June 17, 2024

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Exclusive Interview:  Emerging writer Byaruhanga sheds more light on his debut novel “Fall of gods”

Welcome, book lovers and literary enthusiasts, to a captivating interview that takes us into the brilliant mind behind the sensational novel, “Fall of gods.”

Today, we have the privilege of delving into the incredible imagination of Francis Byaruhanga as he unveils the inspiration, secrets, and hidden gems that lie within the lines of his extraordinary literary masterpiece. Prepare to be enthralled as we uncover the depths of this mesmerizing tale, exploring the realms of deities and human nature, in a conversation that promises to leave you spellbound. So, grab a cosy spot, immerse yourself in the enchanting world of “Fall of gods,” and join us on this literary journey.

Tell us about yourself.

My names are Francis BYARUHANGA, I am an emerging writer. This is my debut novel called ‘Fall of God’. I started my writing career back in 2014, while I was still at the university. From that time, I participated in an international writing competition. Though I did not manage to win the competition in the region, I was inspired to start writing from then.

I began training myself through writing and then joined newspapers where my writing skills improved. But from then I thought I would start writing books, not just for news articles.

In 2018, I started to write my first novel “Fall of gods.” For almost the last five years, I’ve been writing this book with the help of some of the editors until the copy was final.

What is inside the ‘Fall of gods’?

 I can say that the ‘Fall of gods’ is all about tradition with a focus on the themes of women empowerment, civilization, and modernity, but also brings the past and present together. Mainly, it’s a fictional romantic story in the genre of historical fiction where the central topic revolves around two lovers—Gihanga and Princess Muganwa—the two lovers are engaged in a relationship but both have different backgrounds. One is born in the city, another is a village born—uncivilized and conservative yet their particular environment makes them even to their ideals, which always triggers confrontation.  And often there is an incompatibility of behaviours.

In brief tell us about the story in the book about ?

The main story I want to teach is that where there is a conflict there can be peace. Through the book, Muganwa is civilized of course, and Gihanga is uncivilized. The ‘rigid and inflexible’Muganwa come as a change maker to civilize her husband, but also as a redeemer at the end where she finds herself civilizing the whole society which was primitive at the beginning.

The whole point of the story is about an indication of resilience but I also want to teach modernity, love and the power of love among the people.

Have you ever tried to expose your books somewhere? What reaction have you got?

My friends have bought some of the books, and they have commented that the book is good. So far the reaction was very good. They congratulated me with thumbs up and told me to keep it up. I haven’t supplied it locally because I have few copies, but of course, wherever I tried to put my copy of the book, they liked it.

Do you think women have the power to shape the concept of modernity and civilization in today’s situation? And how?

Women are very powerful, though sometimes men don’t believe that women are more powerful. It’s obvious men have physical strength but women are equals too. They have a variety of skills, but they are not given enough opportunities to exploit their skills. So we find that the majority of political positions are dominated by men. Thanks to the government of Rwanda for promoting women. It’s fortunate that there is a development where women are given empowerment yet women were not given empowerment in the past because they were not given an opportunity to exploit their skills. Yet they have their skills. When you look at how, for instance, if you try to give a woman a chance to govern a company, she can manage it better than men. They have leadership skills; they have a lot of skills that if they are given an opportunity to exploit, they can bring a positive impact to the world.

Among the specific cultural things that you have referred to include love between men and women, where love can change something. How love is coming into this book?

 I bring in more lines of conflict but in the end, you find that love has won. I demonstrate it through marriages and normal relationships, where in the end love comes to triumph. For instance, there is a point I talk about Gihanga and Muganwa conflicting to the point of divorce but because of love, they decide to abandon separation and settle together. So, there is an important role that love plays in our society whether it’s in a relationship or in marriage, but love can heal wounds where the society is torn, love can help to reunite societies, it can reunite families, it can reunite countries, it can reunite the whole world, the world can come together through the tool of love.

How can this book contribute to the continuous fight for the reconstruction of Rwandan society?

Yes, for instance where I demonstrate the two lovers conflicting with each other, and then love comes in to solve that conflict. In a situation where people are so close, of course, conflict is unavoidable. Conflict cannot be totally eliminated, but it can be tolerated, it can be reduced to a certain level. So, compared to the local context, I can say that love can help a lot in healing wounds. For instance, when people have killed each other, the perpetrator and the victim can reunite through the tool of love. That’s what I can say.

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