Rwanda: Fashion designers launch cultural event


RENOWNED LOCAL BRAND, Ibisazi designers, in collaboration with visual artist Thicien Niyigena founder of Arthicien, has organized a traditional event dubbed ‘Imitongero cheers for fears’ that aims at reminding Rwandans of their past in terms of fears related to cultural beliefs and rituals.

The event kicked off Saturday night, at 6 PM December 18 at Indiba arts space in Kicukiro district, Kimihurura sector in Rugando cell.

The event was delayed  for some minutes as they waited for guests. The event was characterised by cultural and bizarre costumes, music performances and poetry, photoshoot, and exhibition of different artworks among others.

According to Frederic Niyongabo, founder of Ibisazi designers Nyabyo, their aim was to remind Rwandans of their past tradition beliefs, their purpose, and why they referred to those rituals but especially to educate the young generation about their tradition.

“Even though we are emerging in a modern world, as Rwandans we ought to live our culture. Some people tend to forget our tradition or they curate other traditions and yet our tradition is still here and it’s still on point as it makes us unite as Rwandans,’’ he explained.

He cited an example of a scene titled Mpangara Nguhangare that was a series of proverbs that were mainly used at family gatherings during the night before bedtime or used by cowboys while taking care of cows, he further explained that their event seeks to inspire Rwandans to embrace their culture and their tradition as it contains a lot of daily life skills as well as fun activities.

“It is okay to learn new traditional cultures from other countries, but it is also a shame to forget our traditions. It is a total shame that the young generation doesn’t know anything regarding traditional symbols and their roles,’’ he added.

Agnes Uwase, one of the event organizers revealed that some of the cultural traditions were not fair, and it caused fear in the Rwandan society.

“It is time that Rwandans start to chase reality. Learning from the past makes us recognize what’s worth keeping and what’s to leave behind due to the new modern world we are emerging in,’’ she shared.

She added that Rwandans were artistically talented by their nature ever since many ages ago, and that’s why they displayed artworks on the walls during the event.­­

“There are many things that we don’t understand and yet they are part of our tradition. Let’s say witchcraft, when you get to understand why they used to do that and it’s meaning in our culture you get to understand that it was something positive and not to be feared. Poetry was a part of the culture too and that’s why I am here. I did different poems while opening this event, iNtabwoba which is the latest poem I have currently, and Nkumusazi among the others,’’ says Carine Maniraguha, a poet.

Emmanuel Bonheur Sinkirutinya, co-founder of Ibisazi designers said that the event also seeks to spread an encouraging message among the Rwandan community of living their culture and learning from its best.

There is a Rwandan proverb that says, ‘Agahugu katagira umuco karacika’, which is loosely translated as ‘A country without its own culture disappears,’ and that’s why we call on  all Rwandans to cherish their culture and teach it to the young generation,’’ he highlighted.

He added that even though the number of attendees was not as much as they expected, they hope that the message will reach out to many and they also hope to organize more events and festivals next year.

Source: newtimes