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Kajuga Augustin & Nkurikiyimana Ignace

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Kajuga Augustin, born in 1939, has much to tell Nkurikiyimana Ignace about Rwanda before colonialism: the history of kings and how power was transferred from one to another, how young people were treated differently by their mothers versus their fathers, and how they were joined in marriage. He recounts how some practices are thankfully outdated, like drowning unmarried, pregnant women, while some celebrate values that are still positive, such as respect and cooperation. Nkurikiyimana Ignace is impressed by his father’s story and understands that an important cultural legacy has been passed on to him and his future children.

“At that time a bride and a groom would get married without knowing each other but they had stable homes because their parents would advise them to live together in good terms, saying: You should live in good terms because we build our homes like that. You should obey your parents and your partner’s parents. At that time it was a custom that had to be followed, but today this is a custom of long ago that is portrayed negatively because it was not good for example to get married to someone you don’t know. This is where the difference is. There are both positive and negative elements in the culture of long ago.” Kajuga Augustin

“I will endeavor to tell my children about the past of my life, I mean my personal life history and my family stories; I will do this in order to help them not face the problems that are similar to the problems I faced. I will be telling them the line they should follow in order to have a happy life. I will tell them about people who were heroes and people who were dishonest. I will be showing them that the future is gradually becoming opposed to the past." Nkuqikiyimana Ignace

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ARTICLE PUBLISHED

SEPTEMBER 2014 - Archival Science 14 (Nos. 3-4, 2014): 275-306. Available here

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