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Today on 24th January 2019, the entire ULK Kigali community was in high spirits when the delegation from CHENO (Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honour) visited the campus to brief them on heroism. The two-man delegation was made of NKUSI Déo, the Executive Secretary of CHENO and BYISHIMO Patrick, also a staff in CHENO.

At the very start of the function, the Vice Chancellor of ULK, Dr SEKIBIBI Ezechiel, made welcome remarks to and appealed to the audience to be all eyes and ears to better internalize the visitors’ message.

Speaking at the event, Nkusi Déo, put it clear that heroism involves a number of things; from being civically trained to the endowment of ethical values. He also noted that heroes are people whose deeds are exceptional and heroic as their names have it.
“You can’t be a hero without being civically educated because it is through civic education that one understands better what they should do for their country. You should therefore strive to excel in whatever you do by completing your assignment with distinction”, he told the gathering.
Some light was also thrown on who the national heroes are. As the speaker of the day vindicated, Rwandan heroes are categorized into three parts: Imanzi, Imena and Ingenzi. The first category comprises heroes such as the Unknown Soldier and late Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema. As he said, the Unknown Soldier represents all the soldiers who lost their lives during the liberation struggle or other fights to defend Rwanda be it in recent or ancient eras. The Unknown Soldier’s grave represents even those who would lose life in the future while defending country sovereignty. Besides, Maj. Gen. Fred Gisa Rwigema was the commander in chief of the liberation struggle. He initiated the struggle to liberate the nation and he was killed two days later.
The Imena Category encompasses heroes such as King III Rudahigwa, former Prime Minister Agathe Uwiringiyimana, Rwagasana Michel, Niyitegeka Félicité and Nyange School students. The king is renowned for a number of achievements including championing equality among Rwandans, initiating a Scholarship Fund for Rwandans to be able to study abroad, to mention but a few. Rwagasana Michel is known for his bravery to categorically refuse to abide by hate ideology which was ravaging the nation by then. He was killed due to his oneness spirit. The Former Prime Minister Agathe Uwiringiyimana is well known for her determination to defend the truth and fight injustice. Niyitegeka Félicité is said to have refused to abandon Tutsi who were being hunted down; instead she resolved to stay by their side and find for them a living and pray for them. She was killed because of her spirit of treating Rwandans alike. Nyange School students refused to heed the orders of the interahamwe militias who had invaded their school and six of them were killed on that fateful night.
The function ended in a question and answer session. All question met the satisfaction of the audience who could be seen nodding their heads.
It should be noted that the National heroes Day is celebrated annually on 1st February to remember men and women, alive or dead but who were/are characterized by pursuing their objectives to obtain a special achievement for the public interest and with high proven integrity, sacrifice and noble courage in very trying situations.

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