Rwanda Culture and History.
Rwanda, positioned averagely on the Central African Plateau crossed borders to join the East African Federation together with Burundi particularly to gain an easy access to the coast and a wider market of the East African Countries. Traditionally, Rwanda was a monarchical community with Umwami as the cultural head. This meant that there was a ruling class in Rwanda as it was in many other African countries. The three tribes inhabited Rwanda but fortunately were all united under one language – the Rwandese. These included the Batutsi, Bahutu and the Batwa. The Bahutu were the majority (84%) and they practiced cultivation while the Batutsi were the second majority (14%) and they practiced cattle rearing and lastly the Batwa were the minority group (1%) and they were forest dwellers hunter – gather people who neither practiced cultivation nor pastoralism. The Batutsi were the rulers of Rwanda till in 1959 when the Rwandan Revolution broke out. Upon the arrival of colonial government who were Germans that later handed over to Belgians after their defeat in world war I, their administration approach of divide and rule taken root in Rwanda. They capitalized on the writings of the time that had praised the Hamitic ethics (of which the Batutsi belong to) to have introduced civilization in the negro Africa thus they treated the Tutsi differently and used them to exercise their dominance to other Rwandese which sowed seeds of bitterness, anger, hatred and total disunity in Rwanda. However, the colonial government went ahead to avail education to some children of the Bahutu who were to criticize such kind of mistreatment after the Independence of Rwanda. These included; Juvenal Habyarimana and Gregory Kaibanda.
The sort of injustice that was in Rwanda by then could not be withstood furthermore which prompted the massive Hutus to revolt in 1959 which resulted into the overthrow of the Batutsi ruling Monarchy and led to the establishment of the Republican system of governance in Rwanda. However, it can be argued that the seeds of revenge were mob in the hearts of the Bahutu which forced the big numbers of Batutsi to exile particularly in the neighboring states of Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The situation in Rwanda seemed to have been running smoothly economically though in the hands of the Hutus, the political space was limited while the social setting was quite far from cohesiveness. The exiles found the life abroad hard as they were always mistreated by the communities that they had settled in, which aroused their nostalgia prompting them to hatch the plans of going back to their country – something that resulted in to the 1990 Rwandan Patriotic Movement which had roots in Uganda. Most of the proprietors of the this movement were ex – fighters of the NRA bush war in Uganda that brought Gen. Yoweri Museveni to power and these included Maj. Gen Fred Rwigyema, Maj. Bunyenyezi among others.
The move to go back to Rwanda was far from peaceful and thus they opted for war which led to 1990 – 1994 war in Rwanda. The move of the Batutsi coming back to Rwanda was not welcomed by the Bahutu who had taken up everything in Rwanda ranging from government positions to farmlands thus welcoming the Tutsi would definitely threaten their progress which amounted into resistance. This was still gaining momentum in their hearts when the then President of Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana – a Hutu lost his life together with the president of Burundi in a plane clash at Kanombe Airport in Rwanda something that was alleged on the then rebels of Rwanda Patriotic Front. This resulted into a bloody genocide that left over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus dead – another catastrophe that the world has ever experienced in the modern times. This eventually led to the rise of the Batutsi after the success of the war that they had mounted on the then ruling government. From then, the government, citizens, civil society and the International Community in general have championed the seeds of reconciliation and unity which has produced positive results. The Rwandese now are one people speaking similar language with equal treatment and justice which has definitely led to the renaissance of socio-economic and political transformation in Rwanda –one of the smallest countries in Africa. The economy is booming, the social cohesion is lively and the democracy is well functioning.
The Rwanda’s culture has been revived and apparently it is one of those most selling cultures in the region. Their famous dance – Intore is unique and attractive which their art is awesome particularly the way they craft their huts. Their traditional cows Inyambo – Long horned cattle that dates back to the ancient Chwezi people that ruled the great lakes region and their entire heritage is something that combine to make Rwanda a stand out and worthy of any safari.