Like is the custom, on the day, various discussions on the meaning of heroism and other pertinent issues will be conducted at the village level.
Among others, Rwanda’s heroes include Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema, an unkown soldier representing all fallen soldiers during the struggle for liberation, and the students of Nyange who bravely sacrificed their lives rather than separate themselves based on ethnicity.
Others are former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and King Rudahigwa, who abolished all forms of serfdom and advocated for Rwandan unity and independence.
National Heroes and Heroines are classified into three categories: Imanzi, which refers to supreme heroes with outstanding achievements and unparalleled sacrifice; Imena, remembered for the sacrifice for their country; and Ingenzi, who are recognised for their exemplary actions.