|English: Beautiful Rwanda|
National anthem of Rwanda
|Lyrics||Faustin Murigo, 1990s|
|Preceded by||"Rwanda Rwacu"|
"Rwanda Nziza" (instrumental)
"Rwanda Nziza" (Kinyarwanda: [ɾɡwɑːndɑ nziːzɑ́], "Beautiful Rwanda") has been the national anthem of Rwanda since January 1, 2002. It replaced "Rwanda Rwacu", which had been the national anthem since 1962.
Rwanda's original national anthem, written when the country achieved independence from Belgium in 1962, was called Rwanda Rwacu (Our Rwanda). Independence was achieved at a time of high tension, following the Rwandan Revolution: centuries of rule by the minority Tutsi group had been overturned in just three years, the majority Hutu taking power in a violent upheaval, and forcing more than 100,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The subsequent thirty years, under the presidencies of Gregoire Kayibanda and Juvénal Habyarimana, were marked by continued cycles of violence, culminating in the 1990s with the launch of the Rwandan Civil War by exiled Tutsi led by Paul Kagame, the assassination of President Habyarimana, and the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, in which between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed by Hutu extremists, on the orders of the interim government, in the space of just 100 days.
The genocide was ended when Kagame's rebel army took control of the country in July 1994. A period of reconciliation began, as a unity government took control of the country. Kagame was the de facto leader from this point on, and assumed the presidency in 2000. As part of the reconciliation effort, and ostensibly to signal a break with the country's violent past, the government enacted an overhaul of the country's symbols, including the flag, the coat of arms and the national anthem.
To commission the lyrics and music for the new state anthem, the government organized a national contest. Rwanda Nziza represented the winning entry, with lyrics composed by Vedaste Munyaneza of Karubanda prison, and melody by Captain Jean-Bosco Hashakaimana of the Rwandan army brass band. Rwanda Nziza became the official anthem of Rwanda on 1 January 2002.
The lyrics are as follows:
|Kinyarwanda lyrics||Swahili lyrics||French lyrics||English translation|
Notes and references
- afrol News (2 January 2002). "Rwanda gets new flag, national anthem and coat of arms". Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- Gourevitch 2000, pp. 58–59.
- Prunier 1999, p. 51.
- Prunier 1999, p. 56.
- Prunier 1999, p. 93.
- Henley, Jon (31 October 2007). "Scar tissue". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- Dallaire 2005, p. 386.
- Dallaire 2005, p. 299.
- Prunier 1999, p. 299.
- Waugh 2004, pp. 120–121.
- BBC News (22 April 2000). "Rwanda's Kagame sworn in". Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- BBC News (31 December 2001). "Rwanda unveils new flag and anthem". Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- Republic of Rwanda. "about Rwanda". National Symbols. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- Dallaire, Roméo (2005). Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda. London: Arrow. ISBN 978-0-09-947893-5.
- Gourevitch, Philip (2000). We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families (Reprint ed.). London; New York, N.Y.: Picador. ISBN 978-0-330-37120-9.
- Prunier, Gérard (1999). The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (2nd ed.). Kampala: Fountain Publishers Limited. ISBN 978-9970-02-089-8.
- Waugh, Colin (2004). Paul Kagame And Rwanda: Power, Genocide and the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1941-8.
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