He calls himself Ludacris. All his mates at school can be reduced to punching bags if they don’t call him by that name. John Iyamuremye, an S.3 student at King David School concentrates more on being like his favorite celebrity, American rapper ‘Ludacris.’
The cost of being Ludacris’ duplicate, is high though giving up is not an option. Standing with parted legs, Iyamuremye is wearing mega-jeans.
Holding them like he is preventing his attire from slipping out, he calls them ‘pocket’ a term used by the teenagers to refer to low-cut jeans. His design is merged with a long sleeved shirt with a short sleeved T-shirt on top.
“This is a two in one design. One of Ludacris’ outstanding designs,” says Iyamuremye as he points to the attire.
Iyamuremye spends almost all his hard earned pocket money on mimicking Ludacris. Right from his designs, to the way he talks, his latest music, Iyamuremye is always on track.
Not to mention his long neck chain baring the name Ludacris!
Iyamuremye portrays to us how teenagers are losing it with importing foreign cultures.
Many mature youths, have also caught track and they can’t stop until they become that celebrity they have in dreams.
In high school, the most styled up person is one who at least has an exotic element in them.
Is it that the Rwandan culture isn’t good enough to be proud of? Or it’s also some colonization of a kind? Is it that the youth hate their motherland that much that they are ashamed of who they are?
Michelline Kwizera refers to traded cultures among youth as negligence.
“Youths are mistaken into thinking that living like other people, will add credit to whatever they do,” says Kwizera.
Being a co-host of Urungano Radio Program has exposed her to many cases, where the rich Rwandan culture is corrupted by foreign ones.
“In the Rwandan culture, it’s a taboo for a girl to over expose her body parts. For instance the breasts and the knees. Today, because of all the common TV shows, revealing cloths are the hottest design on the market,” says Kwizera.
This trading of culture is blamed for having a heavy impact on the youth.
“Youths no longer speak fluent Kinyarwanda. This is because they prefer other languages. Even when it’s compulsory that they speak Kinyarwanda, they will still mix with English or French,” says Aline Mugeni, a Co-host of Urungano.
Many teenagers have taken to drugs; smoking just because they feel it’s exotic and exotic is stylish! Many girls will give all they have to lose weight just to fit in with the celebrities they watch on TV!
Much as it’s natural for Africans to have weight, this seems an insult to teenagers who want to look hot. To them hot is getting that celebrity look!
If it was just mimicking celebrities, Rwanda has adorable ones though to the youth, outside celebrities matter.
A youth will prefer cramming Beyonce’s English song, though they know little English but they will not mind knowing a local artiste’s song though she is one of them!
Speaking of the impacts of importing culture. Many Rwandan youths don’t belong anywhere any more. They don’t speak English well nor Kinyarwanda. Many youth are just caught up in the middle.
“We appreciate the fact that culture and the country develop. We don’t mean that youths should behave like they are in the 60’s but still they shouldn’t go to extremes, “says Kwizera.
As for now, no one clearly knows where this teenage/youth craze about being exotic will lead us to.