Rwanda: Heroes Day Theme to Focus on Youth Embracing Heroism

24 January 2019

The Chancellor of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honour (CHENO), Dr Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday said there was need to focus on the youth to teach them the history of heroic deeds to inspire them.

He was addressing the media ahead of the Heroes Day that falls on February 1.

This year, it will be held under the theme: "Sustaining heroism in a vision we have chosen" and will be celebrated at the village level.

"We are heading towards vision 2050 and we cannot achieve it without heroic values and without the future generation embracing heroic values," he said.

Different activities will start from January 25 to 31st before the national celebrations and will revolve around the day's theme.

It will be about heroic values, the history of heroes in Rwanda, and how to promote the culture of heroism.

Several games will be organised under Ubutwari tournament" as well as poem recitals.

Habumuremyi explained that heroic values include proven integrity, patriotism, sacrifice, acts of bravery, setting a good example, truthfulness, and love for others instead of being materialistic.

Determination of categories of heroes is based on a supreme sacrifice by devoting oneself and forgetting one's own interests to defend public and national interests and, if need arises, sacrificing one's own life.

"We have to understand the role of heroism in national development. Heroism has happened before and after independence.

Heroism shaped the liberation war, during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and we continued with development war, fighting to sustain our achievements and we have the battle to prepare bright future for young generation and this cannot be achieved without heroic culture," he said.

Lt Col Innocent Munyengango, the Defence and Military Spokesperson said: "The youth make a large part of our population and they need to understand and embrace heroic values since they are the ones who will help continue building this nation in the future," he said.

"In ancient times heroism was about deeds in a war against the enemy, but today we also talk about heroism in all sectors of development.

We have to base our actions on patriotism and loving work culture and we extend such values to outside Rwanda such as what Rwanda's army does in north and South Sudan and central Africa through community work," he said.

Categories of heroes and honours

Imanzi is the supreme hero who demonstrated outstanding achievements characterized by supreme sacrifice, outstanding importance and example.

Imena comes next and someone who is reputed for his/ her extraordinary acts for the country characterized by supreme sacrifice, high importance and example.

Ingenzi is for good ideas or outstanding achievements characterized by supreme sacrifice, great importance and high example.

Orders and decorations of honors include Uruti that is awarded to those who played a role in liberating the country, Umurinzi that is awarded to those who played role in fighting and stopping 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, Agaciro that is given to a leader with activities in developing the country in politics, economy, welfare, Igihango given to those with outstanding activities that paved Rwanda's cooperation with other countries.

They also include Indashyikirwa medal awarded to those who managed to bring innovations that boost national development, Indangamirwa to those who highly promoted Rwandan culture and Indengabaganizi awarded to those who sacrificed themselves to save people without thinking of losing their lives

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