Vis Large

When I tell people that I spent about five months in a village called Buhanda in the Southern Province of Rwanda, their first reaction is “No freakin way!! You? What were you doing there?” Usually I would say research but that happened organically as I started my quest to find my roots by interviewing old people about their lives before 1959 in Rwanda. The quest led me to paths across the country. I’m currently writing a book in French about that experience but in the meantime you can read summaries some of the interviews here transcribed in their original language (Kinyarwanda.)  Continue reading “Vis Large”

Haji Rugwabiza

Rwamagana, iburasirazuba

Hadji.jpg– Hajji Rugwabiza bandangiye ko muzi amateka ya Rwamagana, nifuza ko mwanganiriza.
– Urifuza kumenya mateka ki?
– Uko Rwamagana yabaye umujyi n’uburyo imishanana yahageze igahinduka imyambarire y’abanyarwanda. Ndibwira ko mbere y’uko haza imyenda abanyarwanda bambaraga impu, impuzu… Ahubwo se wavutse ryari?
– 1924. Navukiye hano i Rwamagana.
– Hitwaga hate icyo gihe?
– Nasanze hitwa i Rwamagana. Mu mateka bavuga ko hiswe na Rwabugiri avuye kurwana muri Ankore i Bugande. Nuko atabarutse bamaze gutsinda umwami waho Mutesa I ageze ku mulinzi ni ukuvuga ku muko ho babandirwaga, nuko aritegereza areba inaha asanga ai umukenke urimo inka gusa. Ayo ni amateka nabashije gusogongeraho…
– Ayo mateka wayabwiwe na nde?
– Nayabwiwe na Sogokuru ubyara mama. Yapfuye n’ejo bundi nyuma y’intambara ya PARMEHUTU.
– Yari umukungu? Yari umutware…?
– Oya. Yatabaranye na Rwabugiri.
– Yari mu Ngangurarugo se?
– Yeee yitwaga Sekidende Cya Senkoko. Yari umugaragu wa Gashamura Ka Nyirashyamba. Niwe wantekererezaga uko bateye mu Bunyoro naho mu Bugande hose. Yapfuye afite imyaka 135 ku bwa Kayibanda. Nuko ngo bageze i Mukarange babona amashyo menshi, Rwabugiri ahagarara kuri icyo gito cy’umurinzi yifata ku gahanga ati “Hariya ni hehe?” Bati “Ni i Buganza.” Ati “hariya hererana se?” Yigiza nkana. Bati “Hariya ni i Buganza kwa Sharangabo”
– Umuhungu wa Rwabugiri…
– Yeee. Ati “Hariya iho Sharangabo atuye? Mpise i Rwamagana!”
– Hahaha amagana kubera inka nyinshi!
– Yeee nuko hitwa i Rwamagana. Naho iby’abarabu rero. Nakubwira ibyo nabonye. Bageze ino muri 1933 ariko bageze mu Rwanda mu 1921. Babanje i Kibungo banyuze muri Tanzaniya ariko ubundi ibihugu byabo byari ibyo muri Aziya. Banga gutura i Kibungo kuko hari ku mupaka. Nuko biyizira i Rwamagana baza bafite abakozi b’abanyarwanda bikoreraga imizigo irimo imyenda. Bagitangira gutura amazu yabo yari ameze nkay’impunzi.
– Nibo bambitse umwami Musinga imyenda kandi yarambaraga impuzu. Impuzu yavaga mu muvumu.
– Arabafata abashyira mu gituza barubaka baratura. Bubakishaga amatafari bagatumiza amabati muri Tanzaniya. Baracuruza batangira gukorana na banki. Baracuruza na njye ni bwo natangiye kudoda nkorera amafaranga muri 1941.
– Mbese ni nkaho ari bo bazanye amafaranga mu gihugu…
– Urebye, ariko abazungu bari bafite ayabo nubwo yabaga i Burundi. Icyo gihe cyari cya Rwanda Urundi. Nuko Rudahigwa abonye uko bakora asaba ko u Rwanda rugira banki yarwo idasaba ko amafaranga ava i Burundi nuko bashyiraho Fond Mutara. Iyo banki ya mbere yabayeho y’abanyarwanda itari Banki nasiyonari, iyi yo nayiboneye bwa mbere muri 1936. Abarabu bakoze ibikomeye. Abarabu bubaka Rwamagana harakomera. Bubaka Kiramuruzi, Kirehe, Nyagatare, Gatsibo, kuri Base… nabanaga nabo ndi umudozi.
– Ubwo wabyirutse wambara rero?
– Yego jye nta ruhu nambaye kuva navuka. Bakoze ibikomeye. Barubaka bazana amamodoka.
– Ateye ate?
– Ibikamyo.
– Bavugaga uruhe rurimi?
– Bavugaga icyarabu ariko bakagira abasemuzi bavanye muri Tanzaniya iyo bazi igiswayire.
– Mwe basanga muvuga ikinyarwanda.
– Yego. Ariko bakaba abahanga muri politike. Uretse ko intambara ya PARMEHUTU yabakozemo ikabica kuko bakundaga umwami. Uzi ko baje barashatse abagore b’abanyatanzaniya bityo bakabigisha igiswayire. Bageze no mu Rwanda bashaka abanyarwandakazi biga umuco n’ururimi babyara abana dore nubu urubyaro rwabo ruracyariho. Ahubwo mu bana murongora nubwo mutabizi harimo abarabu.

