As we celebrate 15 years since our beloved country was liberated from the hands of the divisionists, there are many things that we as Rwandans have to rejoice about 15 years down the road.
A lot has been achieved and indeed there is every reason to rejoice. But we still have another thing we need to liberate in our society.
That is none other than ‘liberating the mind’ so we can have the intellect which is going to help us develop our society and make it to stand out from the crowd.
The regime that was in power before the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, created a people in society that were made to think that they cannot do anything for themselves unless a good Samaritan came and did it for them.
This is a mindset that leads to self destruction because people who think in that way can never at one time have the ability to engage in activities meant to develop themselves or their societies.
In other words this kind of thinking is a yoke of the mind which destines a given society to forever stay in a state of being helped by other people.
With this kind of thinking, we can never have a self reliant nation and yet this is what president Kagame is ever telling us.
Antoine Rutayisire a commissioner in the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) says that this kind of thinking (of always waiting for other people to come and do everything for us) is a cancer that has eaten deep into the people of our society.
He argues that the past rulers of this nation trained people to live a beggar’s life in order for them to be able do whatever they wanted without being questioned by them.
‘This mindset took the past regimes 40 years to build into the people. So it will take another long period for the people of Rwanda to be able to fully liberate them selves from it,’ he argues.
However, as much as I agree with him, I also think that if all members of this society stood up and fought this demeaning mindset which pulls us back, it cannot take us such a long time to demolish it.
If we liberated our minds and focussed to developmental ideas, we can do away with it in a few years.
Changing the mindset begins with self assessment. Every one of us needs to sit down and think about what they might have done for their society and themselves 15 years down the road.
If we find that we have done nothing in this period, then that means that our mindset is still yoked.
After assessing ourselves, we need to swing into action and start thinking about how we can contribute to the development of our country in order to make our society a better place for the next generation.
With this self assessment, I don’t think that as a society, we could ever go wrong anywhere and I believe it will not take us another 40 years to liberate ourselves from the bondage of a negative mindset.
The members of our society in the countryside where the issue of a not liberated mind is still at large should also wake up and start working hard and desist from tendencies of divisionism and laziness if we are to fully be liberated.
As we celebrate 15 years of liberation, every one of us should start thinking about what they can do to change the mindset and become more productive and developmental because as the saying goes, ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop’.