It’s a bright afternoon, lots of people around the town, taxis branded with US styles and loud music, various boutiques with the latest western designer cloths and shoes, many mosques in the place, garages, and diverse small restaurants all over.
Talk of the hair styles…dreads in the place, hair tint, and rare dressing style, scores of street kids, shouts of names you even never heard of, it’s a whole different world out there in Nyamirambo, town.
Nyamirambo, one of Kigali’s suburbs, a town where people don’t and rarely go to sleep. A commercialized centre where business is on 24hours.
A lot is said about the place; however its history is rarely known.
Catching up with some of the people in Biryogo, a part of the Nyamirambo suburb, I chat with them about the thriving origins the city.
At about 12pm, Biryogo is glowing, passing through garages, every one draws near as they greet me, “bite grand frere” (hullo big brother), “bite boss” (hullo boss)… Should you have the money and a different look from them, you will be called all kinds of prestigious names.
“This place was named Nyamirambo because of the many dead bodies that littered all over this place,” José Mukarazi, a 25 year old mechanic says.
“Literary the word “Mirambo” means, dead bodies,” he adds. Jose says that name came up after the war between the Rwandese and the Burundians in the 19 century where lots of people lost there lives in Nyamirambo and the name grew up in memory of the lost ones.
Some areas in Nyamirambo also were named after that war. For instance ‘akumunigo’ meaning ‘where people are strangled. I hear it was so hard for a person to survive on arriving in Akumunigo; this is where the battle was tight.
As for some names like ‘mirongo ine’, meaning forty came as a result of the majority of people residing in Nyamirambo.
Many people have often asked them selves why the place is flocked with many Muslims Kirenga Musa a 30year old and a long time resident explained that the place has many Muslims because they were displaced from near town close to Nyamirambo and they shifted to Nyamirambo which is why it has the many big numbers.
Additionally the many mosques are also one of the many reasons for the many Muslims.