Mukaderevo

Gishari, Rwamagana

mukaderevo– Ese udutekeye iki mukecu?
– Ntetse udushyimbo. Abaturanyi bahoze banseka ngo sinteka. Uyu munsi natetse.
– Bisobanura ko udateka buri munsi se?
– Have! Maze iminsi igifu cyenda kunyica. Niyo nyweye utuzi ndaruka… ntako meze.
– Ese ubundi witwa nde wavutse ryari?
– Nitwa Mukaderevo Stephanie.
– Wavukiye ino aha?
– Yego. Ndi uw’i Nyarugari. Navutse muri 1930.
– Nifuzaga kumenya niba icyo gihe mwambaraga iki? Wambaye impuzu?
– Cyore! Sinambaye impuzu ariko nambaye umukane.
– Umuki?
– Ni uruhu rw’inka bakanaga ukitera. Twatangiye kwambara imyenda umuzungu Desa atuzaniye udukanzu tw’umweru. Twahishaga mu matako, amebere tugafungira inyuma y’ijosi. Umuntu yambaraga abaye inkumi atangiye kugira amasoni.
– Yatubaheraga ubuntu cyangwa mwaratuguraga?
– Twaguraga 20Frw. Icyo gihe tuza hari inzara ya Rwabuyenge.
– Hari ku ngoma ya Rudahigwa ?
– Yego. Yaje ino niga muwa gatatu. Nari ngeze mu kigero. Kera twaryaga umutsima tukanywa n’ikivuguto. Nari nzi ubwenge.
– Ubwo abarabu baduka muri aka gace warababonye…
– Nabamenye bamaze iminsi. Ntitwapfaga gusohoka. Twagumaga mu rugo dukora imirimo. Ababyeyi ntibadukundiraga gusohoka.
– Icyo gihe cyose wagumye mu Rwanda ntiwahunze?
– Hari utarahunze se? Wakwikanga ntuhunge niyo utajya kure?
– Washatse ryari?
– Mu 1961
– Wararambagijwe? Byari bimeze bite?
– Sinarambagijwe. Narasezeranye. Icyo gihe ntawivugiraga.
– Ubyara abana bangahe?
– Umunani. Nuko nabyariye urupfu. Uwanyuma yansigiye umwuzukuru urwaye mu mutwe. Niwe nahaga ayo leta yampaga yose akajya kwivuza i Ndera.
– Baguhaga angahe?
– 12000Frw ku kwezi mbere y’uko bamvana ku rutonde rw’abari mu budehe bwa mbere. Ubu banyimuriye mu cyiciro cya kabiri. Nasabye mitiweri ariko ngomba kwishyura amafaranga. Ubwo urabona uko meze uku n’uko ngana nzajya guhingira umuturanyi umubyizi ngo mbone 200Frw nkabishobora? Yewe… ni umubabaro ariko siko gupfa. Ubu ntunzwe n’Imana n’abagiraneza bamvomera, bakampa ijana cyangwa magana abiri bukira bugacya. Ariko rubanda babasha kujya muri ayo manama numva ngo bazadusubiza mu cyiciro cyo gufashwa uyu mwaka. Niko numva. Naho ubundi ibyanjye ni ubuzahare, ni ubutindi, ni uburwayi, ni agahinda.

