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I am a Survivor: Rwandan Girl Narrates How She Lost Both Parents in 1994 Genocide

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genocide

By Karen Bugingo

I was born in November 1992 about 2 years before the 94 Tutsi genocide here in Rwanda. I was born in a small family; it was just me and my older brother Kevin who was born a year before me. My parents were entrepreneurs, working for themselves in town. They met and fell in love and by October 1990, they were married here in Kigali- Rwanda. My father grew up and spent most of his life in Uganda, where he also did achieve his education. Afterwards he had to move to Rwanda- Kigali, where he had found a bride and so he settled in Kigali. And as for my mother, she was raised and grew up right here in her motherland all her life. After 2 years happily married with 2 kids, a tragedy occurred. They had been insecurity threats in the country for a longtime and for that my parents were never comfortable leaving me and Kevin alone at home with our nanny while they went off to work every morning, so instead they’d always drop us off at my grandmother’s in Kiyovu with our nanny who took care of us and they’d go on with their day and later in the evening on their way back from work, they’d pick us up and we would all head to our home in Nyamirambo. This routine went on for a longtime until one day, it was done differently which is how me and my brother Kevin survived the 94 genocide.

It was on the 5th of April, when they dropped us off on their way to work and at that time it was intense in the country and everyone was living in fear even though they’d wake up and try to live a normal life which my parents also tried to maintain. So, that morning they dropped us off at my grandmother and on their way back that evening something held them up at work and they left work a little bit later than usual and so since it was late and we were already asleep, they called my grandmother and told her to keep us for the night and that they would be coming back to pick us the next day. On the 6th of April (the following day) my mother went to work as usual but my father remained at home (nobody really remembers what exactly happened) but they didn’t go to together at work that day and so that evening when my mother called my grandmother to have us dressed and ready, that she was coming by to pick us up and take us back home. When she reached my grandmother’s house, grandma tried to convince her that it was not safe for her and that she should just remain here as well at least until the morning and maybe then she could go. But my mother became hard to convince to stay and so she told my grandmother that, she couldn’t stay and leave her husband- my father- to stay home alone that night so she instead allowed to leave Kevin and I with my grandmother since she had insisted and so she went back home in Nyamirambo and we stayed in Kiyovu with my grandmother. On that night, the night of the 6th is when President Habyarimana’s plane crushed and the madness begun and on the following day, is when the official day of the killing begun and so nobody was allowed to leave their homes especially those who were targeted and so my father and mother stayed at home that day in fear while we also remained at my grandmother’s in kiyovu.

The interahamwe invaded Nyamirambo on the 8th of April, brutally killing everyone and leaving no one behind. It’s said that on that day in Nyamirambo is where there was massive killing in the beginning days of the 94 genocide. My father was apparently on “the list” and so on that day, a large group of interhamwe barged into our home in Nyamirambo and started shooting non-stop and running around the house, threw all the rooms in searched of anyone who could be there hiding from them and so my Father and mother were killed in that way. My aunt who survived hid outside in the dog house and the house girl covered her and didn’t tell the men about her. The house girl who had “Hutu” stamped on her National ID was safe and so the men left the house, leaving my father and mother dead. My grandmother heard the news and so she kept us threw out and the whole journey of trying to survive. It was not easy running and escaping from machetes and gun fires for about 3 months with a 1yr(almost2) old baby and a 2(almost 3) yrs old baby, but my grandmother managed with the help of the other members of my family. My Grandmother raised us and onto this day she is still fighting and taking care of us. And this is my story of how I survived.

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared on Bugingo’s Blog: karenbugingo.blogspo­t.ug

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WCW: Meet Flavia Tumusiime one with a superb personality

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Flavia Tumusiime

Flavia Tumusiime is a Ugandan tv and radio host, actress, inspirational speaker and emcee .

She was born on 11th February,1989 in Kampala to Mr Enoch Tumusiime (the late) and Mrs Christine Asiimwe.

Flavia is admired by many because of her several great qualities sociable,reliable,intellectual and punctual,ambitious and cheerful.

She works on both radio and Tv daily something that has left a lot of questions on how she schedules her work.

Flavia started her television career when she was still a teenager where she hosted the teen’s show on WBS for four years before hosting the K- files. Flavia was also a presenter for big brother Africa in 2012.

In 2016, Flavia joined NTV as a news anchor and co-host of “Morning at NTV a morning show which started in 2018.

In 2006, Flavia shortly worked on HOT100 FM as a presenter before joking Capital FM where she is till date.

She also featured in Nana Kagga’s film as Kamali Tenywa which was the lead role,she participated in the Tursker Twende Kazi as a contestant from Uganda and was a judge at the Tursker project fame as a judge.

