• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Our mother tongue, our wealth


Aug 5, 2022

BUJUMBURA, August 5th (ABP) – The legal representative of the Gumya association, Mr. Pierre Nkurikiye, hosted on Wednesday August 3, 2022, in the premises of the University of Burundi (UB), a press conference within the framework of informing the public that the second edition of the Igihugu festival “Uburundi mu maraso yanje” (Burundi in my blood) will take place from August 11 to 13, 2022 respectively in Ruyigi province, at the Living Museum of Bujumbura and at the graduate school of the UB.

In Ruyigi province, the activities will begin at 10 a.m. with a guided visit, in Rusengo, to the family of the late Father Jean Baptiste Ntahokaja, author of several books written in the mother tongue, Kirundi. The visit will be followed by the competition for poetry in Kirundi at the Ruyigi stadium around the theme chosen for this second edition: “Ikirundi cacu, itunga ryacu” (Our Kirundi, our wealth) and the cultural competition where participants will watch the presentation of five cultural groups from the natural regions of Buyogoma and Kumoso, namely Umutsibo, Amaka, Amayaya, Igihambwe and Urudemere.

The legal representative of the said association whose main mission is to sensitize the people of Burundi to patriotism through the promotion of cultural values ​​in the mother tongue, indicated that after that poetic and cultural competition, there will be a session of question-and-answer games on Burundian culture to the people of Ruyigi province who will be present at that event. There will also be the awarding of prizes to the best performers, underlined Mr. Nkurikiye.

As of August 12, 2022, the activities of the second edition of the Igihugu festival will continue at the Living Museum of Bujumbura from 3 p.m. under a traditional Burundian vigil called “Ku ziko” in which there will be three presentations on the Burundian culture and language, Mr. Nkurikiye said. He added that there will also be a small competition for children aged 15, related to the proverbs (Imyibutsa) contained in the book which will be released on August 13, 2022. That small competition will be followed by the viewing of the documentary film on the first edition of that event, which took place in 2019. The first edition of the Igihugu festival was crowned with success, Mr. Nkurikiye said with joy.

Family picture of the members of the Gumya association

The third day of the festival will take place at the UB graduate school, during which three presentations will be made. They will focus on the use of Kirundi in research and in the transmission of knowledge at present, the use of information and communication technologies in research on Kirundi as well as writing in the mother tongue, publication and sale of the book well-written in Kirundi.

Those presentations, which will embellish the third day of activities, will be followed by the launch of the annual trophy “Umwanditsi w’ikirundi” to reward the best writers in Kirundi as well as the official publication of the book containing 3150 proverbs written in Kirundi by the legal representative of the Gumya association, Mr. Pierre Nkurikiye. “If you want to inform the people of Burundi, inform them in Kirundi”, he stressed, noting, moreover, that more than 80% of the Burundian population speak only the mother tongue.

Mr. Nkurikiye took the opportunity to specify that the traditional vigil of August 12, 2022 will be a special one because, he explained, it will be traditionally Burundian at 100% in terms of stage and clothing among participants. To that end, he asked that the men wear the traditional suit commonly called “Imbega” and that the women the traditional dress called “Ibigoma”, otherwise, the participants can dress in red, the color of the Igihugu festival.

He also pointed out that the main objective of the second edition of the Igihugu festival is to awaken the patriotic spirit through the rich Burundian culture. He thus invited the people of Burundi in general and particularly those of Ruyigi province and the Bujumbura City, to attend massively that highly cultural event.

Given that it has been noted that there is a poor use of Kirundi in publications on social media and on online mini-televisions, Mr. Nkurikiye wished that the young people from Bujumbura City, especially artists , flock there to recharge their batteries with experts in the field of culture, who will speak to them about the richness of the Burundian language and the culture, the way of being, acting, thinking and appearing for a Burundian worthy of his/her name and who lives only according to the rules of his/her culture.

Finally, he told the press that the Ruyigi province was not chosen at random because, he said, the most famous mother tongue writer in Burundi is a native of that province. That writer also left a mark at UB until one of the lecture halls was named “Ntahokaja Amphitheater”, Mr. Nkurikiye said, before pointing out that the third day of the second edition of the Igihugu festival will be closed by the restitution of the results from the first two days of the festival as well as the making of recommendations which will be publicized and transmitted to whom it may concern to remedy them.

It is worth noting that the second edition of the Igihugu festival “Uburundi mu maraso yanje” be attended by two young people per province of Burundi, who will be welcomed on the second day of the festival in Bujumbura.