I’m the lone bee in the colony;
Calling out queen bees bad B’s;
Busy getting my own royal jelly;
Jealous friends calling me crazy;
Crazed by the selfishness in this world;
Wordsmith, I forge universes with words;
Worker on strike when I’m not the boss;
Boast too much confidence, it looks like I floss;
Ef losses, I always gain experience;
Experiment on repeat, life’s science;
Signs indicate I’m making the right moves;
Moods may change depending on the moon;
Good thing my boots on the road;
“Rogue” I’ve been called out of control;
“Controversial” coz I always speak my truth;
Troubadour of modern age, the phone’s my booth;
Booksy, witty, artsy, I’m comfy in my skin;
Skip winter games, my brain’s always on, come ski in;
Coms skill better than a PR team;
Priority’s sharing wisdom not getting RT’s;
Artistry’s only way to your heart;
Hard to believe I made this far;
Farther I’ll go to better my soul;
So I that I may bring you more.
Nyamiyaga i Nyanza, Amajyepfo
Mu buhanga bwe Mushabizi Mariya Yohana Viyane twaganiriye akirigita inanga nako ayiguyaguya dore ko itamuvuye ku bibero. Nuko atera yivuga ati…
– Ndi Mushabizi wa Sembeba ya Sagatwa ka …
– Wavutse ryari?
– Mu 1941.
– Numva bavuga ko inanga ari cyo gicurangisho gakondo cy’imirya ariko nzi ko iri no mu bindi bihugu. Wambwira ku mvo n’imvano yayo?
– Mu byukuri nabyirutse numva abakuru bavuga ko inanga yavuye i Burundi. Wenda nuko bari abaturanyi nabo batarama ibwami… sinzi neza uko yaje ariko yaje ituruka i Burundi. Nuko abanyarwanda barayiga byinjira mu muco w’abanyarwanda.
– Niyo mpamvu abarundi ari abahanga mu gucuranga inanga se?
– Cyane. Abarundi barakaze. Nabo bacurangisha imirya umunani.
– Nsobanurira ku miterere y’inanga. Igiti muhitamo, ubwoko bwacyo, imirya, mbese nk’umujene w’i Kigali utazi ibyo ari byo.
– Inanga ibaje mu giti cyitwa Umwungo. Ni igiti kiba mu mashyamba nka za Nyungwe.
– Kuki ari cyo giti bahisemo?
– Nuko ari cyo gisohora ijwi cyane.
– Eh eh ukuntu ibaje se! Ni ubuhanga buhanitse. Babarisha iki kugira ngo binjire muri izi nguni?
– Imbazo za kera.
– Uzi kuyibaza se?
– Oya ariko nzi umugabo uzibaza i Butare.
– Iyi mirya se yo?
– Iyi mirya ubona ni iyo twagiye twihimbira mu ndondo z’umweru zikoreshwa ku nkweto.
– Ukoresha nka metero zingahe?
– Sinzi ariko hari igihe nkoresha ibidongi bibiri. Kera rero bakoreshaga ibyo bitaga ibyaziha. Ibyaziha byavaga ku nka ishaje. Bakabaga noneho za nyama zisa nk’iziri mu mugongo akaba ari zo bafatamo ibipande bibiri bagakata uduce duto hanyuma bakagenda bashyira hamwe bakaragira kw’ivi.
– Bigafatana bikavamo umurya muremure?
– Yee. Ubwo nyuma bakumisha ku muriro.
– Mu rwego rw’amajwi se ni uwuhe murya uvuga neza se hagati yayo moko abiri?
– Uwo wa kera ni wo unihira neza. Uravuga cyane!
– None kuki mutakiwukoresha?
– Ni he wabona inka ishaje? Ubu abantu ko babaga inyana! Kera ko abantu batungaga inka ikarinda isazira mu rugo bakabona kubaga. Uretse ko hari n’indi mpamvu. Reka nyikubwire. Impamvu ni uko iyo inanga yanyagirwaga, uwo murya waratumbaga ugaturika. Ukanika ukongera ugateranya ariko buriya umurya urimo ipfundo uba wataye ijwi. Na none watereka inanga ahantu imbeba zikaza zishaka ka kanyama zikarya wa murya.