She has earned a lot of awards and recognition as best female radio personality,teen’s role model,best dressed female media personality and many others.

Flavia attended St Theresa Kisubi for her primary , she later joined Kitante high school for both O and A levels. She holds a degree in International Business from Makerere University Business School.

Tumusiime is happily married to Andrew Kabura who they have one child together , Liam Ashaba Kabura.she is also known for having been able to live in the spotlight without finding her at odds with any person.

She has earned credit for her semi-informal tone and clear pronunciation both in Luganda and English which appears natural.

We will keep you posted

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How the Stanbic National Schools Championship is impacting education in Uganda

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Barbara Kasekende Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Manager at Stanbic Bank Uganda

Barbara Kasekende, the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Manager at Stanbic Bank Uganda

By Our Reporter 

The 5th edition of the Stanbic National Schools Championship 2020 is still on-going with the theme ‘Empowering the job creators of tomorrow’. We spoke to Barbara Kasekende, the Manager Corporate Social Investment (CSI) at Stanbic Bank about the journey so far and what to expect this year.

1. The Championship has been running for the last four years now; has the program met the bank’s expectations?

It has definitely met our expectations and beyond! When we started this program our aim was to empower our young minds with a focus on Financial Literacy, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship to shape our future generation to be holistic job creators. We started with 32 schools in 2016 and today we are at 100 schools.

Over 100,000 students, 200 teachers and communities have been impacted by this project.

Over 400 businesses ideas have been generated with 50 businesses already on ground.

The aim is to create shared value in the societies and environment in which we operate by shaping the mindset and instilling a thinking out of the box mentality for both our youth and the teachers. For we believe that an empowered child/youth leads to the development and growth of this country!

2. Why have you retained the same theme for the last three years?

Uganda’s population today is about 45 million with 80% of the people under the age of 30. Of those, over 10 million are in the youth category of which only 11% make it into the employment/business world. So what happens to the rest?

As a responsible corporate citizen, we cannot stand by and watch the future generation dwindle to the current situation where unemployment is concerned. Hence the program theme of ‘Empowering the job creators of tomorrow’. The focus on entrepreneurship and life skills is to empower young people to relate to the new modern world. Uganda is our home and we can only drive sustained growth by empowering the future leaders and job creators of tomorrow.

It is also important to note that the traction towards the theme has been very positive. The programme has not only impacted the schools and students, but also the communities at large.

3. How different is the competition this year?

This year, we are increasing school participation from 72 to 100 and targeting 60,000 students up from 43,200 and training 100 teachers from the 72 that were trained last year countrywide.

We have also reached out to 100 head-teachers this year and taking them through a business and financial management program with a touch of self-development. We have realised that as we continue to skill the students and teachers we should also be doing the same for the leaders, so that they fully understand the type of student they have ( the 21 st century digital, tech saavy) and also understand that a school is a business entity that needs proper planning.

In line with our sustainability plan, we have also introduced a two-tier competition. The first-tier of the championship will be for the new business generation ideas as it has always been.

The second-tier will focus on the businesses on ground with the teams competing for more investments into their enterprises. All teams will get something for their businesses with the prizes ranging from UGX500, 000 to UGX3 million as we seek to ensure that the businesses stay grounded and functional.

In addition to the above, this year we are joining the world to battle climate change and food insecurity. Thus, in partnership with Roofings Limited, we are planting fruit trees in all the 100 schools– the minimum being 10 trees in each school however they can go up to 100. We are providing all the tree seedlings free of charge.

4. What changes have you made in light of the Covid – 19 situation?

The Championship is still going forward. Like any other programme, our activities had to be altered due to the situation. Since we cannot be in schools physically, we have had to turn to the use of digital platforms. We have been able to reach the teachers and students online as well as use other immediate avenues like our branches to encourage the schools to forward their business ideas.

For instance, we moved the boot camp to online sessions. We normally bring schools together for skilling sessions but because schools are closed, we had to improvise. We have been using the Stanbic Facebook live pages to continue skilling the students. Our skilling series are still on-going at the moment. The traction has been great and we have not only been able to skill the students but also been able to reach a much wider audience as well.

Additionally, we are using patron teachers to select the best businesses plan within their school which is submitted to compete at regional level. You will see we have also introduced business regional judges who will assess all regional business plans remotely to select the top four schools per region who will be tasked to each identify a business opportunity that can be executed during the COVID-19 lockdown period. They will be assessed by a panel of judges and awarded seed capital to execute the idea. One school per region will be selected to compete in the finals.

It is amazing how committed the schools are. They have been swift to adapting to the sudden change in execution of the programme.

