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Only 30 People Allowed at Prince Phillip’s Funeral

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According to protocol, the British Monarchy said Saturday that only 30 members of the royal family will be allowed to physically attend the burial of Prince Phillip at Windsor Castle.

Justin Portal Welby the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and the most senior bishop in the Church of England said Prince Philip funeral will be moment of anguish for Queen.

The Queen may behave “with extraordinary dignity and extraordinary courage” but the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral at Windsor Castle will be an “anguished moment” for her, the archbishop of Canterbury said.

Buckingham Palace revealed there will be no sermon and no eulogy to  Prince Phillip  who for seven decades played a prominent role in the nation’s public life.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, died at the age of 99 on April 9 in Windsor Castle. He was the nation’s longest-serving consort — the name used to describe the spouse of a reigning monarch — and had been married to the Queen for 73 years.

The ceremony will be limited to 30 people inside, in line with England’s current coronavirus restrictions, more than 700 military personnel will provide ceremonial support outside in honor of Prince Philip’s own decorated military career.

Members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force will all be in attendance.

Philip maintained close ties with the military community throughout his life after completing his naval service in 1953, including holding the position of Captain-General of the Royal Marines.

Philip was closely associated with the British utility vehicles, and a Land Rover he helped design is his funeral car today. His casket will be carried on a Land Rover Defender 130 “gun bus,” a vehicle meant for hunting expeditions that was outfitted to his specifications by Foley Specialist Vehicles.

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Legal Marriage Only Costs Rwf10,000, Why Pay For Dowry?

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At the current pace of transformation, there is considerable shift in culture and the previously important things have become very insignificant to the new generation.

For example, dowry has lost its significance in the formation of new families.

Today’s couples just agree to start a family and then walk into the nearest Sector office with witnesses on either side, take oath before a public notary then pay Rwf10,000 and are pronounced husband and wife.

The couple then appends their signatures in a huge hardcover book and walk back home to establish their new family. And this is simply as required by the law which has made it so cheap, convenient and quick for willing and consenting adults (man and woman) to start a family.

With all this provided for in the law, there are still many couples that have failed to do away with cultural bottle necks that prevent them from marrying. Some parents still demand for exorbitant ancient dowry and this has kept most of their daughters home without a chance of ever establishing a family.

In traditional Rwandan society when culture ruled every aspect of society, the process a couple had to go through to start a family was so expensive in terms of requirements.

Under the cultural tradition, a Rwandan man would mobilize cattle, local beer, many gifts and several other items all known as dowry to be offered to the girls family before they would give her away to the qualifying man.

For example, venantie Mukasine a resident of Rwamagana district was married in 1950’s. She still believes that dowry should be maintained.

“We were very proud to be accompanied by a cow valued as dowry behind us and  brides carried on traditional stretchers,” Mukasine remembers her golden days.

She remembers that the family of son in law’s had to offer back a cow (indongoranyo)  when the cow offered as dowry gave birth to a calf.

She cautions other parents against demanding expensive dowry because it can scare away potential in-laws and in some instances create conflicts between couples.

Mukarusine is a mother of eight children.

Nyirabikari Stephanie, 75, lives at Kamonyi in South Province argues that as a mother who has children that got married, she thinks that dowry should be banned if it is a barrier to young people to get married

“Dowry was a way to honor parents for raising well their daughter but now it is becoming a bad habit with money.

Sometimes this has led couples into having a child before marriage under the fear by the boy’s failure to raise dowry. Thus families would not talk much about dowry.

She suggests that if a man can’t find cows for dowry, the girls’ parents shouldn’t demand for lots of money because only love counts. If possible the girl shouldn’t even remain stuck at home because the boy can’t afford the dowry instead the girl would go without offering anything to parents as they love each other.

On the other side young people have their say about dowry especially men, most of them say that nowadays marriage is too expensive  but  others say that if dowry is removed, they could marry easily and omit some ceremonies.

Gasana Jean de Dieu works as a construction technician in Kigali, says that he will not spend millions on marriage; “I can’t spend 5 million for wedding, maybe I will negotiate with my girlfriend and we celebrate only traditional wedding otherwise it’s not easy.”

Kayitare Damascene from Nyamata in Ngeruka Sector says that even a girl who didn’t go to school can’t leave her parents unless you offer at least Rwf500,000 as dowry.

“I am now 25 years and I am practicing mechanics but I don’t think about getting married, because I tried it and found that in Nyamata the dowry now is valuing between Rwf700,000 and Rwf1 million, it’s hard for me because I survive on temporal jobs.”

Uwamahoro Innocent believes that love is between two people

Uwamahoro Innocent, 28, is a manager at a petrol station he admits that he can’t even marry a girl without dowry, he respects Rwandan culture and doesn’t mind about money given to parents as dowry.

“I respect culture and changes will always happen. I can’t even marry a girl without offering any thing to her parents but the problem would be to negotiate with my girlfriend and the way we communicate, because I believe that love is between two people. If they reach an agreement, the family wouldn’t disapprove of their decision.”

But married women argue that dowry is significant in Rwandan culture but don’t understand where the culture of giving money as dowry came from.

Nkundimfura Rosette, the Director of Gender and Family Promotion agrees with the fact that dowry has been a big problem since some people started offering money as dowry.

