Alexandre Kimenyi
   
IBIBAZO BY'INSOBE
Kimenyi

Uyu muvugo sinzi uko uvugika
Maze iminsi nywushakira umuvuno
Ngo uvumere untamvunnnye
Wivuge uvuruganya
Inganzo iranga yiraza i Nyanza

Ndahendahenda ndahembera
Amagambo ambera imbarwa
Arangambanira mba imbohe
Nayavumba akivumbura

Abasaza n'abasizi
Mwe nsiga nkanasingiza
Ndabasaba ngo musiganure
Ibyo nsobanura bikaba insobe

Nindeka ubuzima nkazimira
Nkagaruka ndi umuzimu
Nibaza niba iyi si nzayizimya
Cyangwa niba nzayiramya

Ibibazo mfite ni amahurizo
Nahuguza bikaba amahuri
Kutimenya byabaye ikimenyane
None dore nihaye amenyo
Sinzatinda kubimenyera

Data umbyara iyo atanyita iryo nitwa
Nkitwa Semutwa cyangwa Serutwe
Mba nemewe ko ndi jyewe
Cyangwa se ntekereza uko nteye?

Iyo umusaza asasirwa n'undi
Mama wanyonkeje agashaka ahandi
Aba yarampebye ntampeke
Simvugwe simvuke?

Iyo mvuka ndi umuhutu
Mba narabaye Parmehutu
Ngahutaza abatutsi nkabagira igitutsi
u Rwanda nkarwandarika
Igihugu nkakibahuguza?

Iyo ngororerwa singorwe
Nkarongorera mu rugero
Mba mfite Gitego na Ndahiro
Izo ngabire nagabanye?

Iyo mvuka ndi umugore
Ko mbakunda bankundiye
Mba se ntamirije urugore
Cyangwa ndi igishegabo mba mu bagabo
Ndi icyomanzi narabuze imanzi?

Iyo ntaba uw'iyi ngoma
Ingoma ikanyigomba
Nari kwambara ngatera abagome
Kandi ntinya gutera uruguma?

Ubu nshize ubute ngategeka
Natetereza amategeko
Ngatoteza abatekereza
Ngatonesha abazi kumasha
Ngategekesha igitugu n'igituza?

Muri iri juru ry'ijuri
Ririmo abijuse n'abajujubijwe
Ko hari amaganya angana amagana
Aho imana ntiyafashe impamba
Yo irema bamwe ikabatera ibiremo?

Kuko umusizi ari umusazi
Ngiye guca umuvuno
Uyu muvugo utavukamo umuvumo
Umuvu ukanta mu muvumba
Kandi umuti abavuzi batarawuvumbura.

TANGLED QUESTIONS


I don't know how this poem is going to sound like
For days I have been trying to find its structure
So that it resonates without me encountering difficulty
And it recites its praise-poem with rhythm
The inspiration has refused to come.

I implore and try to revive the fire
Words can only be counted on fingers
They have betrayed me and I have become a prisoner
When I ask beer from them they rebel.

Elders and poets
You whom I compose poems for and praise
I beg you to decode for me
What I explain and become tangled.

If I leave life and disappear
And I come back as a ghost
I wonder if I am going to distinguish this world
Or if I will praise it.

The problems that I have are a mystery
When I seek answers they become infertile eggs
Not to know myself has become an old acquaintance
Now I have made myself a laughing butt
It will not take me a long time to be accustomed to it.

If my father who gave birth to me had not named me who I am called
And my name had become Semutwa or Serutwe
Would I be accepted as me
Or would I be thinking the way I am.

If the old man was made the bed by somebody else
And my mother who nursed me had sought a house some place else
Would she have failed to have me and carry me on her back
Thus unable to be talked about and be unborn.

If I were born as a Hutu
Would I have joined Parmehutu
Pushing Tutsi and rendering them an insult
Dragging Rwanda's name through the mud
And make them aliens in their own country

If I had been rewarded without having to go through hard time
And marry on time
Would I have Gitego and Ndahiro
These gifts for which I was a baneficiary.

If I were born as a woman
I like them when they allow me
Will I be wearing a maternity crown
Or be a virago always in the company of men
Always running around unable to get any respect.

