As other women across the world reflect on the international Women’s Day annually celebrated on March 8th, some women in remote Kagina village in Kamonyi district have no idea about this day.
For them life is about curving different ornaments and artifacts from clay. For centuries this has been their pre occupation. They sell these products ranging from cooking clay pots, cups and flower and water vases.
At about 10AM on March 8th, Taarifa drove to this area and catch-up with residents of this community.
“We didn’t know that it is International Women’s Day today, we don’t have radios and leaders didn’t tell us about it. But in the past we used to celebrate it, dancing and drinking with authorities but now no one tells us about it,” says Concilie Mukabucyana.
Mukabucyana, however, says, “In fact I’m used to hear about heroes’ day and commemoration days of but for women’s day, when leaders don’t inform us about it, we can’t guess.”
Walking through their neighbourhood, you find them working on different products from clay, pots,clay stoves most of which cost from Rwf300 to Rwf1000 each.
Mukamasaka Clementine is involved in pottery. In front of her house she Is Busy mixing clay with other substance which she says hardens clay to make stronger pots that can’t easily break.
When asked about Women’s Day, she says she was not informed about it; “we didn’t know about.”
However, most of these women say they have stable relationships with their husbands.
“We know how to manage everything in order to survive but we are so poor and our children demand a lot from us. We do not earn much since we not allowed to take our products to Kigali,” says Mukamasaka.
Their husbands also earn some income from pottery, “but it is not easy despite calls by government sensitizing us on forming cooperatives. We end up with losses because cooperatives’ leaders are not honest,” Mukabucyana explains.
They recommend the government to allow them access Kigali market because they used sell more products otherwise they say that they will not progress.
But they believe that their children will not live by making pots because now they attend university like others.
Nzaramba Jean Bosco the executive of Kagina cell says that today’s event was celebrated at Muganza sector and there are women who represent others and they attended the event.
He comments on their lifestyle saying that it is not easy to help them because of their mindset despite continuous sensitization through different programs.
“Some of them have land but refuse to cultivate because they believe only in pottery. We try to teach them how to improve their art work and some of them understand but others prefer to continue with traditional pots,” Says Nzaramba.