5. What prizes should the winners of the championship look forward to?

We always say everyone who participates in this programme is a winner and that the focus shouldn’t be on the prizes, but on the lessons acquired through the nine months of the championship. However the teams work really hard so an incentive for appreciation is not a bad idea!

Prizes range from a fully paid trip to South Africa for the winning team to a three-day getaway at a five-star establishment for the 1 st runner up. Other prizes for the winning schools include a solar system worth UGX20 million, a UGX10 million water system, ipads, laptops, kindles, bursaries, scholastic materials and plenty more! Please note that patron teachers also benefit in all this. We value their time and efforts in helping us run this program in their respective schools.

6. In the call for entries, you referred to some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How does the NSC tie into all this?

Our approach has been to invest in sustainable projects within the community. We believe in aligning our projects to the real issues affecting communities; thus our focus on the SDGs. That having been said, we have ensured that all our schools understand the value of National Schools Championship and its critical contribution to the SDGs.

At any rate the future of this country lies in their hands!

Under this CSI initiative, we align with eight SDGs: No Poverty, Quality Education, Clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, climate action and partnership. We reference the fight against poverty through the encouragement to create jobs, quality education in encouraging a wholesome curriculum in schools, clean water and sanitation through our provision of a water system for some of the winning schools, affordable and clean energy through the provision of a solar system for the winning school, decent work and economic growth through the programme itself and the creation of businesses, industry innovation and infrastructure by encouraging the schools to think beyond the classroom, climate action by playing a role in promoting renewable energy use and also planting trees to
preserve the environment.

As mentioned earlier, a fruit tree planting initiative is on-going in all the schools engaged this year. We have a target to plant over 15,000 trees across the country to tackle both climate change and food insecurity.

Lastly and most importantly, partnerships are a key factor among the SDGs for achieving positive scalable and impactful results. The National Schools Championship has evolved immensely, but for it to go to the next level, partnerships are a key imperative and you will see this year we have a number of partnerships on-board.

We started the partnership journey last year with the Mandela Group of Companies, Next Media Services, Uganda Christian University and International University of East Africa and we could not have made major strides without them. You will see that we have now on-boarded MTN, Vero Water, PWC, Roke Telkom, Century Bottling Company, Roofings, and PCB foundation.

With Stanbic Bank, IT CAN BE when we hold and guide our future generation’s to reach their full potential.



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Celebrity Gossip

Pallaso ships in brand new ride

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By BigEyeUg Team

2020 is not really a bad year for multi-talented singer Pius Mayanja alias Pallaso as majority may have suggested.

The self-proclaimed sucker free boss is having such a triumphant walk despite a few hiccups sometimes.

After surviving a serious jail sentence last month, Pallaso has decided to match his glory with a new monster ride of Volkswagen Golf brand.

The pleasing news was first babbled by his young brother, Weasel Manizo via his Instagram as he congratulated him for another milestone this year.

Congz @pallasomusic 2020 isn’t that bad yet,” stated Weasel.

Despite narrowly surviving death for almost two times this year, Pallaso has been showered with notable success in regards to his music career.

One of his prime achievements is his recent signature under Sony Music Africa.

Congratulations Pallaso!

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MCM: Meet Ray G, Western Uganda’s biggest music icon.

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Reagan Muhairwe popularly known as Ray G is a 28 year old Ugandan musician and songwriter based in the Western region. He was born and raised in Ishaka division, Bushenyi District and started singing while in his S3 and took on music professionally in his S6 vacation at an age of 21 after releasing his first single Amarari. He later released “enshazi” which took western Uganda by the storm and ever since then he has never gone back.

Unlike other artistes, Ray G has maintained his singing style where most of his songs are love themed and are always in his cultural language Runyankole and some of his songs include; Hihi, Eizooba, weshe, Nkaronda and many others.

However,he recently fell out with his management which was confirmed in an official statement released by his former manager Wavah Jay and the reasons to this are still unclear.

Ray G completed his high school in 2012 but did not make it to university due to his parents’ failure to afford to pay.He decided to concentrate on music a sacrifice he made for his siblings who were still in lower classes.

The melodious artiste also made his way to the top country wide after doing the “Omusheshe” collaboration with Spice Diana which gained airplay across the country.

Ray G celebrated 10 years in the music industry making history in Western Uganda after a successful live concert which was held on the 14th of September 2019 as the show was full to capacity by 8pm.

The Mbarara based singer surprised his fans on July 18, 2020 and got introduced by his fiancée Annabell Twinomugisha a TV presenter on TV West. The Introduction took place in Ntungamo at the home of Annabell’s parents a week after Ray G proposed to her.Their introduction pictures made rounds on social media and they were flooded with congratulatory messages.

Ray G and Annabel.

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