The 4th of July in Butare

While Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4th with backyard barbeques and fireworks, Rwandans also have something to celebrate. The forth of July here marks Rwanda’s Liberation Day when the Rwandan Patriotic Front entered Kigali to end the 1994 genocide. One way in which liberation day is celebrated here is through local performances. In Butare, two of the women from the shop were involved in one performance at a community center down the road from the ice cream shop.

A university dance group performs.

Drumming has always been an important part of Inzozi Nziza’s foundation, and Marie Louise and Leatita have been able to continue this tradition by getting involved with a new drumming group for university students. They practice twice a week, and are still working on coming up with a name.

Drummers from the university group at rehearsal before the performance.

This weekend all of their practice and hard work was rewarded with the opportunity to perform at this local Liberation Day celebration. The performance also highlighted other performing artist groups such as a dance group and acting group both from the university. There were also notable speakers such as the vice mayor of Butare. Here are some pictures from the event:

Drummers pose at the end of their piece.

Actors depict a play about colonialism and independence. They question how true their initial independence really was considered the divided country that was left behind.

Drummers after the performance. Marie Louise on the right.

Here at the shop we also celebrated the 4th of July. In Rwanda, all shops are closed for the holiday for the first half of the day, but after we opened, Inzozi Nziza was busy all afternoon! Lots of people were traveling through Butare after traveling for the long weekend made their way towards the university to enjoy an ice cream! To celebrate the 4th we introduced new sprinkle cookies, or sugar cookies covered in sprinkes, and they were a big hit. Inzozi Nziza has been working on improving and expanding our baked goods and this new recipe seems like a keeper.

Seraphine and Julienne show off the new sprinkle cookies fresh from the oven.

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