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Kibogo by Scholastique Mukasonga review – crisis in colonial Rwanda

The insidious legacy of Christianisation is explored in this miniature masterpiece set in a Rwandan village

“Kamanzi, our sub-chief, came to take away our children.”

So begins a trail of misfortune that befalls the inhabitants of a small hillside village in Rwanda shortly before the second world war.

The children are wanted to pick flowers for the colonists (the Bazungu).

The people hide their children but the sub-chiefs, with their sunglasses, watches and shoes, lash the fathers and force them to work in the mines.

The farmers neglect their own crops in order to grow beans to feed the miners; their…

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