Artistes take message of hope to prisons

It was not an ordinary day at the Kigali Central Prison, commonly known as 1930, as Kama Jeshi band in partnership with anti-Crime groups including inmates, visited the prison on Tuesday.
Inmates take to the dance floor as music plays. (Stephen Kalimba)
Inmates take to the dance floor as music plays. (Stephen Kalimba)

It was not an ordinary day at the Kigali Central Prison, commonly known as 1930, as Kama Jeshi band in partnership with anti-Crime groups including inmates, visited the prison on Tuesday. 

The tour aimed at sensitizing inmates about forgiveness, genocide, drug abuse, unity and the Nd’Umunyarwanda programme, among others.

Michel Samora Sharanga, aka SMS, a member of the Kama Jeshi band, said, “We’re conducting the tour with inmates because their testimonies can touch people. We have toured communities and when the youth in those communities hear testimonies about these vices from inmates, they take it more seriously. “

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(L-R) Kizito Mihigo and Michel Samora Sharanga, aka SMS.

The tour involved performances by the Kama Jeshi, singers and dance troupers, who are serving their sentences and testimonies from anti-crime clubs from various prisons.

Clementine Mukankudiye, who is serving 10 years in prison for carrying out illegal abortion, said that she did not feel worthy and wanted to take her own life after committing the crime. However, while in Muhanga prison, Mukankudiye was counseled by fellow inmates and since then her life has changed positively.

“I urge Rwandans to come together to develop the country. Avoid bad behaviors, the only outcome you get is destruction or death,” said Mukankudiye.

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Sgt. Otis Ngoboka sings alongside Anti-crime club members. (All photos by Stephen Kalimba)

According to IP Atanazi Nyandwi from Muhanga prison, a person can be rehabilitated when in prison and not after. “These talks and testimonies help foster self acceptance, reconciliation and forgiveness, especially for those who committed genocide. This can prevent conditions like depression and help them lead a normal life in jail. “

Kama Jeshi is a three man band consisting of Policeman SMS, Sgt. Robert Kabera and Sgt. Otis Ngoboka. The tour has been held in seven district prisons.

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