Some questions are timeless. That a Rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet, is undoubtable – and so, many people do not think about names.
In Rwanda however, names and naming ceremonies are important – culturally, socially, and yes, politically.
Unity Club Intwararumuri has come far. Very far, between yesterday and today!
Established in 1996, this beautiful organization made of Rwandan cabinets members and their, founded and led by Her Excellency the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, has over the years, been at the forefront of promoting National Unity, Reconciliation and shared development.
Born in the immediate aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, composed of spouses of political figures trying to rebuild a shattered divided nation, the club became the beacon of hope, at the forefront of the redefinition of the foundational beliefs of the new post genocide Rwandan polity.
Spearheading a new kind of State that would replace the defeated divisive, discriminative, genocidal post-colonial administration. In many ways, post genocide Rwanda was a tabula rasa. An empty slate on which Rwandans would write the script for a new beginning. Among the many chapters the Unity club has contributed to writing, perhaps none is more important than Ndi Umunyarwanda!
Some questions are time less. That a rose by any other name would smell as sweet is undoubtedly true. In Rwanda however, Names and Naming ceremonies are important. Culturally, socially, and yes…. Politically.
And so today, when Unity Club in Rwanda celebrates 25 years, we also celebrate 25 years of a new old name, NDI Umunyarwanda, an important characteristic of the new Rwanda. This birthday is also a renaming. A return to the roots of nationhood, to a future rooted in nationhood.
It was not predestined to be this way. It was not inevitable. In fact, that it has happened at all, is counter intuitive, given our country’s recent history, Rwanda’s first post-independence leader President Gregoire Kayibanda in 1959, to be precise in 1959, compared the Hutu and Tutsi communities in Rwanda to - two nations in a single state.
Two nations between whom there was no intercourse and no sympathy, who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings as if they were dwellers of different zones, or inhabitants of different planets - and he went ahead to make a Republic that championed all the sectarianism his fertile imagination could conjure.
to the parmehutu ideologues, diversity was a disease was a to be eradicated, unity was anathema and Rwanda paid the price – in the millions killed, and the destruction of its socio-economic fabric during the 1994genocide against the Tutsi. This ideology was based on hate. It was also foreign to Rwandan shared experiences across centuries.
One of the foremost ideologues of pan-hutuism – Simon Bikindi could summarize this aberrant political ideology in a notorious musical ode to hatred: Njyewe nanga abahutu ….”.
And so, matters may well have been, but for the Unity club Intwararumuri and their Chairperson, First Lady Jeannette Kagame, who, responding to a pressing call from Rwanda’s post genocide youth, and working closely with the Unity and Reconciliation Commission looked into Rwanda’s history and found, a cure to the germs of toxic sectarianism and divisionism propagated by Kayibanda, Bikindi, et al. This was the birth of Ndi Umunyarwanda.
Ndi – I am. That almost sacred affirmation of being., I refuse to not be, to disappear – This is my heritage, my essence, the timeless me. This is my past, my present, my future.
Ndi – I am, irrespective of where I maybe geographically located, irrespective of my socio-economic conditions. Ndi – I am, Umunyarwanda.
Umunyarwanda is a rich concept. It may mean, I am a member of the geographical space called Rwanda – of or that irrespective geography, the essential me is Rwandan.
That is the identity I have chosen, among the many layered identities of family, social being – I we share this reality, this determination to be Rwandan above all else.
Ndi Umunyarwanda. I constantly expand my horizons, my thinking), my socio-economic wellbeing – Ndaanda. I expand Ndi Umunyarwanda in a panacea to constricted constipated contraction of the Rwandan spirit, of the Rwandan polity.
It is the politics of expansion, of accommodation. it is a self-defining philosophy which looks beyond origins, actual or putative – it is the bedrock of a new egalitarian society and a renewed Nation.
Ndi Umunyarwanda, reflects the shared historical experience of a people – brought together by history, constrained by geography, making lives and livelihoods beyond geography. A resilient people, buffered by winds of colonialism, of division, of poverty, immense losses. A people who chose to stop digging and against all odds, reached for the skies!
