Allow me to react to the article, “Rwandan youth tell country’s 20 year story through poetry” (The New Times, April 16).
Rwanda is a country that could inspire some of the blockbuster novels on the global arena. We have a rich history, either good or bad, that can easily push local writers to lift a pen and start writing fiction and non-fiction manuscripts.
Once we start to write our own history, I'm sure that the curious world will stampede to read what comes out of Rwanda.
It's in this context that I thank the founders of and writers at Youth Literacy Organisation for their efforts.
Suppose that something is happening today, will we be able to remember it in 14 years to come?
We have even forgotten some prominent events that took place in 94.
For example, how many of us still remember the month and day RPF Inkotanyi soldiers audaciously rescued thousands of people stranded at St. Paul? How many of us have ever talked to the Rwanda Defence Forces - heroes and then come up with a page-turner non-fiction book?
But we read about Operation Entebbe, when Israel Defence Forces put in motion an operation to rescue Jews that Idi Amin had held hostage in Uganda, and then we say: “Wow, what an interesting story”!
What we don't know is that Operation St. Paul (if I may call it that) is more intriguing than Operation Entebbe because RPF Inkotanyi rescued thousands who were in the strongholds of ruthless genocidaires, but they managed to take all of them out of the church unharmed.
This is one of the reasons why we should write to preserve our own history. There are so many other examples out there that can make local stories The New York Times #1 Bestseller.
Where are we? Why don't we want to get up and start writing our own stories? What are we waiting for? There's an ocean of rich history in front of us.
Dear Rwandans, let's all stand up together to change history, to inspire writers who will be talked about for centuries to come. We have a country that has a peculiar history that should be tapped into to publish magnificent books on our experiences, on who we are as a people.