Monthly Archives: June 2011

I See Dead People

By Rudolf Okonkwo in his column – Correct Me If I Am Right.

My father died on June 19, 2009. One of the first things I did, as soon as I came out of the shock, was to read the manuscript of his uncompleted autobiography, Onyenkuzi.

For years, the work was hidden inside a safe in my room. Days after he died, I started to read the handwritten pages. Like in all relationships there were things in the book that I did not know about my father.

One of those things that really surprised me was when he wrote of his fear of the dead. It appears in his account of his first day as a 19 year-old ‘small boy’ teacher at Ekwulu/Unubi Central School in 1951. After unloading his luggage, he looked around the premises of the school. Continue reading

I’m An Idiot

Call for an idiotBy Rudolf Okonkwo in his column – Correct Me If I Am Right.

I’m an idiot. If you tell me that a wall is wet, I need to touch it before I believe.

That is why I touch stories; even the ones that I know are dirty. Because the mind of an idiot is one dimensional, I do not think that they will dirty me. Continue reading

I Wrote The Cable

By Rudolf Okonkwo in his Column ‘Correct Me If I Am Right.’

“I shot the sheriff
But I didn’t shoot no deputy oh no! Oh.”
–  Bob Marley

Since I first heard Bob Marley’s song, “I Shot the Sheriff” I have not stopped wondering what difference it makes if you confess to shooting the sheriff but not the deputy. You’re as guilty as hell. And you’re going to pay, anyway.

Well, now I know the difference.

In the last few days, I have found myself singing, I wrote the cable. But I didn’t leak the sassy piece, oh no! Oh.

Satire sucks!

On the day that the former speaker of the House of Representative, Oladimeji Bankole was arrested, I wrote a satire I called “US Diplomatic Cable on the Arrest of Oladimeji Bankole.” It was to be published under the series, “Correct Me If I’m Right.”

As usual, I sent the first draft to my two readers. My readers’ task, for over five years now, has always been to go through the first draft and tell me if it made sense or if I should discard it. If I get the go ahead to continue, I then begin work on the second, third and maybe fourth drafts. Continue reading

Our humanity as one: empathising with those who suffer in other places

The story of Ashraf camp in Iraq is as old as the resistance of Iranian people to the rule of religious fundamentalist leaders over the state can be, particularly since the fall in 1979 of Reza Paravi, Shah of Iran. Over the years, the camp has gained prominence and become a symbol of hope and freedom for Iranians inside and outside their country. In 2006, when exiled Iranians explained me the story of that camp, I felt like they were telling me my compatriots’ experience of suffering and oppression under the rule of the Rwandan Patriotic Front as far back it can be traced. Since then I have been supportive of Ashraf friends’ work. They make a remarkable contribution to change for Iranian people which if it could be replicated elsewhere and inspire other oppressed citizens around the world, we would all live much more fulfilled lives. Continue reading

President Habyarimana protected Tutsis between October 1990 and April 1994 as much as he could

Peter Erlinder, the American lawyer that Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda, imprisoned for three weeks in Kigali on May 28, 2010 has unveiled not well known truth about the prevailing political and security context of Rwanda prior to April 1994 in an article titled The UN Security Council ad hoc Rwanda tribunal: international justice or judicially-constructed “victor’s impunity”?]. The document was published in the De Paul Journal of Social Justice in the fall of 2010. It reveals some facts significantly worth highlighting, particularly for those that RPF propaganda has lied to for years. Among those lies, one is about the former president Habyarimana and his regime’s relationship with Tutsis inside Rwanda particularly during the RPF guerrilla war. As we may know, this  period of social and political unsecurity and instability lasted almost three years and half, from October 1, 2010 to July 4, 1994. Continue reading