In the past when a Rwandan monarch acceded to the throne, he was given a new name.one that symbolized the Unity of his people. that is how Rudahigwa became Mutara.
An enthronement was a naming, a renaming and affirmation of the unity of all Rwandans working for a common future. this is the deeper meaning of the Cyilima, Kigeli, Mibambwe, Mutara, Yuhi –the names we gave to our kings, as symbols of our unity.
So, this year, as we celebrate 25 years of renewed commitment to national unity spearheaded by the Unity Club Intwararumuri – we need to recommit and celebrate this recommitment to – Rwandanness. A renaming to – Ndi Umunyarwanda.
Beyond my history, my geography, my present circumstances –. I am a Rwandan.
It is a celebration. Let’s turn it into an enthronement of Rwandan Values, anchored on our Unity.
The writer is a member of Unity Club Intwararumuri, Hon. Dr. Richard Sezibera
The closing ceremony of “Ndi Umunyarwanda” competition at the national level took place on February 4, 2022 at Lemigo Hotel Kigali
In December 2021, Unity Club members visited Intwaza and celebrated with them Christmas and a festive new year 2022
On December 6, 2022, Unity Club Joined by its Partners in Introducing the Second Phase of the Integrated Community Development Project in the Huye district
First Lady Jeannette Kagame, the Chairperson of Unity Club Called for Clear Transgenerational Ideology as Unity Club Marked 25 years
H.E. President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame joined Unity Club’s 25th Anniversary Celebration
First Lady Jeannette Kagame, the Chairperson of Unity Club Joined Fellow Members, for the Annual General Assembly and Annual retreat
Ndi Umunyarwanda: Msingi wa Falisafa ya Umoja kwa Wanyarwanda
What’s in the name?
The impact of a shared cup of tea, bus trips on Unity Club’s remarkable beginnings of a journey to unity & reconciliation
Intwaza mu Mpinganzima zatwaje gitwari
1996–2021: Imyaka 25 irashize u Rwanda ruganura urumuri rw’ubumwe
Ndi Umunyarwanda, inkingi y’uburere buboneye mu muryango
Uruhare rw’Abarinzi b’Igihango mu kubaka Ubunyarwanda
Izingiro ry’uburezi bushingiye kuri Ndi Umunyarwanda
Uruhare rw’urubyiruko mu gushimangira Ubunyarwanda
Unity Club Intwararumuri is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year
Unity Club Intwararumuri has prepared competitions of Ndi Umunyarwanda for Higher Learning Institutions in order to encourage the youth to carry out research
Unity Club Intwararumuri reserves the month of June for the activities of strengthening Intwaza as one of the activities done under the 27th Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi
On 18-19 May 2021, Unity Club Intwararumuri offered trainings to the guardians of covenant (Abarinzi b’Igihango) at national level
Ndi Umunyarwanda Platform on Radio Rwanda/ May 16, 2021: Ndi Umunyarwanda in public service
#Kwibuka27: Her Excellency First Lady Jeannette KAGAME, the Chairperson of Unity Club Intwararumuri asked the elders to teach the real history of Rwanda to the youth
#Kwibuka27: During the 27th commemoration period of the Genocide against Tutsi, Unity Club Intwararumuri prepared virtual talks to its members
#Kwibuka27: Ndi Umunyarwanda Platform on Radio Rwanda/ April 11, 2021: Gripping the covenant of Rwandan sprit
