#031: Many Ways to Remember

Many Ways to Remember   

April 7 2019 marked 25 years since the start of theRwandan genocide against the Tutsis, which heartbreakingly lasted from April 7 - July 15 1994. Kwibuka25 (Kwibuka means "To Remember" in Kinyarwanda) commemorates and honors the victims of the genocide and resolves that such an atrocity will never happen again. Post-genocide, Rwandans have been impressive in reuniting and rebuilding their country, but have vowed to never forget the past. There are many ways to remember difficult times - ranging from national and international memorial events to Kwibuka's official Twitter account (@kwibukarwanda) which provides daily tweets on the historical record of each day of the genocide.

In honor of Kwibuka 25, I have curated three interesting pieces that show Rwanda's painful past, necessary reconciliation, and promising future- especially relating to its women.
Trigger Warning: Some of the content below includes details of rape or extreme violence, please be aware that you may find some of this material upsetting.

  • "Rwandan Daughters" - A photo-book illuminating the relationship between female Rwandan rape survivors and the children they bore therefrom 

  • Why I forgave my children's killer - A remarkable video on forgiveness and reconciliation, centered on a woman who forgave her neighbor for killing two of her children during the genocide 

  • "Rwanda's Future Is Female"- An article on Rwanda's feminist awakening since the genocide and the impact of societal changes on women's daily lives

Read for: If I hate my daughter, I am no different than the murderers who wanted to destroy us and our country with their hatred."


  • Saving Akwaocha

Akwaocha is a gorgeous "white cloth" hand-woven fabric, which is made in Southern Nigeria (in Delta State) but is worn across the country for special occasions like weddings or parties. However, according to local weavers (who are mostly female), younger generations are not as interested in learning how to weave the cloth. 

Local Akwaocha weavers, known as "Omenka", are worried that the Akwaocha weaving craft will die out, thus they urge the state government to first build a training center where young girls can  learn how to weave in order to retain the culture and to then push Akwaocha to international markets to facilitate higher demand. 

Watch for:  "Di time wey our mama dey alive, she teach me so na im be my work. I no dey make garri, I no dey do anytin, na dis cloth I sabi weave"


  • Sudan Protests Continue 

After the publication of "Will Women Free Sudan?", President Al-Bashir was toppled in a military coup. The military then formed a transitional council to lead Sudan for the next two years before elections.

However, the Sudanese public are (unsurprisingly) not satisfied with these resolutions and continue to protest - seeking civilian authority and not military leadership. Female activists in Sudan have maintained sit-ins in Khartoum, protesting the military's involvement and demanding that a civilian transitional council (and any future parliament) must have a gender-equal representation in honor of the key role women have played and are playing in the creation of the "new Sudan". 

Read for:  "Women's participation in the transitional government is very essential. They have played a vital role in the revolution. They should have more than 40 percent representation. That is only fair"


  • Mama K's Team 4

Netflix announced a Zambian superheroes cartoon series, starring four female teenage leads. In the show, the four teenage girls live in a futuristic version of Lusaka and have been recruited by an ex-secret agent to save the world. Wholesome fun!

Mama K's Team 4 was written by Malenga Mulendema, a writer from Lusaka, who was one of the winners of  the 2015 Triggerfish Story Lab Initiative, a talent competition for African storytellers. Thus far, Netflix has been consistent in its development, creation and dissemination of original African content as it seeks to entrench itself in African markets.

Read for:  "Mama K's Team 4 has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to."


CAPE TO CAPE: Anna Nimoriano, editor-in-chief of South Sudanese newspaper Juba Monitor has been named to Fortune's 2019 World's Greatest Leaders; 'I Am Not For Sale' anti-slavery campaign encourages women to build a life in Nigeria; Paul Kagame orders release of women and girls jailed over abortion

You Should Know

  • Leadership: Women in Nigerian politics: Miles to go before parity is achieved

  • Vaccine: Malaria vaccine trial in pregnant women: An imperative without precedent  

Business Roll Call

Eghosa Oriaikhi Mabhena (Nigeria) will join Puma Energy as the Head of Africa, reporting to the global CEO - effective July 1 2019

Share announcements to be featured on Business Roll Call here 

Nneoma Nwankwo