On Thursday 25th January 2018, a three man delegation visited Kigali Independent University ULK, Kigali Campus to give a talk on what heroism is all about. Major. Jean de Dieu NKEZABERA and Mr. Johnson MUGAGA delivered the delegation’s message.
At the very start, Mr. Jean Baptiste MANIRAKIZA, who was the moderator of the event, led participants in a word of prayer after which he invited the Vice Chancellor of Kigali Independent University ULK, Dr. Ezechiel SEKIBIBI, to give his welcome remarks and introduce everyone in the hall.
Having been welcomed, the delegation started delivering their message, and the first to break the ice was Mr. Johnson MUGAGA.
While delivering his message, MUGAGA said that heroism in Rwanda is not something in its embryonic stage. It is something that goes back to monarchs whereby kings had to fight enemies and conquer lands to expand the country.
As he expounded, those who could kill 7 enemies would get a medal known as UMUDENDE, those with 14 enemies killed would get a decoration known as IMPOTORE while those with 21 enemies would be recognized in a ceremony known as GUCANA URUTI.
MUGAGA also talked about the heroes currently remembered in Rwanda. As he said, these heroes are categorized into three categories: IMANZI, IMENA and INGENZI. The first category stands for heroes such as the Unknown Soldier and Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa RWIGEMA who passed on shortly after the liberation struggle sparked off. The second category includes heroes such as King Mutara III RUDAHIGWA Charles Léon Pierre, RWAGASANA Michel, Agathe UWIRINGIYIMANA and Félicité NIYITEGEKA. And the third category is for Nyange High School children who rejected the order by Interahamwe militias to separate themselves according to their ethnic backgrounds and their rejection triggered the assailants to pitilessly open gunfire among the students leaving some of them killed.
Maj. NKEZABERA corroborated MUGAGA and said that the struggle to liberate the country was not easy. It required the rescuers to have some values to abide by. As he said, these values include resilience, patriotism, sacrifice, vigilance, example-making, honesty, integrity, to mention but a few.
Both speakers urged the participants to strive for living those values and follow in the footsteps of heroes so as to shape their better tomorrow and that of the nation, region and the world at large.
“You should own those values for you to be able to achieve everything you aspire to embrace be it in your studies or ordinary life needs”, Maj. Nkezabera urged the participants.
The end of the function was marked by questions which were answered to everyone’s satisfaction.