Stand for your identity

By Jean Baptiste Niyongabo

Having and assuming one’s identity is the most powerful richness that one must enjoy and be proud of.
Let me share with you my experience. Within one month I spent in Uganda. I found myself in many situations in which I was given different identities. Sometimes, the people I met could call me a Rwandese because of my face look or a Kenyan because I spoke some Kiswahili, but I always told them that I a Burundian. They didn’t know before that Burundian and Rwandese are different peoples. But, by the fact of assuming my identity, they got interested of knowing of how is Burundi like and after giving some descriptions of my country, many of them promised to visit Burundi. Imagine, all this occurred in a market place where when they know that you are not one of them, they multiply by four the prices or they refuse to sell to you.

The challenge was to be able to choose what I could buy or deny my identity. Since I believe that an identity has no price, I decided to reveal it. What was amazing was that I finally bought at good prices because I was able to make Ugandan friends as a Burundian. So, can’t you claim to be given your identity before someone can give you a different name? When you meet someone who calls you by an ethnic, political, religious or regional membership, just stand and remind him/her that you are a Burundian. Tell him/her that your true identity is your mother land ‘’ Burundi’’ and will help you to be able to build a strong name that will last over all those sorts of division. With true identity, you will make true friendship and a true friendship never breaks.

3 responses to “Stand for your identity

  1. Hey John,

    Let me tell you that I faced the same challenge, many people here thinking that I’m rwandese and I had to explain that I’m not, that in Burundi we have Hutus and Tutsis and Twas as in Rwanda and that Burundi and Rwanda are two different but close nations at many points of view

  2. NAHIMANA Daphrose

    Salut Baptiste,

    J’ai apprécié beaucoup ta réaction devant toutes ces difféntes identités qu’on t’as donné.
    c’est en acceptant que nous sommes burundais qui va nous donner la force de le défendre.

  3. PANAFRICA Marie Claire

    Cher Jean Baptiste;
    J’apprécie beaucoup ton carnet de voyage ,
    souvent les gens nous prennent souvent pour ce que nous ne sommes pas ,mais il est toujours de notre devoir de les éclairer sur notre identité .
    Comme tu dis elle est la mère de notre personnalité et notre fierté .


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