Local journalists urged to effitively use Kinyarwanda language, reflect the culture in their reporting

By Elias Hakizimana.

Rwandan journalists are called on to use Kinyarwanda language in their daily reports as efficient as possible and respect the culture of the country to avoid whatever can backward the country’s benefit due to negative reporting.

The call was made on November 14, 2018 by Rwanda Media High Council (MHC) in partnership with Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture (RALC) while introducing a five-day training of journalists on Rwandan Culture reporting in media content creation- theoretical phase in Kigali.

The training embarked on Rwandan values, social norms and ‘Kirazira’/myths and positive use of Kinyarwanda language in news reporting.

When officially opening the theoretical training, Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo, the Executive Secretary of MHC said the training was organised in line with MHC responsibilities.

Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo, the Executive Secretary of MHC addressing journalists from various media outlets during the theoretical training in Kigali on November 14th, 2018 before they go on field countrywide. (All photos by Tresor Ishimwe/MHC).

“We wish that media work by reflecting professionalism and be catalysts of culture and language preservation to lighten the audience and be the bridge that links leaders and citizens,” Mbungiramihigo said.

This training followed the recent one on the usage of Kinyarwanda language in media content held in Musanze District in May 2017.

“Our recent research revealed that culture space in media is still low. By then MHC and RALC took a decision to help media improve on Kinyarwanda language used in articles and talk shows by highlighting also the culture. This training will help us build partnership with your respective media outlets. We want to boost our language and culture and I believe after this training you will be more skilled and give impacts,” he added.

Shami Aloys Rukizangabo, a professional culture journalist reminded journalists that they can create innovations and challenge those who negatively report on culture such as Miss-Rwanda by rethinking and help the community know about who can be a beautiful Rwandan girl.

Dr.James Vuningoma, Executive Secretary of RALC recommended journalists to use available opportunities for the country’s benefits, arguing that whatever they can report should be constructive and serve the common interests.

Dr.James Vuningoma, Executive Secretary of RALC.

Journalists’ feed back

Aisha Umukobwa, a freelance journalist who was among the trainees said that the training is a great contribution to help journalists bridge the gap of their current Kinyarwanda use and and culture reflection while reporting.

Umukobwa  giving an opinion about how media can improve on Kinyarwanda language use and culture.

She said that there is still a long way to go to improve on this situation.

“For one to give a hand, it is pre-requisite to have an arm, which means that for a journalist to report with respect of Kinyarwanda language better use and culture framework, he/she should have skills in that regard and at higher level. Our current level in Kinyarwanda use does not give a hope and even our past education from families weakens our language use, some of us still mix Kinyarwanda with other languages. I request RALC to continue training journalists to uproot the disability we have in enriching our local language use,” Umukobwa said.

Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo, the Executive Secretary of MHC (Left) with Dr.James Vuningoma, Executive Secretary of RALC.


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Elias Hakizimana

Elias Hakizimana, CEO&Founder of The Inspirer Ltd,(www.rwandainspirer.com) is a professional Rwandan Journalist with Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Communication, received from University of Rwanda’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. He served various media houses in Rwanda including Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in 2013 and became passionate with English Online and Print Media Publications where he exercised his talent as a Freelance News Reporter for The New Times, The Independent, The Rwanda Focus, Panorama and more before he became a Self-Entrepreneur as the CEO and Founder of The Inspirer Limited in early 2017.

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