Mizero Juvenal & Nyiraromba Agnes

Rwarutabura, Kigali

rwarutabura.jpg
[Nyiraromba Agnes (NA) wavutse mu 1934 & Mizero Juvenal (MJ) wavutse mu 1931]
Jye: Bambwiye ko muri ba kavukire bo muri Kigali, nimumbwire uko umujyi wasaga kera.
MJ: Njye sindi kavukire ariko namenyeye ubwenge inaha i Nyamirambo muri za 1940.
NA: Jye ndi uwino rwose hacyitwa i Bwanacyambwe, ahera byose.
Jye: Mwakoraga iyihe mirimo icyo gihe?
MJ: Nari umuhinzi.
NA: Nkora iki se? Nari umukobwa. Nakoraga imirimo yo mu rugo nko gusenya, kuvoma, gukora isuku…
Jye: Mumbwire uko abisiramu baje i Nyamirambo rero.
NA: Byatangiye babita abaswayire. Nuko Rudahigwa, umugabo udahiga ibinyoma, aravuga ati “Ntabwo ari abaswayire ntibabeshya. Ni intwari z’u Rwanda.”
MJ: Ni nabwo yashyizeho kiriya kigo cy’amashuli y’Intwari.
Jye: Ubundi abo bisiramu mwababwirwaga n’iki? Imyenda se?
NA: Yeee! Uretse ko batitandiraga nk’abubu. Bambaraga amakanga n’ibitenge bagatura mu biryogo (kera hari mu makawa) kugera za mirongo hepfo iyoo.
Jye: Mumbwire rero uko mwatangiye gukora kw’ifaranga.
NA: Twahingaga ikawa tukayicuruza kwa Rukeba. Yari umucuruzi ahahoze gare aho mwita kwa Rubangura ubu.
Jye: Noneho hariya hahoze ubuvuruzi kuva kera.
MJ: None se siho haje amaduka ya mbere mu gihugu!
NA: Hari abacuruzi nka ba Huseni, ba Susa, Ba Rajani…. bari abahinde batukura.
Jye: Mwabyirutse mubasanga cyangwa baje bahabasanga?
MJ: Twese twabyirutse tubasanga. Bari baraje mbere.
NA: Yego uretse ko twese twaguriraga imyenda kwa Huseni. Ukagura iyadi n’igice akaguha n’umunyu, isabune n’ikibiriti ngo ni ubwasisi.
Jye: Ba uretse uransize. Iyadi ni iki? Ubwasisi ni iki?
NA: Iyadi ni nka metero. Ubwasisi ni ibyo bihembo akongera kuko uba wamuguriye… ni inyongezo.
Jye: Ubwo amafaranga wayavanaga he?
NA: Nakoraga imihotora mu rufunzo nkayitunganya neza nkayijyana mu mujyi bakampa amafaranga nkashyira mama akabika mw’icupa. Nuko rimwe arambwira ati “Ese tuzakomeza tujya gusaba i nyama kwa musaza wawe uriya ubaga kandi twagura inka?” Turabara dusanga amafaranga twazigamye ageze muri 400Frw. Nuko afata urugendo na musaza wanjye rw’iminsi ine bajya i Kabare bagarukana ikimasa. Bakiguze 180Frw andi bayarya mu nzira. Turabaga, turagurisha, izindi turahunika kugera ku gisenge. Umufungo twawugurishaga 50Frw.
Jye: Ubwo Umufungo ni nk’ikiro?
MJ: He he he reka reka!! Ni nk’ibiro bine.
Jye: Ubwo uhita utangira gucuruza ?
NA: Oya. Nari maze kuba inkumi ihamye, isobanutse, itunganye, ndarambagizwa ndakobwa dore uwankoye ni uyu.
Jye: Wamukoye angahe se?
MJ: 6000Frw! Abandi bakwaga bibiri bitatu…
Jye: Wari wihagazeho!
MJ: Nari nagurishije akarima.
Jye: Ubwo hari ryari?
MJ: Mu 1957.
NA: Hari kuri 12.09.1957
Jye: Ubukwe bwari buteye bute?
NA: Bwo gukobwa se cyangwa ubwo gushyingirwa?
Jye: Hera aho usahaka.
NA: Nashyingiwe muri Ste Famille. Ibirori byamaze ibyumweru bibiri abantu banywa. Nogoshwe amasunzu nyuma y’amezi atatu! Data bukwe ampa umufuka w’ibishyimbo, hegitari y’imyumbati, hegitari y’ibijumba n’urutoki.
Jye: Nuko nyuma haza za repuburika, ibintu birahinduka, umujyi urubakwa byose mubireba.
MV & NA: Yeeee
Jye: Icyo gihe ndibwira ko abaturage bari bake.
MV & NA: Bari beeeeensssshiii benssshiiii benshi cyane.
Jye: Ubwo muba mu mujyi, mubyara abanyamujyi…
NA: Yewe nta n’umwe usigaye. Twabyaye 15 bose barapfa. Ni twe twasigaye…
Jye: Kigali y’ubu muyibona mute se?
MJ & NA: Yapapapaaaa….
NA: Kigali iragaragaraaaa!!
Jye: Muheruka mu mujyi nka ryari?
MJ: Yewe jye simbona. Ubu byose mbona ari ibihu. Ubwo mperuka ruguru aha hashize nk’imyaka itatu imodoka zari zingonze. Byari urujijo.

