A few days ago, I was blessed to be among people invited to attend a francophone cultural event. A number of our local companies like The New Times, Inyange Industries, Rwanda Air and others exhibited their products.
During the exhibition, an entertainment group known as INGYENZI CULTURAL TROUPE did a Kinyarwanda dance. Led by Emmanuel Shema the troupe was the hallmark of the event.
However, I noticed that there were some people, especially young guys who seemed unimpressed by the cultural troupe’s performance.
One Vincent Rurangwa, dressed like a Lil Wine wannabe, seemed perturbed that the organisers had decided on traditional music instead of the hip hop that he enjoys.
He told me in an American accent, fake of course; “hey men I don like this kind of music it’s so local en traditional man it’s not interesting it’s just boring am now regretting why I came here.”
I started wondering whether this guy was an African or from out there; but when asked which kind of music he likes, he revealed that he is into western artists; “ma men I prefer the likes of Akon, Kanye west, 50 cent, and all those western singers but not this stuff.”
Well, we took a tour around and came across beautiful African crafts that were being exhibited. An old lady had well made calabashes (IBIRERE) placed thoughtfully on their natural table which is called “URUHIMBI” in Kinyarwanda.
These are used traditionally to store either milk or local alcohol. I was again shocked when the man (Lil Wine wannabe) questioned me about the calabashes; “what are these man? What is their purpose? I was obliged to explain the purpose of the items to the gentleman as if I was educating an Asian or a European.
Well no mater where you have travelled and the level of exposure you think you have, it is not worth it to forget your roots or pretend to know nothing about it.