By Alison Des Forges, David Newbury, Roger Des Forges
A Rwandan proverb says “Defeat is the one undesirable news.” For Rwandans residing less than colonial rule, successful referred to as not just for armed disagreement, but in addition for a conflict of wits—and not just with foreigners, but additionally with one another. In Defeat Is the one undesirable News Alison Des Forges recounts the targets, innovations, and intrigues of an African royal courtroom less than Yuhi Musinga, the Rwandan ruler from 1896 to 1931. those have been turbulent years for Rwanda, while first Germany after which Belgium pursued an competitive plan of colonization there. on the time of the Europeans’ arrival, Rwanda was once additionally engaged in a succession dispute after the dying of 1 of its most famed kings. in contrast backdrop, the Rwandan courtroom turned the level for a drama of Shakespearean proportions, packed with deceit, intelligent calculation, ruthless betrayal, and occasionally murder.
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Extra resources for Defeat Is the Only Bad News: Rwanda under Musinga, 1896-1931
In these outer areas the Court ruled only through its batware, who were satisfied with occasionally collecting ikoro by messengers who made rapid forays into the area. No agents of the Court resided permanently in such regions. Beyond these outlying regions, which were eventually encompassed within the twentieth-century boundaries of Rwanda, lay a still more amorphous area where the mwami exerted influence rather than governed. 8 The central kingdom could be distinguished socially and culturally as well as administratively from the outlying regions.
Bisangwa had been the most powerful of three notables charged by Rwabugiri with protecting Rutarindwa. His death made it easier for the Bega to dispose of the other two, Mugugu and Sehene. ”19 Despite such warnings, Rutarindwa took no decisive action as the Bega gradually isolated him. By December 1896 the Bega were confident of their strength. Rutarindwa had just moved the Court to a new location on the hill named Rucunshu, in the region of Marangara, not far from the center of the kingdom. While constructing his residence, Rutarindwa was living in an ordinary house, more modest and less easily defended than a royal residence with its large and sturdily built enclosure.
In appointing Kanjogera, Rwabugiri ignored all these stipulations. She was a Mwega (singular of Bega) of the Bakagara lineage, while Rutarindwa’s own mother had been of the Bakono clan. 12 *Royal names succeeded one another as part of a cycle of four “reign names” in a prescribed fashion: Mutara, Kigeri, Mibambwe, and Yuhi; in theory, in alternate cycles Cyilima was substituted for Mutara, though this was not followed with Musinga’s succession. A Tumultuous Transition 15 Some notables, including some biru whose advice was being disregarded, accused Rwabugiri of being blinded by his great love for Kanjogera, who was his favorite wife.