During the ancient days people completely believed in proverbs. They respected these sayings because they believed that blessings and curses from elders depended on them.
There are several proverbs that Rwandans still believe in however; there are youths who think proverbs are just myths—that proverbs are no longer applicable to this generation.
Among them is, ‘Urukwavu rukuze rwonka abana’ meaning, “It’s the right time for children to payback parents for what they have done for them since birth.”
“During our time, we lived with our daughters-in-law but these days it is a big problem when you visit your children and want to stay for a few days,” says Margret Mukasoro.
Mukasoro is a grandmother in her late 50s and asserts that many children of this generation no longer value their parents.
“I sometimes see some of the sick old people at my village ignored and left without care yet again, we hear people talking that, they have children who are rich. Indeed things have changed,” Mukasoro says.
The above proverb has changed today. From ‘Urukwavu rukuze rwonka abana’ to ‘Urukwavu rukuze bararurya’ which means “Instead of the children caring for their old parents they neglect them.”
Beatrice Uwamahoro in her 40s is a mother of two who claims that many children today do not care about their parents because they have a lot of things they are chasing after to survive.
“The development of technology mostly facilitates children, they call and say; ‘Muzee I have sent you some money through this agency, so go and pick it.’ I think this is not enough for a parent because they need to talk to their children face to face,” Uwamahoro says.
She adds that, “Children forget that there are some issues that cannot be addressed on phone.”
Angella Mutesi, a 26-year-old woman in Remera said children do not necessarily have to visit their parents all the time once they leave home.
“When you have played your part and given your parents money, I think even if you don’t visit them often it’s enough,” Mutesi says.
“Parents should at least understand what we are going through in town to get money. Staying with them all the time could waste a lot of time especially when you don’t have money,” she explains adding that, “we do remember that we are what we are, because of their role in shaping us.”