Who is your hero?

As Rwanda marks Heroes Day today, several Rwandans gave their views on heroes and who their hero is.

As Rwanda marks Heroes Day today, several Rwandans gave their views on heroes and who their hero is.


Jackline Tumukunde, Tour Operator and MD of Jallyn Travels

Heroes Day means a lot to me; our country passed through a lot, including bad history and the interesting part about this is that people who contributed to making bad history and those who intervened are both Rwandans.

This day reminds me of those who sacrificed their lives to lead our generation to the Rwanda we have today. We must celebrate them and fight to safeguard their achievements.


François Byabarumwanzi, Member of Parliament

Ideally everyone would have been a hero in their respective endeavors but due to human nature most of us fall shot on that high level of commitment. This, therefore, makes a few heroes standout and superhuman - a people to cherish and never to forget even when they are dead.

Rwanda has had a number of heroes from different generations. These heroes include Rwandans and a few non Rwandans who have done exceptional things for the love of humanity and nation.

Therefore, Heroes Day is a time to reflect on our history and such a few individuals that have shaped our history, pay them respect and commit ourselves to follow in their footsteps for a better Rwanda of generations to come.


Philippe Mpayimana, politician and former presidential candidate
A hero is someone who forgets about self-interests and works towards common interests.

For instance, in our history we have several examples including King Mutara III Rudahigwa, who did a lot to save Rwandans from slavery and improve social welfare of his people, King Yuhi Musinga, who fought so hard to preserve the culture and tradition of Rwandans at a time when colonialism had started shaping the global order.

I must acknowledge that even our current leader has done a lot for Rwanda and Rwandan culture in the modern world to match what our founding Kings did for our nation.

At a moment like this when we celebrate Rwanda’s heroes, we should be inspired to not only celebrate our heroes but reflect on the achievements of our founding fathers to preserve true Rwandan values in the face of colonialism and neocolonialism.

Africa needs to be redefined, Rwanda needs new heroes and I think this is a challenge for everyone if we are to sustain the gains that were registered thanks to the heroes we celebrate today.


Sarah Nyirankundurwanda, 86.
A hero is undoubtedly the one who liberated our country and gave every Rwandan freedom to call this country their own at a time when some of us had spent decades wandering foreign countries and stateless.

On Heroes Day, I celebrate those brave young men and women who laid down their lives and left their families wherever they were scattered to liberate our country, stopped the Genocide against the Tutsi and a united us all.

Long time ago they would say that it is difficult to have a living hero. I must appreciate President Kagame for how he managed to lead the liberation struggle, stopped the Genocide and went ahead to rebuild a broken nation.

Rwandan heroes deserve honour because they are gifts from God.


Aline Niyonshuti, 18
I think a hero is someone, especially a soldier, who did exceptional things and has done a lot to define the course of the nation by fighting to liberate the country.

 We have a lot of heroes in Rwandan history and it is important to celebrate them.


Eric Mugoboka, 21.
Fred Gisa Rwigema and former students of Nyange School who refused to separate themselves between Tutsis and Hutus and were killed by Interahamwe militia (in 1997) are my heroes.

I think they possessed a great sense of courage and I learn a lot from them.

Celebrating Heroes Day allows me time to reflect on such brave characters who sacrificed their lives for the better of our nation. We need to learn a lot from these heroes and be inspired to do better things and to continue developing as a nation.


Natacha Ursule Irebe
A hero to me is any person with outstanding achievements who has done noble activities for the good of humanity. In Rwanda we have a number of people who have sacrificed whatever they had at some point in their lives to see this country develop.