If I were not of this generation
And the country needed me
Would I have put on the uniform and attacked the rebels
Me who is always scared of causing wounds.

Suppose I overcome my laziness and become a leader
Would I threaten the laws
Harass those think
Give favors to those who know how to shoot
And rule with shoulders and chest.

In this sky full of darkness
Which has people who are full and those who are persecuted
There are complants which number hundreds
Has God maybe gone on a trip
He who creates some and sows others with patches.

Since a poet is a crazy person
I am going to compose the last verse
So that a curse doesn't come from this poem
And rain stream throw me in the rapid current
While the healers have not discovered the cure yet.

UBURAGE


Kibondo mpereza icyo kibando
Ndabona rirenga nanjye ndengera
Nkugire inama nakuye ku mana
Mbere ko manukana imvi mu mva.

Kurura agasambi aho mu kirambi
Ukarambure ukarambike mu nkike
Inkindi nambariye ku rugamba
Ni yo nshaka kuvugiraho amagambo.

Reka ngutume n'agatabi
Ukantekerere ngatumure
Aya matama nta kindi agitamira
Uru rurimi ntirutuma mira.

Nsezeye nisaziye
Sinasaraguritse ndi umusore
Ab'ibisare baransiga
Abansanga baransingiza ntibanseka.

Turi muri iyi si ducumbitse
Ariko iri cumbi si igikumba
Turigombamo umugambi
Tugataha badutashya bakiduharaye.

Mfashe inzira nezerewe
Mu ntambara naraberewe
N'ubw'inguma zamunze umubiri
Umubisha yarakangase ntiyankanga.

Iyi si ni iya so na sokuru
Yaremewe buri kiremwa ari n'ikirema
Ntawe urengeje abandi uburenganzira
Rengera abarenzi urenge abarenzwe.

Iduhanga yaraturinganije
Vuna abarengera ubwigenge
Abita mu butegetsi batatekereje
Ubatetereze ntutume bagutuma.

Ni ukura ukora ukunda
Ukanga kwangana no kwangiza
Ukirinda umururumba ntube ikirumbo
Uzashobora kuramba no kurumbuka.

Itonde urahure ubwenge buguha ubwitonzi
Buzira gutongana no gutombokwa
Utangire utange agatango
Umare irungu ugire akamaro.

Ku munsi wo gutabaruka
Uzasubiza amaso inyuma
Usange usanganywe imihigo
Uruhukane amahoro ku mutima.

FAREWELL ADVICE


Kid hand me that walking cane
I see it setting while I am going out of view from other side of the hill
So that I give you an advice that I got from God
Before I take the gray hair down to the grave.

Pull a straw mat from the living room
Unfold it and spread it in the corner of the compound-fence
The uniform that I wore on the battlefield
Is the one on which I want to say the words.

Let me also ask you to bring me tobacco
Put it in the pipe so that I puff it
The cheeks can't take anything else
The tongue doesn't allow me to swallow.

I am saying farewell in my old age
I didn't act crazy when I was a young man
The bullies left me behind
The ones who came to me lauded me and didn't make fun of me.

We are in this world as guests
But a lodging is not a permanent residence
In it we have to have a goal
So that when we return home people are still sending us greetings and missing us.

I am hitting the road happy
In the war I looked sharp
Eventhough wounds have gnawed at my body
The enemy boasted but didn't scare me.

This world belongs to your father and grandfather
It has been made for each creature even the handicapped
There is nobody who has more rights than others
Go to the rescue of people of untarnished character and forget those who are spoiled.

When it invented us it made us equal
Help those who are fighting for freedom
Those who throw themselves into leadership position without thinking
Harass them don't let them send you on missions.

If you grow working and loving
Refuse to hate and to damage things
Avoid greed and refuse to be useless
You will be able to live longer and to multiply.

Be wise and fetch knowledge which gives wisdom
Which hates to quarrel and to talk without thinking
Start giving a head start
Chase loniliness and be useful.

On the day of homecoming
You will look back
You will find that you always had good plans
You will rest peace in your heart.

