The Rwandan community in Kenya came together on Saturday February 5th to celebrate the 28th anniversary of Heroes’ Day, where they paid tribute to people who defended patriotic values and sacrificed themselves for the well-being of Rwandans.
Organized by the Rwanda High Commission in Kenya under the theme; The “Our Heroism, Our Dignity” ceremony was held in a hybrid format, with over 60 representatives of the Rwandan community physically attending at the premises of the Nairobi High Commission.
More than 100 Rwandans also attended virtually from different parts of Kenya including Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Mombasa.
At the ceremony, Dr. Richard Masozera, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Kenya, called on Rwandans to embrace patriotism while commemorating compatriots and women who have made outstanding contributions to nation-building.
“The Rwandan heroes who have shown tremendous dedication and service to the country represent our values, our collective history, and through them we are reminded of who we are and our potential to be dignified and prosperous,” Masozera said.
He further noted that under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, Rwanda has become a reference point for robust regional governance, political stability, sustainable economic growth and the rule of law, among others.
Masozera said the youth and generations to come “must rise to the occasion and seize this opportunity and contribute to the reconstruction and development of our nation.”
Other speakers at the event included Lt Col (Rtd) Ndore Rulinda and Lt Col Ephrem Ngoga who gave presentations on the meaning of Heroes Day and noted that the heroes celebrated fall into three categories namely Imanzi, Imena and Ingenzi.
Imanzi is the highest rank, with people who have achieved excellence at the cost of their own lives, among other things.
This category currently has two people; The late Major General Fred Gisa Rwigema, the first commander of the liberation struggle, and the Unknown Soldier, representing those who died during the liberation struggle.
Imena has various people including King Umutara III Rudahigwa, former Prime Minister Agathe Uwiringiyimana, Felicite Niyitegeka, Michel Rwagasana and the Nyange students.
Rulinda and Ngoga also gave testimony of how heroism is manifested in various forms today, including contributing to national development efforts.
In Rwanda, Heroes’ Day was celebrated nationwide on Tuesday, February 1, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Mausoleum of National Heroes in Remera, where President Kagame was accompanied by First Lady Jeannette Kagame and other senior officials and diplomatic corps.