The little things of my country

Rwanda Nziza

Gihugu cyacu,

Rwanda my country.

There are those little things that make me feel nice inside about being Rwandan or living in Rwanda, the little time I spend there.

1. Banana juice. ( umutobe) All the benefits of a banana in juice.

2. Fanta Citron. ( need I say more)

3. Agatogo….

And let me stop there as I might not want you to think of me as a foodie, even though I might me…. Or not..

Then there is the people. My very hospitable people.

One thing that I know about Rwandans is that family is very important. Family and neighbors..

The best is seen during weddings. Weddings are a family affair.

Whether the people have money or not, they will come ” gutwerera” this is to give a gift.

This can be in form of monetary but the best are the ones that just come and help you out in the house, help you make tea/porridge , rent you their bassin…just simply anything and everything to make things go smoothly.

This is also seen in times of mourning.

( I recently lost my grandma, on 8th of March, may her soul rest in peace. She was 96 years old and had great great grandchildren. She lived well….. She died peacefully. Rest in peace grandma)

Anyway, so there past few weeks I have been seeing how the community comes together to comfort you in your lowest time.

I thank God who chose me to be Rwandan.

And the greetings on the streets. They take you out of your thoughts.

How precious is life.

What I am currently reading :

What we are loving from the garden

Have a great week ahead.


Modern day Ndabaga

There is this story in my culture that is close to my heart.

Once upon a time, there was a couple that had a daughter named Ndabaga. Men in that time were required to work in the service of the king, and were to be replaced by their sons. Growing up,Ndabaga learned of her father’s situation of perpetual service to the King and became determined to be as strong and adept at male skills as any of the young men in the Kingdom. She succeeds not only in her abilities but also in her disguise, which included the pressing down of her breasts. Ndabaga then goes to the king’s residence, finds her father on her own, and offers herself as her father’s replacement. The father, though very against her ruse, decides to take Ndabaga to the king.

Now serving as her father’s replacement, Ndabaga, having achieved boys’ skills to such high degrees, impresses the king to the extent that he asks her to be a leader in his camp. Some of the men become jealous and suspect that Ndabaga is actually not a man and ultimately report to the King their suspicion. The King decides to see if Ndabaga is indeed a man or not. He challenges challenges Ndabaga but can no one is able throw her down. Finally, he asks her straight out whether she his a man or not. Ndabaga confesses that she is actually a girl but that she did all this to replace her father and to release her mother of her shame. The King is impressed, marries Ndabaga, and releases all men from his camp who are in his perpetual service.

Reasons, why I love this story ,are :

One, it’s about a girl. There are not many good stories out there.

Two, it’s about the history of my land
Three, it’s a love story.

Four: kingdoms and family responsibility

Anyway, my point in telling the story was to point out a few things. One about our work here on this earth.

Wes Moore, explained it better in his speech “your job and your work” at UCLA Super Soul Sessions. ( Iconic TV personality Oprah Winfrey hosts this series that has spiritual leaders and luminaries sharing their thoughts to help raise the collective consciousness)

Wes Moore is the CEO of Robin Hood, the largest anti-poverty nonprofit in New York City.
He mentiones three things : identifying, calcifying and unifying.
1. Identify
Identify that one thing that makes your heart beat faster.

Someone could give you the most heart warming speech about something that is important to them, if it does not make your heart beat faster. It’s not your work.

If they say let visit a children’s home, if it doesn’t make your heart beat faster, it does not mean you are a monster. It just means it’s not your work. Your work is very personal. It’s not about the issue of the day, it’s the issue of your life.

2. Calcify

The goal is not to start something, the goal is to end something. This does not mean founding something.

We don’t need 100,000 organisations for domestic violence. We need the work done. People passionate, working on it.

I mean we need actually work, my dear millenials. Not out bios and hashtags. Real work on the ground.


Make sure the people you are trying to help are part of the conversation. Or as Wes Moore said ” your altruism will be seen as paternalism”

The story of Ndabaga clearly shows these three things. Get involved in things that you make your heart move faster. Calcify it!! Calcify it , my people! And make sure to unify it. It’s not about you. It’s about the people. Involve the people.

Thanksgiving, Umuganura

I called my sister from work to tell her  happy thanksgiving and she told me she was asleep and was dreaming eating maize, you know the multicolored maize? This one: photo-1471199855351-450fa931304c

Umuganura is a public holiday in Rwanda, observed on the first Friday in August.

Also known also as Thanksgiving Day or National harvest day, it is a celebration of the beginning of the harvest.

Let me share a bit of history

Umuganura means ‘first-fruits festival’ and can be dated back over a thousand years. It is one of the most important festivals and holidays in Rwanda.

Despite its long history, Umuganura has only been a public holiday since 2011. Its celebration was suppressed during Rwanda’s colonial period.

The focus of the traditional Umuganura was to give the harvest the blessing of the ancestors. This would happen first at a family level focused on that family’s ancestors, then the community would come together to have a wider celebration.

Nowadays, while the festival is still seen as having a focus on the harvest – giving thanks for the current year and a time to think about how to improve future harvests, it is also an opportunity for a yearly celebration of achievements from all sectors that contribute to the development of the country.

So this also marks my New year, I am three days into this new year and waah, so much can happen in a year.

My last year, 2017/2018 was a learning curve. I left my post as a student leader, I gave my self to love and laugh and I tried out new things, very many new things.

What I am thankful is cooked food. My roommates, I would come home to cooked food since January this year. The love in our house was and is amazing.

Now One of my girl’s is married. Urugo Ruhire, Mamy!

One of us lost her dad, RIP papa Vava.

But we thank God almighty.

So plans for this year.


Travel. Travel and eat and travel once more. TRAVEL. So help me God.

What are you thankful for this month?

Weights and Staying Positive

I (being humanly Josepha ) forget to stay positive. But my story and my best friends pull me out the rut. It isn’t how left behind I am. it is how far I have come. So this heavy becomes less when I give it less importance, when I fight to view my failures as a source of inspiration. Every time that I let go of what was never in my grasp, the heavy weighs less. In moments where I see situations adding to the heavy, I am strong enough to walk away swiftly. So, stay positive and manage your life circumstances while still living – the heavy won’t be so heavy. Or just cry on to Jesus and he will come through.



I heard you speaking,

Simply, less ambiguous words

And with an African old man wisdom

Twist of shellfire, sniper’s sight

And I feared, and wanted more

Then I wept

I’d wept before you spoke,

Didn’t hear a word you said

Tears of myself and life’s unforthcoming

But now dear friend of sinners!

How can this happen to a girl?

It happens yes through the choices we make

The gentlest of souls, it seems

Can be brutal to what is otherwise young, innocent and free.

And finer, purer things of flesh and blood succumb to powder blast and fractured steel

I ask myself now, how can it be

You slow, after rains, clear voice

My tearful pettiness

Blended  in some grand celestial economy

Where soggy and rust aggravate the killer’s knack

Where triumph becomes, not steel, but a soft heart?


Art by Anna Parini