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The story of Herry, a lesson for the youth on culture

Herry Akazuba is a mixed-race student in the fifth year at Green Hills Academy, who speaks Kinyarwanda so well that those hearing him for the first time are surprised but also delighted, as some of them assume he is a foreigner who cannot speak it or would not take pride in speaking it.

This girl recently competed in a competition organized by the Culture Objective, for high schools following international education programs during the 2023-2024 academic year, that asked questions about the culture, values, and heritage of Rwanda, held at Riviera High School.

Herry Akazuba said that it was an honor for her to participate in these competitions and that it should also encourage other mixed-race peers to feel that they can participate, and that it should be a matter of pride for them to know and speak Kinyarwanda well.

She said, “I am mixed-race, so especially when I tell people that I speak Kinyarwanda, it really surprises them, but having the opportunity to come to these competitions teaches me a lot, and it encourages other mixed-race children like me that I am not alone, we all have the opportunity to join in.”

Herry Akazuba criticized Rwandan youth who have never been abroad yet deliberately ruin the Kinyarwanda language, emphasizing that they should take pride in it and in the Rwandan culture in general, as it defines and explains who they are.

She continued, “It is good to learn your Rwandan culture because there is a lot to follow, there are things you can observe and emulate what your ancestors did, you can learn what defines you and understand your humanity, who you are by nature, so it is good. You might be Rwandan and not speak Kinyarwanda, no problem at all!”

“There are many students I have seen this in, but what I teach them is that they must learn at least the Rwandan culture and stop denying they are Rwandan, instead they should follow the value that says ‘Love the country’. You accept it, you embrace it, you say you are Rwandan, and you show it and tell them you are Rwandan.”

Green Hills Academy has a cultural group that teaches about Kinyarwanda and Rwandan culture, even to foreign students studying there, and Akazuba is one of the students who teaches her peers, and others who do not study at this school if they wish.

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