There is a club at school which is largely for Genocide survivors. Last term when they approached me to join, I declined because I didn’t want to join many clubs. Eventually, it’s sad that they now call me a genocide ideologist. It’s overwhelming, how can I deal with this?
Clubs are an essential part of your school experience for they provide instant access to new social networks, future job opportunities, and yet another outlet for pursuing your interests beyond the classroom. I highly commend you for embracing the spirit of joining school clubs. However, if your friends call you a Genocide ideologist because you declined joining yet another established Genocide survivors’ club, they are absolutely wrong and against the Rwandan laws. Under this law, the Genocide ideology is a crime that is defined as an aggregate of thoughts manifested by conduct, speeches, documents and other acts aiming at exterminating or inciting others to exterminate people based on their ethnicity, nationality, physical appearance, religion or political opinion. Rwanda has elaborated the strategies that are meant to fight genocide and its ideology and uphold the spirit of unity and reconciliation. So calling you a Genocide ideologist is a direct offense, not only against your innocence, but also constitutes crime. You have to immediately report this issue to the school authorities to take disciplinary measures against these students.
Joining any school clubs is a personal choice and should not be obtained through any form of coercion, threats of false accusations. If the school authorities hesitate to react to this issue, then approach your parents and they will demand that the school acts in response to this despicable behaviour and let these students face any form of reprimand for their wrong doing. You don’t deserve this.
Pacifique Murara, student
If what you did was out of good faith, I suggest that you talk to one of your teachers or administrators to help you settle the issue before the whole school makes it a big deal that can ruin your reputation. I believe the school authorities know that such things are common among students, thus can help you deal with it calmly and positively.
Bosco Nshimuremyi, student
In my opinion, you need to approach the leaders of that club, specifically those who approached you to join the club and let them clearly understand your situation, and how you wish to be treated. Show them that there was no bad intention in declining their request, and I’m hopeful they will help you clear your name.
Alice Mutoni, student
Talk to your close friends, preferably those who are members of that club to help you explain your position clearly, and shun those labels that they are putting to your name, Remember it was started by students, thus has to end with their intervention. Stay positive, it will come to an end.
Leonard Kubwimana, student
I am sure you are not the first one to fall victim of such students’ misunderstanding, and my advice to you is that you look at the situation with a positive attitude and handle it like a mature person. Everything fades with time, just be calm, it will come to pass.
By Dennis Agaba