Ideas, Stories, and Profiles

Lexicographers are the people whose work is to write, edit, or compile what we call a dictionary. They bring clarity to our lives through the very fact that they pull together words and meaning to enable communication through language. For years now, many dictionaries, at least the ones in English, have adopted an annual ritual of naming their “word of the year.” They typically lookout for the word that was most searched on their websites or which one got featured in many conversations.

This got us thinking: If this magazine was a dictionary, which word or phrase would bear our crown for Twenty-nineteen?

Ours would certainly be one that defined a major challenge or a prominent issue of our time which has been subject to discussion both in the mainstream or in closed conversations we’ve witnessed. And so we asked around. We particularly looked to our contributors. And we got one. It is ‘mindset’ — a word that is defined, simply, as the established set of attitudes held by someone.

In a phrase, it was used several times by leading voices in Rwanda’s I.C.T. arena as they called for an “innovation mindset” to surge. This phrase was perhaps even overused. But that’s not all. The issue of “mindset” has been brought up by officials many times as they try to break down why some programmes haven’t been successful in their respective districts. It is always hilarious, and very ambiguous.

But it is certain that to advocate for mindset change is to call for radical shift in belief and attitude. If anything, it's not easy. For this “innovation mindset” to happen, view where Rwanda is (from every social and cultural indicator), there would need to be a serious re-evaluation of what informs our worldview as a society.

Post-script

Our runners up would be 'entropy', 'choice', and (who would not add) ‘Mpba’, a rising star on Rwanda’s Twittersphere.

Have something to add to this story? Message the editor.