– Mbwira ku bijyanye n’amanota y’iyi mirya.
– Iyi mirya, irimo ibyiciro bitatu. Hari imiyuki ibiri, hakaza igituza kigizwe n’imirya ibiri yo hagati, hagakurikiraho inyikirizo n’ibihumurizo. Inanga itanga amajwi umunani.
– Iyo mirya ibiri yindi se mbona?
– Uyu uhera ni uwo gukwega ushyira kw’inota ryaba iryo hejuru cyangwa iryo hasi. Uyu wundi wo ni ukwanga ko inanga yambara ubusa.
– Inanga ucuranga ni izo wihimbira ubwawe?
– Ku buryo umuntu atumvamo inanga z’abandi zacuranzwe mbere?
– Reka reka! Mpimba izanjye.
– Iyo uheruka guhimba ni iyihe?
– Hari Zaninka, hari Mukase w’abana, hari… ese ko ari nyinshi?
– Mbese nk’ubu ushobora gucuranga amasaha angahe? Tuvuge nk’ubu utangiye saa moya z’ijoro wageza ryari?
– Nageza mu gitongo ncuranga kandi ntasubiramo inanga nacuranze mbere.
– Ubwo ni nk’indirimbo zingahe?
– Mirongo itandatu cyangwa mirongo inani.
– Mu rwego rwo kurushanwa abaguteraga ubwoba harimo ba nde?
– Jyewe bantera ubwoba? Ahubwo ni bo bantinyaga.
– Abo ni nka bande?
– Mbere hari ba Sebatunzi, ba Sentore… Sentore twarushanyijwe mu rukari ndamurusha. Hari ba Rwishyura, ba Kirusu Thomas… abo bose narabarushaga. Erega abenshi ntibacuranga inanga zirenze eshanu. Barazikwedura.
– None se ko utamamaye nkabo?
– Uretse ko ntagiye hanze y’igihugu ariko mu Rwanda baranzi.
– Izina ryawe narimenye ari uko mpuye na Munyakazi Deo.
– Nyamara ndazwi.
– Wasanga nzi ibihangano umuhanzi ntamuzi.
– Byashoboka. Radiyo Rwanda ko ibifite se ku bwinshi.
– Inanga itajya imva mu mutwe ni ya yindi itangira ikinamico igenda itya tara-taratata-tarata-taratata!
– Ni jye wayicuranze! Mu kinamico harimo inanga eshatu. Ebyiri ni izanjye.
– Curanga numve…
– Iyooooooooo!!! Ni iyooooo!!! Muzehe ufite ibifaranga rero uragura!
– Ayahe se?
– None se imyaka yose bacuranze indirimbo zawe ntibakwishyuye?
– Shaa uretse uwampaye uduhumbi cumi na dutanu mu 1972, hari ikindi?
– Nta masezerano mwasinyanye?
– Ntayo. Leta y’icyo gihe yari yaradusezeranyije ko azaduhemba. Yari na menshi. Igenda itayaduhaye.
– Iy’ubu se?
– Iy’ubu itwumvisha ko kudushyira kuri radiyo ari ukutwamamaza. Baratubeshya-beshya. Rimwe narahagurutse ndababaza nti kuva muri mirongo irindwi na kabiri mwaba munyamamaza? Koko? Yewe hari n’igihe bampamagara ngo nze ntange indirimbo, nkazibaha ntibampe n’itike.
– Ese ubundi ni iki cyemeza ko ari izawe uretse kumenya kuzicuranga?
– Nazandikishije muri RDB.
– Eh! Ndakwemeye. Ryari?
– Hashize nk’imyaka itatu.
– Ujya mu bitaramo se nibura gucuranga?
– Aho wacuranze hakomeye ni he?
– Muri Selina…
– Selina ni ibiki?
– Hariya i Kigali…
– Muri Serena?
– Wavuga ko uyu mwuga wagutunze?
– Ni gake. Ntunzwe no guhinga. Ndahinga.
– Jya numva ngo wigisha gucuranga. Abo wigisha bo ntibakwishyura?
– Keretse nkiri i Kigali nibwo nishyuzaga ariko unsanze aha iwanjye ndamwigisha rwose nta kibazo. Hari ugira atya akampfumbatisha nk’uduhumbi cumi cyangwa makumyabiri gutyo.
