Rwanda’s first daughter and second child of President Paul Kagame revealed three of her favourite books early this month on Snapchat, as she hosted a curate account created by, and for, young Rwandans.
For Rwa-250, June has been the “literacy month” and has seen several young Rwandans from across the globe host the account, to discuss the importance of reading, their favourite books and how they picked up a reading culture. Since it was created early this year, the account has become a transcending medium for the youth to share their stories, ideas and experiences, in relation to their current residences and cultures.
Excitingly, the month brought us the twenty-two year old social media-savvy Ange, who curated for two hours, on the evening of Monday, 6 June 2016.
1—“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The first book on her list is “ Americanah” by the widely celebrated female Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A storyline she says she can relate to, because it portrays the life of a black person in the States, particularly an African, and “the stereotypes, low expectations and misconceptions” that are attached to being black in America. “I had to navigate the idea of race and colour in a different way,” Ange said.
2—“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls
“The Glass Castle” comes next, a memoir by Jeannette Walls, whose story depicts a troubled household from which Walls had to rise her into a very courageous young woman who surmounted her parents failing to conform to their responsibilities. What impressed Ange most about Walls’ memoir, as she said, was how strong the author became and stayed through her unique childhood despite the instabilities her family went through.
3—“Brain On Fire: My Month of Illness” by Susannah Cahalan
Another memoir by New York Post writer Susannah Cahalan that explores the theme of mental illness. Even though Ange pursued Political Science at university, she said she has always had a fascination for neuroscience and autoimmune diseases. This coincides with the conversations young Rwandans have been having about mental health under the #mentalhealth250 hashtag, where many said that raising awareness is the first step to getting help.
THROUGHOUT her snaps, Ange emphasised on memoirs being her favourites over the years, after her parents grooming her into reading at an early age. She encourages the reading culture by assuring that there are books for everyone; one has just got to find out what interests them and start there. She stresses on growing the audience for African authors as well, because most of our stories have been told by other people.
When asked if she plans on writing a memoir one day, Ange said, “I love writing, and I believe everyone has a story to tell. When the time is right, I don’t see why not!”
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