My grandmother Marie was the loveliest of grandmothers. She made the best pancakes in the whole village and she was also the most hospitable woman in the Butare. Her compound was always full of people, young and old .
The children loved her stories about the old days when Rwanda had kings and queens, princes and princesses. We all miss the stories told around the fire place.
I remember one night when she told us the story of Mwiza the limbless sea goddess.
It was a beautiful night. The silver moon was shinning at its best and the air was very cool. We all sat around the fire, ten children in total, there was Gakuba, Mutoni, Mulisa and other six children from the neighborhood.
We were crowded in her little kitchen, listening, holding on to each line as if our lives depended on it.
Grandmother’s voice rose above the crackling sound of the fire to tell us how Mwiza the limbless sea goddess tricked foolish Mugabo into killing his whole family in order to marry her.
Mwiza we were told was the most beautiful woman Mugabo had ever seen.
Whenever she laughed the sun would shine brightly and whenever she was sad it rained cats and dogs. She was such a beautiful and powerful woman.
She lived on the waters of Akagera where she was always swimming and laughing, drawing admiration from far and near.
Mugabo, a married man with two children fell in love with this beauty and wanted to marry her, but Mwiza would not accept the position of second wife so she demanded that Mugabo chase away his wife and children before having her hand in marriage.
Mugabo went and did this. He was now ready to take home this lovely beauty as a wife but when he carried her out of the water he was met by the biggest shock of his life. Mwiza was limbless. She was a beautiful woman with no limbs.
The foolish Mugabo had reaped pain and not a wife. Grandmother told us how Mugabo went back to his village a broken and beaten man.
It was a really dark and scary night. He went shouting and crying for help.
His cries woke the whole village up but no one wanted to take pity on such a foolish man so all the people closed their homes and pretended not to hear the terrible cries of Mugabo the foolish man.