– Umuntu yamenya inanga nko mu gihe kingana iki?
– Biterwa n’uko umuntu afata.
– Uwaguha ishuri se akaguha amasaha mu cyumweru yo kwigisha wabishobora?
– Yee. Maze kwigisha benshi erega.
– Nka ba nde?
– Hari Ayirwanda Godofiridi, uwo ni umusaza nigishije nkiri umwana. Hari Uzayisenga Sophia, Ngarukiye Danieyri, Munyakazi Deo, hari abasore babiri i Nyanza, abandi i Kigali… ni benshi bagera nko kuri makumyabiri.
– Iyo ubumvise bacuranga wumva umeze ute?
– Ndanezerwa cyane. Jya mbumva kuri radiyo mu biganiro bavuga bati “Twigishijwe na Mushabizi…” ni ishema.
– Muzehe reka nkubwire rero. Buriya kuva ndi umwana, ndi mu mahanga rwose, iyo numvaga inanga yawe, nahitaga nicara hafi ya radiyo nzi ko hagiyemo ikinamico. N’ubu iyo ngiye gukora indirimbo irimo inanga ingero ntanga ni izawe. Warakoze rwose. Ndaza kukubariza muri RDB aho bigeze byo guhemba abahanzi ku bihangano bahaye amaradiyo. Mperuka bavuga ko guhera iya 1 Nyakanga 2017 bizashyirwa mu bikorwa.
– Uzaba ukoze.
– Hakoze wowe.
– Hari ibyo twita Freestyle. Muri make ni nk’ukuntu umuhanzi yumva yizihiwe agakora mu nganzo. Tugerageze?
– Nta kibazo rwose
Because we’re our own elder sisters and brothers
Watched over by ghost fathers and mothers
We walk in slow mo’ heavy loads on our shoulders
Hunchback, young blood but old souls holders
Head down we follow the footsteps of our models, I mean shadows
Mirrors scare us unless they reflect characters in our favorite shows
We cram the script as we go
We play by the game as we grow
“Fake it till you make it” is relationship goals
If you’ve never faked, cast me thirty six stones
We force ourselves to smile in public for all the tears that overflow on their own
Our bellies don’t stomach any more of our groans when we’re alone
Our cheeks take on the role of shock absorbers for our sobs and moans once in our comfort zones
So vulnerable, so lonely, so desperate we bury our heads in our phones
Searching for what we believe we deserve till what we deserve becomes whatever is available
Who would have imagined that we’d fall for messengers with no messages
Who would have thought we’d look for our reflections in strangers’ selfie images?
That we’d fall for the fake hair, fake nails, fake hips, fake eyebrows, fake boobs, forced cleavages
For the leased cars, loaned houses, flashy cards, exaggerated accents in unmastered languages
…and so we get married
We try so hard to make impressions that we become real-life impressionists
Victims of imitations, we even strive to up our favorite protagonists
From Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, Hillywood to Whateverwood
We truly become what we consume
Consumed in our costumes, our customs lose meanings
And so does everything, even dates are reduced to mere castings
And the best at acting gets the trophy: the bling bling
Calling it an engagement ring would be an understatement
Believe me it’s an achievement
In fact, the next big thing after a degree
Or earning enough to lie to ourselves we’re making a living
The ring is also a relieving answer to the perpetual question of when are we marrying?
