Can The Kagames Escape The Macbethian Trap?

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On September 11, 2016, Rwandan president Paul Kagame, speaking to university students, promised to kill anyone who messes with him. Like I noted before, to understand Kagame’s obsession with killing and power, one should read William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

In Macbeth, Shakespeare shockingly dramatizes the damaging a psychological impact of political ambition on power-hungry rulers. The play revolves around a brave Scottish general and a war hero, Macbeth, who is consumed by grand ambition. Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth murders the reigning king and crowns himself king.

Macbeth is then driven crazy by guilt and paranoia. As time goes on Macbeth and his wife murder more and more people to protect themselves from potential rivals and suspicion. Macbeth soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The grotesque bloodbath and civil war subsequently drive the Macbeths into madness, self-destruction, and death.

In Rwanda we are currently watching a live Shakespearean tragedy of monumental proportions. A country that suffered genocide in 1994 and other mass killings that engulfed the whole region is, once again, on the brink of another tragedy. The Rwandan Macbeth is matching his regime onto the cliff – with no signs of sparing his compatriots from another disaster.

David Himbara

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