One of the founder-members of Inteko Izirikana Association, Philippe Kanamugire is dead.
He died on Thursday after being hit by a speeding vehicle in Kigali.
The association was founded in 1998 with the aim of reviving cultural traits which were long lost due to the unfortunate periods the country faced in that decade.
The 84 year old man was knocked down while returning home from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture headquarters where he had just presented a talk show on the history of the Rwandan culture.
Kanamugire, a well known authority on cultural issues and often appeared in the media to educate Rwandans about their culture, was among the 28 founders of Inteko Izirikana.
Reacting to the news, the Secretary General of the association, Apollinaire Muvunanyambo, described the deceased as a person of great integrity with a passion for the Rwandan culture.
“He was a very outstanding person who was very passionate about reviving the Rwandan culture. We shall miss him dearly,” he said.
Muvunanyambo credited Kanamungire for founding Inteko Izirikana, who once served as its president.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, noted that the country had lost a great person who had vast knowledge on the history of Rwanda, adding that the deceased would be remembered for what he did to revive the country’s lost culture.
“Actually before his demise, we were planning to prepare the Cultural Week. We are so disheartened by his death. He was a very important person to our society who was dedicated to teaching the youth about their culture,” he said.
Under Kanamugire’s leadership, members association used to visit schools to teach the Rwandan culture.
Dr. Dominique Muyango, the deceased’s son law, described him as a person who ardently loved his family.
“We shall miss him very much. He was such a great person who loved Rwandans and his country,” he noted.
The deceased is survived by a wife and seven children. He will be laid to rest on Monday next week.
Who is the late Kanamugire?
He was born on January 1, 1928 in Muramba currently Ngororero District in the Western Province. He attained his education at Kabgayi Seminary but dropped out after Form Four and consequently became an interpreter for the Belgian colonialists in 1948.
He undertook interpretation for two years before he secured a job as a court clerk and wrote court proceedings for Rugerero, the current Rubavu District, for two years.
Kanamugire became the secretary and accounting officer for Bushiru (Rubavu District) and in 1953 was shifted to Mukananje then to Buliza, in current Rulindo District.
In 1960, he fled to exile due to the insurgencies of the time and settled shortly in DR Congo before moving to Kasese, Uganda.
While in Kasese, he worked for a transit company and after four months, went back to Congo after the country attained its independence.
In 1965, he moved to Burundi and became an accountant for various associations.
Kanamugire came back to Rwanda on September 9th, 1994 after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In 1998, Kanamugire along with 27 other people founded Inteko Izirikana.