Since nobody cares about who, we propose to whoever is already in need of agreeing
It makes us look more advanced than our peers partying in their early twenties like there is no future
It is also a seat at the table with insecure couples in their late thirties catching up with mother nature
Because soon is gonna be too late to have kids having their features
…and so we get married
For one day…
A day we’ve been led to believe is the most important day
Yet in reality it’s the day we spend our savings, and those of our friends’
For the expensive clothes that we’ll never put on again
To impress uninvited guests who stumbled upon our invite
On a family dusty shelter, on a colleague’s dashboard or on our timeline
On that day we show off a bright smile on the outside while we cringe inside
Especially when we realize the hired old folks are taking the roles of our parents too far
Then our partner’s fingers slide between ours suggesting a “relax sweetheart”
Or rather “Relax sweetheart, go with the flow, play your part
Enjoy the show, you already showed your cards”
You dressed to impress, your tie matching her dress
Is no coincidence, so walk with finesse, smile, don’t stress
Nobody should guess the mess you bought to yourself
All must look perfect, there will be a time for retrospect
But for the moment
Enjoy the handshakes from random old men
Telling you “Now you’re a man!” because it seems you were a cucumber before the wedding
On the other hand the bride’s being squeezed between the arms of a spinster auntie
Giving her tips about how to keep you on a leash while she keeps winking at you
So you raise your drink, confused, then it hits you
It’s just a show and in a few hours, everyone will be home
…and so we get married
For a visa, for money, for security, for families
For a place to call home, for shared responsibilities
For the orgasms we hope will be regular
For so many reasons and none in particular
But also for beauty, for love or the idea of it
For the fact that we can finally feel
Good, bad, right, wrong, big, small
Happy, sad, high, low, amazing, miserable
Because it takes special people to break our walls
To whom we can open up and allow to touch our soul
To revive the idle child in us long ago put to sleep
To make us believe again in magic, in music, in poetry
To understand the language of the heart
To the possibilities of wandering between the stars
And planets then take a break on the moon
Before we return to this ground that awaits to be our tomb
I bet your logic is in stitches, “What a Fool!” but emotions are too
Falling in love is trusting the unknown like a butterfly straight from its cocoon
Getting married is skydiving wearing faith as a jumpsuit with no parachute
After witnessing many crash and still hope the landing will be smooth
…and so we get married
About a year ago, a young Rwandan with an unusual English accent walked to me and told me, “I really like what you do and I would like to document your journey through film.” I looked at him and without the shadow of a doubt I said, “Sure!” From that day, Isumbabyose has been part of my life in a creepy kind of way filming me in awkward situations and sometimes positions. Every time he used my phone, he would remind me “Don’t delete that!” I don’t know if it’s written on my face that I do delete stuff a lot because he was right. I do.
When the time came to start the #Expericment series, we sat and discussed what he needed in terms of equipment and logistics. I watched this young man spend his last coins and many hours of his youth shooting, directing and editing my life. I am going to miss our 4am arguments over the tone of color, the sound level, the right transition and passing out on those comfy couches at Another Cat studios. Isumbabyose’s work ethic and discipline throughout the entire documentation made me question my rants about why music is not valued in Rwanda? Because I haven’t invested 10% of what he has. Yet he is the most composed friend I have.
Before the premiere on the 3rd of February (venue to be disclosed), I would like to invite film critics for a screening this Friday and hear from them. So if you are one living in Rwanda, please email your best review at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you with details related to the screening before the official premiere. Speaking of which, the entrance fee will be whatever amount you decide to pay via my Mobile Money (0788353630 Ngangare Eric), cash at the door, bank transfers if you insist, any way you wish to support with your money is welcome. Here’s a snippet of the film. It’s not enough to give you an idea about what to expect, I will upload a couple more as we wait for the premiere. Enjoy!
Published on December 04, 2016 by Moses Opobo for the New Times
I was already familiar with Opobo’s work, which he shared on his Facebook page and we even got deeper after a few arguments related to how I view the work of entertainment journalists in Rwanda. He is absolutely right when he says;
The slam poet, rapper and blogger has cultivated another parallel reputation over the years – ranting. So much so that, day in, day out, he has to contend with the frequent question: “Eric, why do you like to criticize?”
When he asked me to meet him so we could discuss about my work, I said to myself, “I hope he did his research.” Indeed he did and we had a good couple of hours delving into the #Expericment series.
Basically it was testing the waters to see what business model could work out, and 1Key stretched his imagination and creativity to the limit. In all, he did four Expericment shows staged at different venues in Kigali, each with a different theme and concept; from politics to sex to identity.
Thank you, Mr. Opobo for your interest in my work, and rants 🙂
All the best!
Published on 23rd Sept 2016 by CNN
When Amir Daqtar flew in Kigali for an interview, he asked me if I could give him and his crew a 360 tour of my life in on day taking them through what I do, how, why and where I do it. It all couldn’t fit in 12 minutes but at least it gives you an idea. Be inspired.
“This fearless poet is inspiring others to embrace their creativity and command their own destiny” CNN