UMWIJIMA


Iyo ibihu ryoroshe ijuru
Maze umwezi ukrituritsa
Umwijima usuhuka usahuye
Ukayembayemba busambo
Uhiga ahatari hacya ngo uhuguze isambu.

Umwijima uruka abajura
Ijoro rikaba urujijo
Maze injiji zikajagata
Nk'ibijojoba by'ijuru ryijimye.

Umwijima iyo ubaye ijigija
Umushyitsi ashyika ashaje
Akabona irembo arembye
Amajeri amujegera mu matwi
Ararandata akirindura
Akagenda atsikira atsitara
Inzara z'amano zikwononekara
Imikoki ikanga ikayangiza.

Iyo amajoro yijuse umwijima
Abahuguza ntibahuga
Igihugu kigahaga impagarara
Abashimusi bakishima
Abahotozi bagahohotera abahutu.

Iyo umwijima wuje
Amaso ahuma atahumbije
Inzira ikagira amazinda
Urugendo rukagenga rurondogora
Rugatonda rukitonda rugatinda
Rukanga gutanguranwa n'igitondo.

Umwijima iyo urambye
Imirambi ihinduka imirambo
Injiji zikiha ijabo
Amajimbiri akijuta umwijima
Abajijutse bakabajujubya
Ngo ntibaje gushengerera ijabiro
Bakabazibya bakajunjama
Bajurira bakabajindirana
Bakabatamo injishi mw'ijosi.

Umwijima wanga urumuri
Iyo rumuritse uramoka
Utinya ko bawutinyuka
Ntaho ushingiye ni ishingwe
Iyo hacyeye urakonja ukikunja
Amajanja akaba ibikonjo.

DARKNESS


When the fog covers the sky
And then the moonlight slices it
Darkness relocates after looting
Tiptoeing like a thief
Hunting where it is not day yet so that it appropriates for itself somebody's farm.

Darkness vomits thieves
Night brings ignorance
Stupid people start swarming
Like raindrops of a dark sky.

When darkness reaches middle age
A guest arrives aged
He sees the compound-fence gate exhausted
Crickets ringing in his ears
He searches with his fingers and falls down
He walks stumbling and breaks toes
Toenails get hurt
Ditches furiously damage them

When nights are full of darkness
Crooks are never distracted
The country gets full of troubles
Cow thieves become happy
Stranglers victimize Hutus.

When darkness is quiet
Eyes become blind without having blinked
The trail starts forgetting
The journey becomes talkative
It goes its way very slowly for a long time
Rrefusing to arrive before morning

When darkness lasts long
Flat areas change into corpses
Dummies start boasting
Swollen cheeks become full of anger
Those who are enlightened get harassed
Because they have not come to show their allegiance at the palace
They are silenced and sit dumbfounded
When they appeal their case they refuse to listen to them
They throw a rope in their necks.

Darkness hates light
When it lights it barks
It is afraid of not being afraid of
It doesn't have any foundation it is a pile of dirt
When the day breaks it gets cold and folds itself
Paws become crippled limbs.

INTAMBARA


Iyo mvuka kera ntibyari kunkera
Nari gutabwa sinitera urubwa
Nanga kurasa no kuvusha amaraso
Kubona abantu bapfa kandi ntacyo bapfa
Birandenga rikarinda rirenga.

Iyo bambwira kwambara ngo njye mu ntambara
Nari kwirwaza aho kujya kurwana
Bakanca cyangwa ngacibwa
Nkemera nkangana n'abo tungana
Kuko kwica n'ikinyabwoya bintera ubwoba.

Urazi kwambuka uruzi utera uwo utazi
Yari kuba umugenzi iyo adatura hakurya y'amazi
Ukamugota ukamuhotora ukamusogota ukamusonga
Maze yamisha bakagushima
Nta n'inzigo yo ku nzira jye nari kubizira.

Ku rugamba mwumva ntibanahamba
Ingogo zirigarika zigaharirwa inkongoro
Inkota ntiziga n'inkomere
Hagakuzwa inkotanyi n'inkubiri
Zirusha gukubitana inkubito uwo bita umubishi.

Iryo cumu bacumita mu gihumbi
Imihini imihoro imiheto izo nyanzi z'amahoro
Simbyitwaza sinshaka kuba intwari
N'abafite ayo matwara sinshaka ko bantwara
Nzemera nsunzugurwe aho kumena indurwe.

