Today marks the second year of Dr. Kimenyi’s passing, an event that shocked the Rwandan Diaspora to the core and robbed the Nation of a true and dedicated patriot.
The good die young, but we are consoled by Kimenyi’s legacy of dedication to country, selfless convictions that galvanized a people like few people have. And the history of the New Rwanda could not be complete without acknowledging the contributions and sacrifices that this gentle giant gave to the land he loved without conditions.
He was a linguist per excellence. An Africanist like no other, a man whose mission for more than four decades sought to disentangle the tribal based politics of the Habyarimana regime at great sacrifice. Single-handendly Kimenyi defied the powers of a government that sought to muzzle him, and won, eventually convincing us all that statelessness was no condition for a free people.
Unlike many others, Kimenyi sought no recognition or credit, and in the end received less than he deserved. But his deeds, works and philosophy became the foundation that catapulted a generation into action. The very basis on which I and scores of others picked up the baton.
Alexandre Kimenyi did so much, for so long, that others might live free and shed the tentacles of a system that sought to dehumanize them. He gave of himself, and then some, and we are the poorer without him.
Yes, he saw suffering and tried to heal it, and saw wrong and tried to right it.
And now, he belongs to the ages.