“Being in Kampala reminded Keza of how blessed she was. How many people in the world call three countries home? Uganda was her birthplace and her parents were buried there. She had a special spot in her heart for the place. Speaking Luganda came naturally to her. Ever since she stepped in Rwanda for the first time, she fell in love with the land of a thousand hills. As a child, her grandmother used to tell her that the hills of Rwanda flowed with milk and honey and that God spent his day elsewhere and slept in Rwanda. Her soul was at peace there. (…) As a naturalized American, New York City was also her home.”
What does belonging somewhere really mean when people like Keza travel all around the world without really settling?
Is it the “mal du siecle” of our multicultural, globalized era ?
Keza, a young educated woman full of ambition and enthusiasm, tries to make her life and career in the United States. However, she soon realizes that she needs more than money and a satisfying social situation to be happy, and goes back to her home country, Rwanda. Once back home, Keza now has to face her family’s pressure of getting married despite her professional success.
In this to-and-forth narrative, Christine Warugaba paints a portrait of a modern-day heroin facing all the challenges of the contemporary world especially when those elements oppose some resistance to the more traditional ways of their own family.
In this pleasant romantice, Keza’s search for a partner starts off as an acceptance of her family’s pressure to get married and have a family. Moreover, the to-and-forth in Keza’s life path is mirrored by Rwanda’s traumatic modern history. If the figure of the modern accomplished woman only speaks so much in our world today, it also throws light on how to make peace with one’s past, both personal and national (when is comes to the history of one’s native country), in order to better embrace one’s future.
Belonging by Christine Warubaga
978-99977-0-291-3 / Furaha Publishing Ldt (to be released in March 2022)
Ioana Danaila was born in Romania. She has a PhD in Nigerian postcolonial literature and a First degree in French for Non-Francophone people. She is also the author of a collection of short stories and translated books from French to Romanian. Trilingual in Romanian, French and English, she teaches English language and literature to highschool students in France.