Forgiving the ‘Porand’ Misspell

Because Many Rwandans Would Still Confuse 'l' with 'r'

Even if it were Habibah who wrote the Facebook post which circulated on social media timelines early last week, the ‘Porand’ misspell would still be as forgivable as many of us would forgive a simple typo. It is no secret that many Rwandans confuse ‘l’ with ‘r’ – and we know it’s because ‘l’ does not exist in spoken Kinyarwanda. Even the ‘l’ in ‘Kigali’ is uttered as ‘r’ – to make ‘ri’ – and so we say, ki-ga-ri. Would it be such a terrible mistake if a youngster, say ten years from now, wrote ‘Kigari’?

Of course, I am an advocate for writing and a firm believer in the distinction between writing and speaking. But at a time when many Internauts write as they speak, there is no need to make a fuss about silly mistakes and start bullying young, innocent people. I am defending Habibah because, first, she did not write that post, and, second, because I have every reason to believe she is just like many young Rwandans out there: she has a heart, she can be voiceless at times, and she is striving to be the best she can be, with immense potential.

Instead of trolling the darling of so many Rwandan and foreigner Instagrammers that Habibah is, or even her poor impersonator (she does not have a Facebook account), we should be laughing at comedian Arthur Nkusi, and perhaps his copywriter, who keeps adding a ‘s’ on ‘social media.’ Somebody needs to tell him that ‘media’ is plural for ‘medium’ ­– and so adding the ‘s’ is wrong. (And for putting “with Arthur” and “is back” on the same line, I cannot comment.)

Otherwise, even without cracking a joke, I can’t stop laughing at Arthur and his poster.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

newsletter

THE DAILY DOSE

Enter your email address below to receive daily recommendations of must-reads from our editors.

Leave a Reply