Free Idamange: Lack of creativity and complete dedication among many protesters

Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne

By Mwungeri

There is a common fallacy about the meaning of creative thinking that needs to be cleared up in the first place. For some illogical reason, science, engineering, art, and writing got tabbed as about the only truly creative pursuits. Most people associate creative thinking with things like the composition of a Bahati-like-poem, the discovery of electricity, the development of a new computer programming language or even coming up with a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Certainly, accomplishments like these are evidence of creative thinking. Each step made in the conquest of space is the result of creative thinking, lots of it. But creative thinking is not reserved for certain occupations, nor is it restricted to superintelligent people. 

Well, then, what is creative thinking? 

A medical doctor is coercively asked to use his medical skills and some poisonous substances to harm or even kill some people simply because those people’s opinions are not desirable.The doctor can’t immediately recall his graduation day and the Hippocratic Oath that he swore on that special day. However, his well developed conscience, empathy and humanity strongly urge him to not give in. He faces a big dilemma; if he firmly rejects the command, he loses his job or even gets eliminated. Finally, the doctor devices a plan to avoid taking any part into such horrible criminal acts while keeping the same job.That is high level creative thinking!

 The new Covid-19 vaccine scares the heck out of you and are manipulated to take it. You stick a small piece of animal tissue or an adequate piece of plastic around your arm and trick the nurse into injecting the vaccine into the fake arm. That is creative thinking. 

Today, for Rwandan citizens to be able to possibly combine their individual well planned little efforts in order to peacefully uproot the current unbearable oppressive government and successfully establish a new much better one, it would require the level of ingenuity and creativity on the par with that that had been involved in creating the first atomic bomb, the former being constructive, the latter destructive. 

Creative thinking is simply finding new, improved ways to do anything.

Next, an example of uncreative protests harshly criticized regardless of considerable efforts behind their taking place. 

Imagine a dozen Rwandan fellows each branding a small piece of paper while marching a Western city. Yvonne’s picture is printed on each piece of paper with an inscription below it. The inscription is too small to be read from a short distance away, it reads, ” Fee Idamange”. In a unison, the fellows go on shouting, ” Free Idamange, Free Idamange, Free Idamange,…”

This shouting quickly gets boring and you can easily sens that boisterously protesting is somewhat not in the nature of many of these Rwandan protesters.

If you tend to be introverted and are not very comfortable with this way of protesting, creativity is the way forward. You can rather opt for displaying more interesting short phrases and shouting less. For example, instead of just writing “Free Idamange” write ” Free Idamange, the mother of four children” or shorten it to ” Free the mother of 4″. There is a reason why she always introduced herself as such in her every YouTube video. 

Here is a set of four meaningful short phrases that all read ” IDAMANGE” when you focus on the words initials: ( They are dedicated to her four children)








Existing in Rwanda ( Read open-air prison) !








Exacerbatingly in Rwanda ! 







Exacerbatingly in Rwanda ! 







Enmity – Justice ? 

These phrases become less remarkable when printed on a piece of paper. Don’t spare your new white bedsheet ( Idamange is sleeping on a sheet less bed with her hands handcuffed), inscribe them on it using a big marker before the protest organizer hands you a lax ” Free Idamange” piece of paper as the one described above. He may be very good at organising events but not necessarily good at delivering kick-ass messages. 

And, when it comes to protests, is it the number of protesters that matters most, or the message being conveyed and its effect on the public ? 

At their most basic level, protests raise awareness about issues that might not be in the mainstream. This is how a protest is evaluated. 

When your sole message seems to be ” Free Idamange”, which information are you really communicating to the mainstream and the rest of the world ? 

What about a large poster reading, ” We are worried, Paul Kagame is dead, this woman revealed it, now she is in prison, show us the president or free her ! ” or this one ” This is the mother they want to murder. Last year they murdered singer Kizito Mihigo- Act now! “

However, not all protests and activism necessarily require words nor verbal expressions. Badiucao, a Chinese visual artist who _ like Kizito Mihigo _ was one of the three recipients of the Václav Havel International only uses visual contents. As an illustration, in today’s Rwandan context, he would draw a man without a head. The man is wobbling like a drunkard and about to fall down. The interpretation of the picture would then be that Rwanda is now a state with no head of the state. 

It would be hard to know exactly what were Idamange’s dearest expectations of the Rwandan public’s reactions after she released her last YouTube video ” Ijwi ry’Impanda”, but there is no doubt that the recent ” Free Idamange” protests across the globe were weak and by far much less below her standards of courage. 

Qui bene amat, bene castigat.