BB King Singing "The Thrill is Gone"

The legendary guitarist and Blues singer Riley B. King,  known as B.B. King, has died  in Las Vegas on Thursday May 14, 2015 at age 89. Known for his soulful velvety voice and his unique style of blues, he is credited for making Blues one of the mainstream music genres around the World.

The King of the blues, as he was affectueusly known,  was born in Mississippi from where he got the inspiration of what he called "Delta blues roots". His music has influenced a lot of music stars and music genres, including rock, R&B,  pop, and of course blues. Rock, R&B, pop,  and blues

Marilyn Mosby - Baltimore Chief Prosecutor

They are smart, dedicated, articulate, women, and leaders. The fact that they are also Black may be a coincidence, but also a historical convergence, that augurs the things to come. These four Black women are bound by the death of Freddie Gray, a 25 Black man, while in the custody of the Baltimore police. The death was followed by protests by citizens seeking justice  and violent riots, burning, and looting of Baltimore shops and police cars by angry citizens, mostly young, over yet another young unarmed Black man killed by the Police in the United States.

 The four women are: 

Feidin Santana who shot the video of cop killing Walter Scott

Officer Michael Slager has been charged with murder in the shooting death of  50-year-old Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina. Michael Slager shot the unarmed black man in back eight times as Scott was running away from him.

The shooting has sparked more national outrage in the United States, as it comes following high profile cases of police shooting and

Nigerians Celebrate the Victory of General Buhari

On June 13, 2011, in a statement at the African Union in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton challenged African leaders to promote democracy, economic growth, and peace and security.

".. the United States seeks new and dynamic partnerships with African peoples, nations, and institutions. We want to help you accelerate the advances that are underway in many places and collaborate with you to reverse the dangerous trends and encourage political, economic, and social progress, " said the US Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State praised the countries of Botswana, Ghana, and Tanzania for being the role models of democracy in Sub-Sahara Africa and

Rasheen Aldridge, protesting in Ferguson in Michael Brown case

His name is Rasheen Aldridge.  Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, the 20 years old  Aldridge  is a natural leader.  After graduating from High School, he enrolled at Forest Park Community College, while working minimum wage jobs, the lot of many Black youth in underpriviledged areas, such as East Saint Louis or Ferguson, Missouri. But that did not stop him.

US Attorney Loretta Lynch with US Attorney General Eric Holder

As the U.S. Attorney for New York’s eastern distric, Lorreta Elisabeth Lynch rules over an area that includes Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Nassau and Suffolk county on Long Island. The tough and feared, but self-effacing, attorney will be nominated, on Saturday November 8, 2014, by President Obama to the post of US Attorney General, replacing the out going Eric Holder.  If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman to occupy the post. Eric Holder was the first Black man to hold the post.

Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, from a teaching mom and a baptist minister father, the 55-year old Loretta Lynch  attended some of the best schools, at some

This week, Americans, including me, commemorated the 237th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. In public places and churches, and surely in private places, American sang their favorites songs, hymns, and the national anthem. In America the Beautiful, God Bless USA, or Star Spangled Banner, the theme of freedom rang in the singers’ ears:
In God Bless USA:
          “That I’m proud to be an American,
           where at least I know I’m free.
           And I wont forget the men who died,
           who gave that right to me.”

In America the Beautiful:
          “ America! America!
           God shed his grace on thee
           Till selfish gain no longer stain
           The banner of the free!”

In the National Anthem Star Spangled Banner:
           “Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
            Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
            Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
            Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
            Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,”

As I was joining others in singing and celebrating, my mind kept coming back to the theme :”That I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free”, “thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand”, or “Till selfish gain no longer stain The banner of the free”. As an American, I know what I am proud of.

As a Rwandan, I asked myself what I am proud of; then, what other Rwandans around the World may be proud of and naturally, I thought about Rwandans, inside Rwanda, and what they must be proud of.

The question to each Rwandan is: what are you proud of? I am not talking about the pride in your parents, children, role models, or personal achievements. My question is about what makes us proud of being a Rwandan today.
When I listen to the anthems, patriotic songs, and other happy proclamations from the most advanced democratic societies, I observe three themes on what make their citizens proud of their country:

  • They are proud of being the citizens of their country, because at least they are free
  • They are proud of being the citizens of their country, because they feel empowered in their rights
  • They are proud of being the citizens of their county because of their able, visionary, and democratic leaders who strive to hold the country together, the people united and their nation prosperous.

Now, Rwandans, why are we proud of being Rwandans?

  • Are we proud because Rwandans are free? Do Rwandans have the freedom to pursue happiness? Do they possess the freedom of expression, press, religion?
  • Are we proud because Rwandans feel empowered in our own rights and our ability to stand for the rights of our neighbors, be they from the same ethnic group or not?
  • Are we proud because the current Rwandan leaders have the respect around the region and the World for their righteousness, the promotion of democratic values and a vision for strong and lasting institutions, the foundations of prosperity and social wellness; leaders who value the life of each Rwandan regardless of the ethnic group, region, religion, or political views; leaders who value peace and unity among the components of our people above their selfish short term interests; leaders who want all Rwandans to feel and be welcomed in their own country?

Rwandans, what makes us proud of being Rwandans after 51 years of independence?

July 6, 2013.

Felicien Kanyamibwa, PhD.

President of National Democratic Congress (NDC) – Congrès National Pour la Démocratie (CND), a coalition between the Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana) and Rally for the Rwandan People (RPR-Inkeragutabara).