Mukakimenyi

Nyamata, iburasirazuba

[Ikiganiro na Mukakimenyi Odette. Ni nyogokuru ubyara mama. Mwita mémé.]

meme– Mémé wavutse ryari, hehe?
– Navutse mu 1942 i Shanga mu Busanza, Maraba.
– Ukunda kuvuga Samari cyane. Yari muntu ki?
– Samari wa Ruvurajabo rwa Munanira wa Migabo. Yari umutware (sous-chef) kugeza aho duhungiye i Bukavu mu1959.
– Warize?
– Nagarukiye muwa gatandatu i Save. Ntabwo nari mbuze uburyo bwo kwiga. Nari umwana w’umutware gusa kwiga kw’abakobwa kwari guke. None se ko utari kwiga ngo uzabe umutware cyangwa umukarani. Imirimo y’abakobwa ni nkaho itabagaho.
– Mu mateka ko numva ko ba Kanjogera Injonge bari bakomeye nta bandi bagore batwaraga?
– Bari bake. Babitaga ibishegabo.
– Ni nka ba nde?
– Nakubwira ba Kampororo, ba Nyirakigwene. Ubundi abakobwa bagumaga mu nzu bakora imirimo yo mu rugo.
– Ese inzu yasaga ite?
– Bubakishaga imbingo cyangwa imiseke bakaringaniza neza ku murongo, hasi bagasasa ibitaka byamara gukomera bakarenzaho icyondo bitaga kokobe cyabengeranaga nka sima. Ku rukuta bagasiga ingwa y’umweru hejuru, munsi bagakora umukandara mu gitaka gitukura. Hasi bagasasa ibirago. Hakaba ikibumbiro bagacaniramo inkwi nziza mu nzu hagashyuha ndetse hakanabona. Hari utundi tuntu twitwaga utujeni bashyiraga ku gati tukaka nka bougie.
– Ibyo ni abanyarwanda babyikoreraga?
– Yego. Kera hari abantu b’ababahanga cyane! Bakubaka ibitanda bikoranye n’inzu, bakaboha inzugi baterekaga mu bikingi ugasanga abagabo bicaye imbere y’umuryango abakobwa bari mu kirambi.
– Ubwo mwabaga mwambaye iki?
– Imikenyero.
– Wari ufite myinshi?
– Oya. Ni nk’ine nahinduranyaga.
– Abahungu se?
– Bambaraga udukabutura n’udusengeri bakarenzaho umwitero woroshye wera cyane.
– Ese uwo muco wabaga mu banyarwanda bose cyangwa ni mu bakungugusa?
– Wari uwa bose uretse ko abantu batanganya ubushobozi. Kera ibintu byari byiza. Abantu bakaririmba bikomeye.
– Abahanzi bakomeye wibuka muri icyo gihe ni nka bande?
– Hari uwitwaga Munzenze wabyaraga Sentore. Yari igitangaza. Yazaga kuririmba iwacu. Natwe bakatwicaza aho tugahanika.
– Usanga bitajyanye n’imibereho y’abantu?
– Kera hari amahoro. Byari umunezero hose. Uretse ko bari bazi kubaho no kubana.