Most recently spotted bringing down the house with his crowd-pleasing turn in A Day with Emelienne and Cocoki, Darius Habamenshi (right) is a third-year university student at the Kigali Institute of Education ("KIE") and a Generation Rwanda scholarship recipient. For the past year-and-a-half, Darius has also distinguished himself as an immensely talented English and Kinyarwanda literacy trainer at Indego Africa.
Darius envisions his vocational experience at Indego Africa as moving him closer toward a goal of teaching secondary school before eventually pursuing an M.A. in Education; reflecting on his choice of discipline, he thoughtfully reasoned that, as an educator, he could “help his country and his people through teaching and through revising how people understand the world.”
Darius’ unwavering commitment to learning is perhaps best encapsulated by his ingenuity and persistence in graduating from secondary school. Unable to afford school fees three different times during secondary school, Darius each time entered and won an award to cover the remainder of his tuition. To circumvent a proscription against one pupil winning the same award twice, Darius flexed his versatility across literary and artistic genres, following up an initial prize in poetry with prizes in music and then in illustrated authorship. The themes and messages of his compositions ranged from reconciliation to anti-corruption to HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention.
Prior to returning to KIE for his third year in January, Darius spent time working for Radio La Benevolencija Humanitarian Tools Foundation, a Dutch NGO that engineers media campaigns in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi in support of reconciliation and justice processes in the so-called “Great Lakes” region. For his part, Darius conducted surveys in diverse Rwandan provinces to gauge and evaluate the impact on local populations of a Rwandan radio soap opera called Musekeweya intended to promote post-genocide healing.
Darius (observing Thamar complete a purchase order bottom right) remains full of admiration and encouragement for his artisan pupils at Cocoki and Covanya, extolling their desire and work ethic. “They want to learn, they want to acquire knowledge, and, despite the many orders that they now have, they are excited to learn.” We at Indego Africa wholeheartedly thank you, Darius, for all of your hard work, your patience, and your dogged self-belief that you can, and will, make a difference.