SOCIETY MATTERS : Whatever happened to Rwandan cultural values!!

When I was growing up, my parents used to tell me that Rwandans were people who held very importantly their cultural values and that their dignity and decorum was felt by people around them.

When I was growing up, my parents used to tell me that Rwandans were people who held very importantly their cultural values and that their dignity and decorum was felt by people around them.

When I grew up, despite growing in a foreign country, I realized that all they told me was true going by the way people of the Rwandan origin were different from others.

This created pride in our culture in our young minds and I believe it is one reason why despite having never seen our mother land, every one of us looked forward for the day we would have the chance to set our foot in this beautiful land because we believed that it was as beautiful like our culture was.

However, as much as the conduct of our ancestors inspired us up to that extent, I really wonder how the next generation will be inspired to keep the self-respect if the behaviours that are being exposed by the young people in our society today continue to diminish.

My discontent this time as ever has been triggered by some unpleasant reports which I thought needed to be discussed in this column.

I recently heard with awe over the radio about a group of secondary school going girls who were intercepted by the authorities trying to cross to the neighbouring country.

According to the girls themselves, they were going there for commercial sex.

This news was so shocking to hear because though this act by many girls crossing to engage in this trade had been whispered over time, it had never confirmed like it did this time round.

It had been said over time that students (mostly University students) have made it a habit to go to Uganda over the weekends and engage in these activities and come back for their studies and now it looks like the habit is quickly catching like wild fire into the younger secondary school girls.

If this is really true like many people have put it over time, then this means that our young girls are doomed and we are destined to loosing a big number of them to the HIV/AIDS scourge.

It would be a very big loss to our society because it is these learned fellows at which all our hopes for a good society in the future are anchored.

So if they are the ones going to the neighbouring countries to sell their bodies, this to me looks like a big problem awaits us.

But all this goes back to the point of self-worth, which has been one of the pillars of our cultural values and also one of the reasons why Rwandans have been respected wherever they have been which the young people are not taking heed.

If this act continues, this is going to bring down the Rwandan dignity, something that every one of us wouldn’t want to see happening.

Many people have reasoned that the major cause of this bad habit is poverty which has made these girls to opt for this shaming and anti-societal behaviour to which I object because not all poor students earn a living through such ways.

There are scores of things that a student at university can do to be able to provide for themselves while at school like doing part time jobs instead.

Such actions do not only paint a bad picture of our country but also puts the lives of these girls at very big risk.

Now that this problem has officially come to the limelight, a mechanism should be put in place to see that these young girls are stopped from crossing the borders if they are going to engage in such activities.

The authorities at the borders where they regularly pass should find out first, their reasons for crossing every weekend before giving them the visas. With this, I believe that the problem will be minimised.

To the girls, you should borrow a leaf from our ancestors who worked hard to uphold our culture by emphasising dignity and stop shaming us all because you can use your God given beauty in a better way and help inspire the next generation in a positive way if we are going to have a better society.