WAR


If I was born a long time ago
It was not going to bode well with me
I would have been outcasted
I am not throwing a false rumor on myself.

I hate to shoot and make things bleed
To see people dying without having had any problems with
It goes beyond me
Until the sun sets.

If I was told to put on the uniform and go to war
I would have pretended to be sick instead of going to fight
They could have outcasted me or I would have fled
I would have accepted to be enemy with people of my age
Because even killing a hairy caterpillar terrifies me.

Imagine crossing a river to attack somebody you don't know
Who could have become a friend if he didn't live the other side of the water
Then you circle him you stangle him you pierce him with a sword you finish him off
When the blood splashes they laud you
Without even any hint of previous grudge on the trail I was going to be a victim of it.

On the battlefield you hear about bodies are not even buried
Cadavers lay themselves on the floor and are left to the vultures
Swords don't spare even the wounded
Praises are deluged to great warriors and great hitters
Who surpass others in hitting with force who is labeled the enemy.

That spear they pierce in the chest
Sticks machetes bows those enemies of peace
I don't carry them I don't want to be a hero
And those who have those intentions I don't want them to rule me
I will accept to be an object of contempt instead of shedding the bile.

IYI NTIMBA IDATEMBA


Iyi ntimba idatemba
Ngo manuke ndukuke
Umuruho udatuza

Ndiyuha akuya
Nkiwuri ku gatsinsino
Ngatsikira ngatsitara
Natambuka ngatemba
Kandi inzira ikiri ndende.

Ndagwa ntanyoye
Inyota yanzonze
Nazamuka bikanga
Nakandagira nkanyerera
Imvura itaguye.

Uyu mubiri nkurura
Uramvuna utari munini
Ndawinginga ukanga
Nakanda ntukunde
Ndashengerera ntushime
Tubana turi abanzi
Kuva Rurema akiwunshinga.

Ndashinga ikibando
Nkananirwa kugishingura
Aho nicumye intambwe
Ndemera nkahaca icumbi.

Amatage aya matindi
Atanya abatangana
Yantaye mw'itongo
Mu gitondo cy'impeshyi
Ndakumbura sinsurwa
Abo nsanze bakansonga
Kandi umusonga ari cyica.

Ndicara ngacana
Nkwota uwo ntumva
Inkota umutima ukawushiha
Ukavirirana ntuhoshe
Agahinda kagatinda
Ngashira ngashoberwa
Ngasha gushora
Ngo nuhire nzidahirire
Ndebe uko mererwa
Nkazibura mu rwuri.

THIS SORROW THAT DOESN'T GO DOWN


This sorrow which doesn't flow down
So that it goes down for me to able to rest
From this misery which doesn't stop

I am wiping drops of sweat
While I am still at its heel
I stumble and break my toenails
When I make a step I fall down
While the trail is still long

I fall without having drunk
While I am dying of thirst
When I go up I am have difficulty
Where I put a step I slide
Although it has not rained

The body that I am pulling
Weighs heavy on me although it is not big
I beg it it refuses
I give it a massage it doesn't accept
I court it it doesn't say thanks
We have lived together as enemies
Since the creator put me in charge of it

I plant a walking cane
I have difficulty to pull it
Where I move one step
I decide to ask for a lodgment there

Separation this terrible thing
Which separates those who don't hate each other
Has left me in an abandoned house
In the early morning of the chilly summer
I miss people nobody visits me
Those I go to see pierce me with sharp objects
But sharp pain is lethal

I sit down and make a fire
I warm myself to what I can't feel
A sword pierces my heart
It bleeds non stop
The sorrow lasts very long
I am finished and mindless
Then comes the desire to take cows to drink
So that I draw the water and feed them
To see how I feel
But I don't find them in the grazing field.

CI-GIT


Ikiriba nibagishyingura
Bakanshyira igitaka hejuru
Sinongere kubona ijuru
Nkinjira mw,ijoro ridacya
Ngahuma ngaheza guhumeka
Abahemu bazihutira guhurura
Bahogore bananarirwe guhora.

