16 years ago, the smallest country of the Great-Lakes region was hit by a genocide. 4 friends interested in African politics have decided to take a closer look at the Renaissance of the Rwandan society.

Il y a 16 ans, le plus petit pays de la région des Grands-Lacs était touché par un génocide dévastateur. 4 amis passionnés de politique africaine ont décidé de s'intéresser de près à la Renaissance de la société Rwandaise.

vendredi 30 juillet 2010


‘‘Wandegeya’’. One of many neighborhoods in Kampala marked by a severe lack of basic infrastructure and public services. Paved roads, power facilities and water stations are absent from the visual panorama. The narrow streets assailed by a plethora of pudholes and open air sewage canals act as the visitor’s first challenge. Additionally, the myriads of pathways and alleys intersecting with the main street serve as a testimony to the organic growth of the neighborhood, and confirms one’s insecurity about dominating the environment.

One storey high houses make up for the vast majority of the neighborhood’s real estate. Mud, bricks and wood piled together carefully rarely hide the precarious nature of construction enterprises. Confronted with a limited array of material, creativity has become institutionalized. Windshields are improvised as rooftops and advertising banners are turned carpets. Priviledged local businesses are established in large shipping containers, cut and rearranged in order to fit its local usage and context. Attached to this fascinating setting is the omnipresence of the red-orange color, reflected from the dry earth, slowly making its way on house walls, and inevitably gaining momentum on my levy’s.

Ivan, our self-appointed guide, heads our small human convoy continuously enlarging itself with young members as we march through town, and getting rhythm by the shouts of ‘‘Azungu, azungu’’ (white man in Baganda). The place is busy, and no one is exempted from housework activities. Some kids participate in the food making process and in washing the laundry while others adopting an evasive behavior, are playing nearby. By the time we, in Europe, start constructing basic sentences orally, kids here jump, run and develop an acute sense of orientation.

A few miles from there, in the ‘‘Kamuokya’’ area resides Washington Benzo Benzo. With confidence, he waves at us, signalling that his courtyard is open to visitors. As we approach he stands up from his comfortable position and greets us with a warm and inimitable ‘‘Hey Brothers’’. Both his hat and belt recalls the three familiar colors of a famous island in the Carribean. Behind his cigarette from which stems an unconventional smell, Washington shares with us some interesting tenants of the philosophy he follows.

The sun is setting, sole temporal indicator, calling for the need to adjourn our stay.

Today was a long day,

For a while im gonna stop complaining about my laundry and start smiling a lot more.

Louis-Guillaume Roldan

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