Rwakyekoreire Buhano: An outstanding novel in Runyankore By Benedikito K. Mubangizi

Rwakyekoreire Buhano: An outstanding novel in Runyankore  By Benedikito K. Mubangizi

Rwakyekoreire Buhano – By Benedikito K. Mubangizi, USJMP, 2019


This novel, the first by Benedikito K. Mubangizi, was written in 1971. Originally published as a two-book series, this edition is the first presentation of the full story of the life of a man called Rwakyekoreire Buhano.


The story is set in the pre-colonial period (in the area that was to become known as Ankole), long before the arrival of foreign influences.  Rwakyekoreire, the son of Rwakyahinda, a member of Abairuntu clan, lived in Ibaare, near Kitabi, in Igara. He was an angry, impatient, and aggressive young man, forever fighting whoever irritated him. Had he lived in the modern era, doctors would have diagnosed, at a minimum, a condition called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder  (ADHD), with an additional diagnosis of opposition defiant disorder (ODD). 


This is the story of Rwakyekoreire’s youth, adulthood, and old age. It is a suspense-filled story with twists and turns that makes it hard to put the book down. One wants to know what happened next, then next, and next.  Mubangizi, writing in beautiful Runyankore that one no longer hears in conversation, succeeds in producing a novel that stands head-to-head with the great works of the more famous African writers like Chinua Achebe and Ousmane Sembene.


Though written in classic Runyankore, the modern readers need not worry that they will not understand Mubangizi’s lyrical language. In his words: “Orurimi rw’eki kitebyo rutakukanga ahabw’okushangwa rugumire ruri orw’omurembe gwa Rwakyekoreire, orwabaire rutakafungukire n’okugibwamu ebitobe nk’orwa Yakobo Bindeeba orw’ekitebyo kyangye ekindi, eky’Abagyenda Bareeba.”


This is one of those stories that would probably not have the impact it has if it had been written in English. It is a gripping story that I highly recommend.  


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