Ndi Umunyarwanda Platform on Radio Rwanda/ March 21, 2021: The woman’s role in strengthening Rwandan sprit
06 November 2020, Unity Club Intwararumuri annual retreat held at parliament
The contribution of Unity Club Intwararumuri in constructing total unity among Rwandans
31 October 2020, the 13th annual forum of Unity Club Intwararumuri takes place
October 2020: The month dedicated to promotion of unity and reconciliation: Unity Club played a vital role in different conversations teaching unity and reconciliation
September 27, 2020: Conversation on Ndi Umunyarwanda and patriotism
Ndi Umunyarwanda Platform on radio Rwanda/ August 16, 2020: Conversation on “Ndi Umunyarwanda in strengthening our education system”
The meaning and background of Intwararumuri
Rwandans are committed to strengthening and protecting Rwandan identity
Unity Club Inaugurates Homes For Elderly Genocide Widows
Huye : Mme Jeannette Kagame Yatashye "Impinganzima Hostel" Yagenewe Intwaza 100
Kirehe: Hashinzwe Ihuriro ryunganira Komisiyo y’Ubumwe n’Ubwiyunge na Unity Club
Akarere ka Rubavu kari ku mwanya wa 2 mu gihugu mu kugaragamo ingengabitekerezo ya Jenoside
Unity Club joins reconciliation drive
Abanyarwanda bakeneye ubumwe n’ubwiyunge budacagase- Min Nsengimana
Unity Club tips Nyagatare officials on reconciliation
Ihuriro ry’Ubumwe n’Ubwiyunge ku rwego rw’Akarere
Nsanzabaganwa honoured by SU-SA for her role in developing academically Sound Economic Policies
Perezida Kagame Na Madamu Jeannette Kagame Bifurije Abana Noheri Nziza Ya 2016
Perezida Kagame Ntashidikanya Ku Iterambere Ry’u Rwanda Mu Myaka 22 Ishize
The 17 Protectors Of Friendship Pact (Abarinzi B’Igihango)
First Lady Jeannette Kagame Honoured By Unity Club
The President Of Unity Club Awarded Seventeen People For Their High Humanity During The Genocide
First Lady : Integrity Among Leaders Key To National Unity
Aho Ubumwe butari ingaruka ziba mbi – Perezida Kagame
Kuzaraga Abana Igihugu Kizira Ikibi Ni Inshingano Zacu – Jeannette Kagame
Unity Club Intwarumuri Nyuma Y’imyaka 20 Ibayeho
Unity Club Lays The Foundation For A Home For 100 Elderly Survivors Living Alone
Abana B’imfubyi Barerwaga Na Unity Club Batangiye Kubaka Ingo Zabo
Madamu Jeannette Kagame Yashyikirije Amacumbi Incike Za Jenoside
Unity Club To Build Hostel For 100 Genocide Widows
Global Women Forum Discusses Gender Parity, Financial Freedom
Jeannette Kagame Yasabye Abagore Kutirara Kubera Politiki Yabahaye Byose
Rwanda’s Journey Of Women Empowerment
Rwanda’s March Towards Gender Parity By 2030
U Rwanda N’abafatanyabikorwa Mpuzamahanga Mw’ishoramari Ry’abagore
Buri Wese Akwiye Kubungabunga Iterambere N’ubusugire Bw’igihugu - Jeannette Kagame
Make Unity Our Legacy For Next Generations : First Lady
Unity Club Yishimiye Uko Igikorwa Cyo Gutoranya Abarinzi B’Igihango Kirimo Gukorwa
Urubyiruko rwo mu karere ka Nyamagabe rwakanguriwe gukumira no kurwanya ihakana n’ipfobya rya Jenoside yakorewe Abatutsi muri Mata 1994
Nyuma Yo Kubakirwa Ishuri Ry’incuke Banahawe N’ikibuga Cy’imyidagaduro
IMPINGA NZIMA, Kimwe Mu Bisubizo Ku Ncike Za Jenoside Yakorewe Abatutsi
Our Differences Should Be Our Strength, Kagame Tells Leaders
Perezida Kagame Ntabwo Yumva Ukuntu Nyuma Y’imyaka 20 Abantu Badakura Isomo Mu Mateka Yahise N’ibyiza Bimaze Kugerwaho