Amarira y'ingona azisuka
Nk'isumo bafukuje isuka
Bazantangaho urugero ku rubyiruko
Nari incibwa mu bo twabyirukanye
Nimundeke nigendere
Mbona n'abagome bo kuri iyi ngoma
Mubakuza barakoze ibibi.

Amagambo ahishe ubugambanyi
Kuri uwo murambo urambitse mu mva
Bazantaka bantanage
Bamvugireho imivugo
Nitwe intwari ntarigeze ntwara
Amatwara yabo ntayitwaza
Aho nacaga barahacishaga umuriro.

Mu kigero cy'umugabo
Bazabura umugaba tungana
Impeta ntahawe nibarutse ubuheta
Itamara intimba manukanye mu gihimba
Bazayinyambika mu magambo
Banyogeze banyite Rwogera
Mu buzima baranyitaga ikizima.

Nari ishyano nshyirwa ishyanga
Inyuma y'ishyamba ntibantashya
Ishyaka ndwana ryitirirwa ishyari
Iryo mvuze bakarivuguruza
Barantoteza babitoza intore
Izina nitwa riba ikizira
Abarihungukije bagahunga.

Ducumbitse tuzataha
Na Ruganzu yaraganje ntiyarugumanye
Yafashe inzira arazimira
Niba mbababaje mumbabarire
Mwanderera ntimwandirira
Ishimwe nabuze ndi muzima ntari umuzimu
Ryanyongerera umuruho mu buruhukiro.

HERE LIES


When the corpse is put away
And the dirt is put on top of me
Without being able to see the sky
As I enter a night which never sees the day
Become blinded and I stop breathing
Traitors will rush coming
Wailing unable to stop.

Crocodile tears will pour
Like a stream dug with a hoe
I will be cited as an example to the youth
Although I was made an outcast among the ones I had grown with
Please let me go
I see that even bad people of this generation
Are praised having done evil.

In words which hide betrayal
Over that body laid in the grave
They will decorate me with fine feathers
Praising me with poems
I will be made a hero without having been a ruler
Having refused to carry their policies
Every trail I passed through was burned with fire.

In the rank of men
They will be unable to find a general of my caliber
A medal which was not given to me when I had my second child
Which cannot remove the sorrow that I bring down in my body
They will clothe me with it in words
They will praise me calling me the Famous One
While in life they called me calamity.

I was a disaster and sent in exile
Behind the forest nobody sent greetings
The cause I was fighting for was interpreteed as jealousy
Everything I said was criticized
I was harassed and they were able to convince the elite
The name I was called became taboo
Those who pronounced it had to flee.

We are lodging but we will return home
Even Ruganzu won but didn't keep it
He took the road and disappeared
If I causing you pain please forgive me
You should take care of my children you shoukl not cry for me
An award that I didn't receive when I was alive before becoming a ghost
Would make my life harder in my resting place.

MWOGO


Mwogo si yo kwoga
Uwo mwonga uhorana umwaga
Kwonona irabishima
Gushimuta yabigize ishingiro
Ishavu irishira ishenguye
Icyanga ikigira hari n'icyoko
Icyambu ikacyaha
Amashashi ntayishoka
Ihorana ishoka n'umushiha
Imivu ivuduka irimo indurwe
Y'Ubufundi n'Ubunyambiriri
Y'ababyeyi bakiri ku kiriri
Yatumye ikambakamba ibikombe
Ubukombe bw'intare iravogera
Irivuga iravovota
Hirya no hino ari imiborogo
Iricugusa ikicunda
Yakwicuma ikarasa amacumu
Maze ikaboga indubaruba.

MWOGO


Mwogo is not a place to swim
That river is always angry
It enjoys to destroy
To steal people's cows is its goal
It recovers from its grief only when it makes people distressed
It burns of great thirst even when the sky is cloudy
It attacks its border
Young cows don't go to drink there
It always carries an axe and its furious
Rushing torrents full of bile-looking stuff
Of Bufundu and Bunyambiriri hills
Of mothers still on their birthing beds
Have made it crawl on its banks
The robust lion is roaring
It raves and boasts
Everywhere there are screams
It shakes itself and swings
When it moves forward it shoots its spears
And vomits blood.

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