26 Dec

Before heading to Nyamasheke, I headed to Bumbogo bwa Nkuzuzu in Gasabo District. It was at this site where King Kigeli IV Rwabugiri wedded Queen Kanjogera. I left Bumbogo with newfound interest in the story of the legendary king.

During his reign, he built a formidable army and established a highly organized system of governance. While fighting wars of biblical proportions, he conquered territories and expanded the size of the kingdom significantly. 

In Nyamasheke, I stumbled upon another piece of land on which one of his houses stood. How many homes did he have? As I keep visiting different parts of Rwanda, I am sure I will set foot on more plots he once lived on.

King Rwabugiri's account of defense and conquest sounds like an excerpt from an action movie script. However, his story is not a mere blockbuster thriller. It is a demonstration of patriotism and utmost sacrifices to the nation.  

Rwabugiri was the first Rwandan king to come into contact with Europeans, and the first one to equip his army with guns. His military prowess is the reason slave traders were kept at bay.