In order to celebrate the National Heroes Day on 1st February, 2013, the management of the Chancellery of Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honour (CHENO) coordinated different events in the country to mark this special day. The entire week (23rd-31st January) was dedicated to Heroism. The theme for this year’s celebrations was “heroism is the foundation of dignity and development”
As part of the celebration, the School of Finance and Banking (SFB) hosted a Public Talk on Wednesday, 30th January, 2013. The speakers were Emmanuel Bugingo (Director of Sports, MINISPOC) and Major Gerard Nyirimanzi.
At the beginning, Major Gerard Nyirimanzi talked about Heroism. He defined a hero as someone who does outstanding actions. Major Gerard said that in ancient times, heroism was identified during wars and they used the following indicators
- Tactical withdraw during battles
- How the person hit the enemy
- The first person to cross the bridge during that year
- Passing through the enemy’s gate
- To fight for the injured not to be taken by the enemy
- The army that killed the largest number of enemies (for example, a group of fighters who kill a big number of the enemy’s army would be rewarded by being taken to the kingdom, and they would not fight any more wars.)
Major Gerard Nyirimanzi continued to say that heroism should be fought for and encouraged even at home. He stated that one of the things that supported the idea of the genocide was selfishness which led people to unfaithfulness, loss of value and this is not heroism. People in academia are not left out in heroism, since heroism addresses personal values and not only physical fighting.
The second speaker, Bugingo Emmanuel talked about the 3 different categories of heroes namely Imanzi, Imena and Ingenzi
Imanzi: these are people who are already dead. They include unknown soldiers; Major General Fred Rwigema is an example.
Imena: this category has heroes like King Rudahigwa, Michael Rwagasana, Agathe Uwiringiyimana and Felicite Niyigena.
Ingenzi: this category involves heroes like Nyange Students
Emmanuel continued to say that heroism is a value that you can achieve by engaging yourself. He reminded the audience of the theme and reinforced that everyone can be a hero when he/she fights for his/her and others’ dignity and development because nowadays the war is fighting for dignity and development and whoever will win will be a hero.
During the Question and Answer session, the speakers clarified that the basic criteria used while categorizing heroes depends on intensity of what a person did and the kind of plan the person made to guide him in the action. It also depends on the value of the deed to the public.
In order to educate and train citizens especially young people on heroism, there is a program of value based education in primary schools which promotes heroism and guides everyday life as our referent heroes and persons did.
The audience suggested that people should promise to behave as heroes forever and also be ready to die for it if necessary. The SFB students also proposed that the heroism culture should be promoted from the time a child is born.
The conclusion was that heroism should be on first place in everyday life for everyone regardless of who you are or what you do.
Sabiti Fred and Nshimiyana Olivier (both Level 1 students)