Abarundi turakunda urusaku! Women, men, children… all of us do! It’s become a communal thing. It’s our favourite activity! We love to be in each other’s business. We always want to know ubuzima bwa naka na naka, even when we’re not friends and have never met before. Is this because we’re bored or is it one of those things that are just “part of our culture”? We tell stories that are true but we also tell stories that are UNTRUE: “Numvise ngo Solange arashobora kuba yaracitse umu musulmane hewe!” When really all Solange did was move to Saudi Arabia! Amazing, right?
As if it’s not enough to be nosey, we also have this power to turn the most magical things and beautiful moments into ugly ones: “Yavyaye vraiment kandi biraryoshe mugabo… urya mugabo wiwe ko umengo ntaryohewe kwi foto?” Like, really? We’re magicians nukuri! Only magicians can go from 0 to 100 that quick! Or maybe Drake too! And social media does not help with this at all. When for some of us social media platforms are spaces for inspiration and motivation, for others they’re the best source for the juiciest gossip about a little bit of everything Burundian related. Darn it!

However, as much as we can be very loud when gossiping about and criticizing others, we are capable of being very quiet too… But quiet when we’re actually supposed to be talking! I mean, why are we so quiet when it comes to complimenting, helping, listening, encouraging someone? Why do we see someone crumble and turn silent when we could simply uplift them? Why do we find it weird when we see someone always spreading love? We always go: “urya muntu nawe aguma atwenga gusa! Biri bizarre!” When was that ever a bad thing? Why do we immediately put on our let-me-watch-them-fall face when our sister or brother comes up with a great, innovative idea? Or why do we have to be so secretive when we decide to show compassion and support to a brother or sister?

Abarundi we are so negative, it’s not even funny! We watch our brothers and sisters who are making it, but all that we find to say is “ndamuzi kera ntiyaratesa gutyo sha nareke kutubesha!” As if we don’t all have a past, as if we’re not all trying to make it for ourselves, our parents and our nation. Can we simply be supportive towards one another no matter what one’s past is? Can we care less about small details that don’t matter?

Reka duhindure ingendo barundi! For once, let’s try to do be good and see the results. Let’s become quiet about bad news or things that are none of our business, and spread good news. Let’s become nosey about others’ successes basi! I know that I can’t change the way we seem to have been “configured”, but allow me to make us all think twice when we’re about to fail to be compassionate and supportive towards one another.

This is the 3rd week into the New Year; that time when we realise if we’re going to stick to the resolutions we made or not. How about we add “being nice towards one another” to the list?

Nimugire amahoro!


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(Photo source: mutualart.com)