“Things change with development , now dowry is valued in terms of money and that leaves an image of trading, boys sometimes seek bank loans to pay for dowry and other ceremonies,” says Nkundimfura.

She says there are consequences to such weddings that end by creating some family conflicts caused by the crisis from high expensive wedding and dowry.

She advices young people to discuss enough before even announcing their project to parents that will help them to know each other and not to spend much money beyond their means.

Rwanda academy of Language and culture (RALC) told Taarifa that they are trying to sensitize people to think about culture first, throwing back to the ancient culture and to all series of ceremony because they are all important and significant.

Dr Jack Nzabonimpa suggests that couples should approach their family early in order to discuss and know each other.

Dr Jack Nzabonimpa staff of RALC in charge of culture notices that dowry is not recovering the cost of what parents spent while raising their daughter but it’s a culture component.

“We have plans to mobilize people to change their mind set, there is a book already published explaining the process of traditional wedding and its significance.

There are campaigns (Family campaign) organized in partnership with the Ministry of gender and Family Promotion MIGEPROF and other programs to help people having common understanding about dowry.

He recommends parents not to destroy the future family before even being formed, he also recommends couples to approach their family early in order to discuss and know each other.

“They should offer dowry depending on the standard of living, if the cost of the cow is Rwf300,000, don’t pay above, therefore it will prevent family conflicts,” suggested Dr Nzabonimpa.

 

Editors note: This article was published May 27, 2019

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Should Car-Free-Day Inconvenience City Life?

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To the policeman at the intersection. Yes! I am frustrated! Yes! I am furious! But please understand that I am not angry at you. You patiently explained that despite it being a few minutes to time, you were given an order, directions, if you will, to block out the road. 

So, let me tell you that, like I said and as you truly saw the emotions on my face, I am angry! Furious even. But, towards what? To whom? First, at myself for having not gotten ready way ahead of time and not working within the margins of “just a few minutes”. But majorly at the system my friend, at the system that has made Car Free Day a day that is for “working out” outside rather than at the gym or even made it all about working out.

A few years ago, when Car Free Day was introduced in Kigali, I remember how it was actually almost a full day! Phewks we are down to just three hours. One can plan to either, get ready, be out of their house and even by the intersection way in time for the policemen opening at exactly ten. In essence, one can be at a place at ten past depending on where they are going. That’s about time. 

My question is, what happens when one has to go somewhere after 7am but before 10am. Kigali is built in such a way that all roads lead to the main road, and when the main road is closed, you can only stay and wait.

Keeping in mind that there are some homes whose gates are on the closed roads and people are literally locked inside their homes. Is there something I am missing about a protocol? And, why am I being locked in my house?

Can we address the encouragement for people to work out on Car Free Day? I mean, the motive behind encouraging people to get out of their homes and walk, jog, ride their bicycles is amazing. But, am I presuming that to most of us who actually work out every day or at least three times a week, Sunday is actually the “Rest” day? The day, that you either sleep in, have a late breakfast, indulge if you will, and/or plan an outing as early as seven in the morning, and the big one; go to church, is this just me and I need to get with the program? Pondering! 

So, basically, why am I bringing this up, isn’t working out good? I mean, this is part of my lifestyle, so why the frustration girl? Well, the thing is, it steeps from the idea that I want to get somewhere before they close the roads for the workouts! It steeps from the idea that the addition of roads around Kigali have made it such that most people are blocked in from their gates! They can’t even get out of their homes with their cars.

Rationally, all that is good! We have to listen to what the system has planned and is planning for us is good! But, I feel that the blocking of the roads in order to make sure people are working out, has distracted us majorly from what Car Free Day is and should be! It’s supposed to be a day that we DO NOT USE pollution-inducing vehicles.

It is a day to help us think and ponder about alternative ways of how we can move from point A to B without polluting the air. Understand what pollution is doing to us, and fight it at all costs! You know? The cost of planning and going to a place, finding alternative routes that people are not using to work out. As if fuel isn’t already expensive, now one has to drive 30 minutes to cover a 5-minute drive if they are lucky enough to have feeder roads in their neighbourhood.

Yeah, if roads are closed, then they are closed to fight pollution! Not to work out! With that, then I am not angry at the policeman, rather at how we have distracted ourselves from what Car Free Day is.

 

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Teta Gisa Rwigema Weds At Colourful Ceremony

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Rwanda media may have intentionally skipped an important wedding of a low-key couple but this silence is too loud.

Teta Gisa Rwigema is the daughter of fallen Rwandan hero, Maj Gen Fred Rwigema.

On Saturday Teta officially tied the knot with her long-time fiancé Mervin Manzi at a colourful ceremony also attended by President Paul Kagame and other high profile personalities.

However, Teta’s brother Eric Gisa Junior was absent at his sister’s wedding; something that seemingly perturbed President Paul Kagame.

President Kagame addressed the people attending this ceremony and also registered his concern for the absence of Eric Gisa, Junior.

“Fred and I and our families’ friendship date from way back…Nshungyerezi, Toro and so on. Fred’s mother here bears testimony. I am concerned and I am sending you Teta, your mother Jeanette, and perhaps your grandmother, I have not seen at this wedding, Fred’s son,” President Kagame said.

“He should come back home…it is not right for him to live in exile…” Kagame added.

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