BUJUMBURA August 17th (ABP) – The legal representative of the Gumya association, Mr. Pierre Nkurikiye, proceeded on Saturday August 13, 2022, in the premises of the doctoral school of the University of Burundi (UB), to closing of activities counting for the second edition of the “Igihugu” festival organized this year under the theme “Ikirundi cacu, itunga ryacu” (Our mother tongue, our legacy), from August 11 to 13, 2022.
In his welcoming speech, the Deputy Director in charge of the “Natural Science of Life” pole at the doctoral school, Mr. Sébastien Manirakiza asked the participants to love and speak their language without mixing it with other languages that they learned in school. He also asked experts from the University of Burundi to do analytical studies to see if it is possible that Burundians have significant names written in Kirundi, such as Nkurikiye Manirakiza, in order to give an appropriate value to their mother tongue so that it can be taught to the world as other nations do.
The third and last day of the “Igihugu” festival was marked by three presentations in Kirundi, focusing on the role of the mother tongue in the transmission of knowledge from generation to generation, the role of information and communication technologies in dissemination of information as well as how to write, publish and sell the book. It was also marked by the awarding of the annual posthumous trophy to the late Abbé Jean Baptiste Ntahokaja, writer of many books in Kirundi as well as the official publication of the book containing 3150 proverbs (Imyibutsa).
Regarding the role of Kirundi in the transmission of knowledge, the university professor, Mr. Denis Bukuru, pointed out that it is very possible to transmit knowledge in Kirundi so that the people can understand all the material.
Starting from the origin of the words, Mr. Bukuru translated certain French words into Kirundi including chemistry (impindurakamere), atom (intamenwa), diploma (indangabumenyi), hydrogen (imvyaramazi), oxygen (indemampwemu), the theory (inyoboravyiyumviro), the formula (umukenyuro).
Kirundi is not poor in vocabularies, it is enough to reflect intensely on the origin of the words, he added.
The Permanent Secretary of the Rundi Academy, Mr. Clément Bigirimana pointed out that the 21st century is dominated by information and communication technologies (ICT) through which a teacher can deliver his course remotely. Thus, he called on the participants to love their mother tongue, to use ICTs well and to take care of their messages that they disseminate through social networks.
The book is a work of the mind and the result of the hard work of the writer, underlined the writer and poet Dieudonné Bacinoni. That police officer asked writers to write their books according to the rules of their culture. He also asked investors to invest in that area.
The participants were delighted with the various magnificent presentations, which challenge the people to value their mother tongue, their culture and their customs. They wanted these presentations to be written to be taught in school.
On the sidelines of those presentations and interventions by the participants, the leader of the association of Burundian writers, Mr. Joseph Butoyi proceeded to award the annual trophy to the late Abbé Jean Baptiste Ntahokaja for his bravery in promoting the mother tongue to through his various works written in Kirundi. That trophy was received by the permanent secretary of the Rundi Academy, who will give it to the family of the illustrious deceased Ntahokaja. “We hope that the trophy called Jean Baptiste Ntahokaja will be awarded each year to the best writer in Kirundi”, reassured the legal representative of the Gumya association.
He finally took the opportunity to make public his book containing 3150 proverbs (Imyibutsa), written in Kirundi. He warmly thanked everyone who contributed from his idea to write this book to its publication. He also thanked the various partners of the Gumya association, who contributed to the success of the second edition of the “Igihugu” festival.
The chairman of the association of writers of Burundi congratulated this newborn in the world of writers for all the efforts he made until the publication of his book. He also congratulated all the writers working in the sector of defense and security who, apart from their heavy duties, take their time to write books in order to share their knowledge with their brothers and sisters.