RE: “New museum to exhibit Rwanda’s colonial history launched in Kigali” (The New Times, December 18).
This article is disappointing in a million and one ways. Let’s talk about the fact that Kigali was on and off the capital of the Kingdom of Rwanda throughout our very long history depending on the monarch in place at the time.
Richard Kandt did not found it and he definitely wasn’t an “explorer”. He was an enslaver who came to colonise our ancestors after Europe decided to cut into pieces our continent in order to pillage it. And they never stopped.
I realise that for diplomatic reasons that brutal reality is avoided to ensure that we do not create uncomfortable spaces for our modern-day German “friends” but we need to call a spade a spade.
It is utterly ridiculous and arrogantly insulting to ourselves and our ancestors to refer to this toxic relationship with our colonisers as anything but barbaric.
Why not call it “Rwandan Colonial Museum” since it is showcasing our colonial history? Why not have one single colonial museum showcasing our entire colonial history from the German colonisation to the period under Belgian protectorate up to one day prior to the independence?
To me, that would be a true, meaningful historical museum and not one that is trying to portray our colonisation as a period of a normal, harmonious relationship between us and the colonisers.
I am also wondering why we are turning people who played a big role in our colonisation into heroes instead of great men and women such as King Yuhi V Musinga and others.