Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It is worth mentioning that ethnicity/tribalism is a continental problem and is evident at all levels of society.The piece below(Rwandan setting) elaborates:

"Athanase finished his speech persuasively. He was a short, plump and
brown young man. So far he was the preferred candidate for the post.On the other hand was Ms Bagorosa, the shortest in class who barely spoke except when
she answered the register was another candidate.Batwa's were known for their quiet nature. She spoke in a soft tone.

“Why are we polarized on our ethnic affiliations?” she asked

“Batutsis, Bahutu and us are all EQUAL. We all can make leaders” she
for the first time spoke strongly.

“We are one.” Miriam concluded.

Immediately desks shoved and a tall thin lad stood up. His uniform had
seen better days and his zipper was threatening to let go. The pair of
shorts was twice smaller. His shirt was creased and the green tie
loosely dangling on his neck.

“I-I Kambanda, cannot be led- by-by an INYEZI. Period.” Kambanda spoke
in his stammer. As he scanned around the class and moved in short

Infuriated ,“I wonder what-doctrine this Ma-dame (pointing at Miriam)
wants to
In calculate in us. These Tutsi -are -lazy –pe-ople, idle and you want
to have one as a prefect? (looks at Athanase, chuckles and laughs
sarcastically) guys when I become the prefect-I promise-to…”

The time keeper interrupted “your 2 minutes are over…” Each speech was exactly
2 minutes. Mr. Seromba looked rather perturbed by the interjection
“Young man, Kambanda is very intelligent and he knows what he is
doing...On the time issue.Don’t you know his people??Kambanda my boy,

There was clapping and praise on one side and the other murmured,
banged desks and others shot up in disagreement. The tumult picked up
momentum; INYEZI! INYEZI!This provocation led to flying
books,bags,papers,pens ,poke, shove and the bin went straight to the
teachers HEAD!!
Fear lingered.


Disgusted “I know its one of those stinking cockroaches…”Kambanda’s
cousin, Mwanamba cajoled.
The teacher was fuming. He walked towards the class pulling out all
the non Hutu students. They were conspicuously brown.Mr Seromba,a black
coal shiny giant man looked like the ying yang symbol when standing
next to them. He hated them even more because the deputy, his greatest
fiend was a Tutsi. Athanase and Ms Bagorosa were the first ones out,
followed by their ‘followers’. They were to kneel on the hot assembly

“Nobody except Kambanda shall be prefect and I will personally see to
it”Mr Seromba reverberated as he straightened and rubbed his soiled
suit. Picked up his cane and handed Kambanda the coveted badge as he
walked out.


  1. Sometimes I wish we were like the Zambian people, whose tribes number more than twice the number of Kenyan tribes, yet they never seem to notice their diverse ethnicities. One of the first questions we Kenyans ask about one another when we first meet is, "What tribe is he/she?"
    We judge one another by tribal stereotypes...nepotism runs this country. WHY? I just don't understand.

    1. Tribe has been more of a dividing factor than it is inclusive...unless we take it as a personal fight to end will eventually kill us.

  2. Ive been in Tanzania now for close to six months their way of life impresses me they rarely talk about their tribe are happy with their swahili language.But most of all they love each other as brothers and sisters( that how they refer to each other,ndugu and dada) . As much as we say they are abit flat footed and lazy well they are not tribalists. Lazyness can be easily changed but tribalism may take a decade or more and by then lives will have been lost property destroyed and the economy well will definately be badly bend


What do you think?