In Rwanda we have many experiences and stories that we should tell the world. Sadly there is no way people will know about Rwandans if we are not putting pen to paper. It’s really sad to see foreigners writing about Rwandans and sometimes writing untruths about our mother land.
However, there are many factors that hinder Rwandan authors. Some of those factors include the major one; which is lack of a book industry.
This discourages writers because they find it hard to publish a book in other East African publishing houses. Most of the books that are published are biographies or autobiographies.
We still need other books ranging from novels, poems, narratives, science fiction, and other literary works that reflect Rwandan culture.
How shall we cultivate the culture of reading among Rwandans if there are no works of fiction revolving around our cultural experiences, rituals, norms, values and aspirations?
It’s good that the music industry is being developed because of the efforts the Ministry of Sports and Culture, which is supporting this area. So, I would suggest that it should be the same for writers.
Writing is not an easy task and it is tragic that one writes an entire book but fails to find a publisher. I am speaking from the experience as a writer who is still struggling to get published.
Another thing that can be done is to make sure that our country gets an ISBN Number for the few books that are published.
And lastly, we need to establish another publishing house because the only one I know of is ‘Editions Bakame’, which only deals with children’s books.
PRO Kigali Health Institute