Pause and Remember Where You Were on the 30th, September 1990

October 1st  1990 was just like any day of the year. That is, of course, if you weren’t living in exile simply because you or your parents fled the pogroms in 1950’s onward.

Rwanda was like “a glass filled to the brim with water”, said President Juvenal Habyarimana, ignoring pleas to let the refugees back. I personally was living in plush exile in Canada, with barely an understanding of what I was or where I was from.

Honestly, I thought I was Ugandan after all, I was born there. But after October 1st 1990, things changed. All of a sudden, I was thrust into the Rwandan community living in Toronto, learnt to dance like Intore, all the while being forced by my father to cram ONE Rwanda Patriotic Army song. This despite the fact I could barely speak Kinyarwanda. But with the threat of a god almighty spanking ringing in ears, I sat down with my cassette player and learnt these words “Kagitumba yinjiwe, Umutara yafashwe, Ruhengeri twayituye…Oyee Inkotanyi”. Those were the best of times.

It’s been 22 years since those innocent times. I’m now a bona fide Rwandan and I have a place I call home. I take for granted all the sacrifices that people have made to allow me to grow up, study and work here in Kigali. But on October 1st I remember. To the young men and women who lost their lives to allow me to write this blog here in Rwanda, I salute you. You did not die in vain. To the leadership of the ‘Umuryango’ I salute you. A luta Continua .


4 thoughts on “Pause and Remember Where You Were on the 30th, September 1990

  1. Enock says:

    I just can not believe it is 22 years since that when i was a serious primary school candidate preparing for my national examinations and looking forward to passing the exams and being rewarded by my late uncle and all of asudden iam told he has gone with his friends to Rwanda and never saw him again……, I’m always proud of him.

  2. Diane says:

    I remember the raw fear I felt as a child hearing the fighting going on from Kigali on October 1, 1990, I remember one army official searching our house, I remember my father telling my mother to quickly dispose of our family pictures of late King Mutara Rudahigwa…It was indeed not in vain however we have to make those martyrs proud and build our country.

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