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  • The World I Dream Of, on Women’s Day The World I Dream Of, on Women’s Day

    The World I Dream of, on Women’s Day

    The following poetic essay was written by Her Excellency The First Lady Mrs Jeannette Kagame, to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.

    On days like these,
    I find solace in hope, perspective in wonder,
    For the present is hardly perfect.

    We are born knowing that women
    Are resilient, perhaps to a fault.
    To nurture and protect, they will move a mountain,
    Even hungry, they will feed the world.

    So when I see the strength of a woman,
    Whose spine is stout, whose back is sturdy,
    Adorned in bold and splendid fabrics,
    Strain hidden beneath grace and beauty,
    I also see all the ravages of time,
    In painting her pain as her crown of glory.
    Why should that woman navigate,
    Between indifference and victimization?
    Why must we submit to a yearly date,
    To condemn female degradation? Why?

    Sometimes, I imagine a world different from this present one.
    It is a shame how often we stifle imagination,
    Yet imagination,
    is the lyric of an irrepressible spirit.
    Where creativity and art once collided,
    Our nation’s offspring were once serenaded,
    “Ukuranye ituze
    Ukuranye ubwiza
    Ukaba n’ingenzi koko”

    What if we, like dreamers,
    Allowed our minds to roam the vast expanse,
    Just for a little, hearts wide open,
    To reverie, to a poem.

    With my eyes closed I see, bright as day,
    A just, a fair
    An equal,
    And a very kind world,
    In which prejudice has passed, bias was driven far away!
    And in this world of even care, I see ...
    A Woman and a girl, claim their fair share,
    Of promise, of prism and of power,
    Acknowledged and fostered.

    I find solace and hope in wonder.
    Perhaps you’d care to join me?

    Le monde que j’imagine a appris de nos erreurs,
    Il soigne les blessures causées par nos échecs.
    Il ne connait le dur désir de dominance,
    Qui aime pour victimes femmes et enfants,
    Celui qui semble toujours vivre aujourd’hui,
    Dans un coin enfoui de nos coeurs.

    Et si ce monde pour lequel nous prions,
    Dépendait de nos présentes actions;
    Et si nous refusions enfin de tolérer,
    Qu’une femme de plus soit abandonnée,
    Au bord d’une route qu’elle aujourd’hui balaye,
    Et un jour construit,
    En offrant,
    Sueur, amour, et vie.

    Bari, Bategarugori.
    Muri benimpuhwe,
    Muri Indangamirwa.

    Quand je me laisse un peu rêver,
    Les femmes que nous célébrons ce mois-ci,
    ont leurs efforts et vertus,
    Appréciés ; reconnus,
    Tout au long de l’année.

    The world I dream of on Women’s Day,
    Is one of empowered women and vocal allies
    Who together, keep prejudice at bay,
    United in mission, by humanity’s ties.

    To the fathers that have been rocks,
    That have given their daughters steady support,
    To the brothers that have honoured their sisters,
    As they braved a sometimes frightening, negligent world,
    You are a pride to your mothers and we salute you!
    May your conviction never falter,
    May you never abuse your power,
    For History observes, History judges, History remembers.
    Demandons-nous sans crainte ou retenue:
    Duhanikire icyarimwe tuti:

    « Uri Mwiza Mama! »
    « Data azaguhe urugukwiye
    Rumwe udukunda utizigamye
    N’uwaguhanze aguhore hafi
    Azakurinde amakuba yose."

    In the world I dream of, on Women’s Day,
    compassion and support are not gendered.

    Indeed, when I let my mind wander,
    And to faith and hope, surrender,
    The plains along which our children run,
    Are evenly endowed by rain and sun.

    J’ose rêver d’un futur lumineux pour les femmes.
    Je rêve d’un monde ou égale est chaque âme.