“Ndi Umunyarwanda” Ni Urugendo Rugikomeza - Jeannette Kagame
Inama Ngarukamwaka Ya 7 Ya Unity Club Irabera Kuri Serena Hotel I Kigali
Nyamagabe : First Lady Tells Cyanika Residents To Strive To Make Self-Reliance A Reality
Nyamagabe: Madamu Jeannette Kagame Yatashye Ibikorwa Bitandukanye Asaba Abaturage Kubibungabunga
"Ndi Umunyarwanda" Yaje Kuzuza Gahunda Zisanzwe Z’ubumwe N’ubwiyunge
“Ndi Umunyarwanda” Yubaka Ubunyarwanda Kuruta Aho Umuntu Yavukiye
Nyamasheke : “Ndi Umunyarwanda” Yagejejwe Mu Mashuri Yisumbuye
"Ndi Umunyarwanda" Is About Healing The Genocide Wounds
First Lady Hands Over New 20 Houses To Orphans
Imfubyi Zo Ku Nyundo Zasangiye Noheri Na Madamu Jeannette Kagame Anazishyikiriza Amazu 20
Ndi Umunyarwanda: Dr Habumuremyi Regrets His Inaction During The Genocide
Karongi : «Ndi Umunyarwanda» Irimo Gutanga Umusaruro Mwiza
“Ndi Umunyarwanda” Ni Umwanya Wo Gutekereza Ku Isano Y’Abanyarwanda - Nsanzabaganwa
Minisitiri Murekezi Yasabye Imbabazi Ku Ibaruwa Yasabaga Ko Abatutsi Basubizwa Inyuma
Yasabye Imbabazi Abahutu Kuko Ngo Yajyaga Ababona Nk’abagome Bose
“Nta Macenga Ya Politiki Ari Muri Gahunda Ya ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’”- Gov. Bosenibamwe
Kayonza : Abayobozi Barasabwa Guha Ijambo Abaturage Muri Gahunda Ya “Ndi Umunyarwanda” Kugira Ngo Babohoke
Nyamagabe: Abantu Barirekuye Basaba Imbabazi Mu Mwiherero Wa “Ndi Umunyarwanda”
Depite Bamporiki yanenze ibyo Abahutu bakomoka iwabo bakoreye bene wabo b’Abatutsi
Abarwanya “Ndi Umunyarwanda” Ni Abababazwa N’iterambere - Gov. Uwamariya
Ngoma : Abayobozi Ngo Babashije Gusobanurirwa Gahunda Ya “Ndi Umunyarwanda”
"Gusaba Imbabazi Si Agahato, Abatariyakira Urugendo Ruracyakomeza"
First Lady Wins Global Leader Award
Food For New Village Project Launched The Land Terracing Activities In Cyanika Sector
Food For New Village Project Started Water Supply Activities In Cyanika Sector
Upholding Inyumba’s Legacy
Unity Club Organizes Fifth Consultative Forum
Unity Club Intwararumuri mw’Ihuriro ngarukamwaka rya gatanu (5)
Rwandans Reconciled At Over 80%
Rwanda’s Strength Is Its Unity–Kagame
Unity Club Intwararumuri mu Ihuriro ngarukamwaka rya gatanu
Igisikare Na Polisi Mu Gikorwa Cyo Kubaka Amazu Y’abana B’imfubyi Zo Ku Nyundo
Unity Club Yahawe Amafaranga Miliyoni 15 Na BRALIRWA Agenewe Kubakira Impfubyi 20 Zo Mu Kigo Cya Nyundo
Food For New Village Built Two Classrooms At Cyanika Sector
First Lady Opens Cyanika Genocide Memorial
Fundraising For Nyundo Children In Rubavu
Unity Club Yateye Inkunga Urwibutso Rwa Jenoside Rwa Cyanika-Nyamagabe
Minisitiri W’Intebe Yatangije Gahunda Yo Kubakira Amazu 20 Abana B’imfubyi Zo Ku Nyundo
Unity Club Witnessed The Signing Of MoU Between WFP And Good Neighbors Rwanda
Unity Club izubakira abana 20 bafite imyaka 18 bo muri Orphelinat Noel
PM Joins Rubavu Orphans In Xmas Party
2011 Unity Club Award Ceremony
Ubutwari bwo kubaho Association Win 2011 Unity Award
Unity Club Gets Frw 5m From Bralirwa To Renovate Cyanika Memorial Site
More Than 150 Children, Mostly Orphans And Disabled, Celebrated The Christmas Party At Village Urugwiro
Children’s Christmas Party At Village Urugwiro
Word From The Chairperson Of Unity Club
Unity Club Honours Kagame