Society

Burundian’s Bloggers Writing to unite their Country

Burundian’s bloggers unite under the crew « YagaBurundi » to fight against their country’s division

May 17th, 2016
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In the official language of Burundi, Kirundi, the word « Yaga » means « tell a story ». Telling stories is the purpose of the crew of bloggers « YagaBurundi » who was created a year ago to tell the world about the living conditions in Burundi, a country currently facing multiple challenges.

Indeed, since Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundi’s disputed President, won a third term, which is normally forbidden by the country’s constitution, the country plunged in a violent political crisis. Many demonstrations against the President took place since April of 2015 and they were severely repressed.

Facing this situation daily, Alain, a poet, as well as Dacia and Armel, both journalists, founded the « YagaBurundi » blogging crew to tell the story of daily life in Bujumbura, the capital of the country. These bloggers explain the current political crisis by the government’s violent repression and the fact that Burundi’s youth is fed up with the lack of foreseeable opportunities, especially in the labor market department. The government’s repression was especially strong towards the country’s media who can no longer work normally as the freedom of press is a concept that no longer exists in Burundi.

It is in this context that « YagaBurundi » started to develop itself and to replace the traditional media. Thanks to their blogs and social networks like Twitter or WhatsApp, they are much harder to track for the government and they can access a large public in Burundi as well as all over the world.

The aim of «YagaBurundi » is to tell the story of the situation in their country in a plural way since all opinions are welcome, even the ones of peoples who are still supporting the power in place. Moreover, this blogging crew is allowing all parts of Burundi’s youth to reconnect and express themselves as only one rule exists on the platform: everyone is welcome to share his opinion but without insulting the ones of others and calling for hatred. Overall, « YagaBurundi » is a call for dialogue and exchange and constitutes a good example of cultural diplomacy. The three founding members of the crew summed it up very well to the French newspaper Le Monde saying that « it’s by talking to each other that we will solve Burundi’s problems, our youth in its plurality deserves better than violence ».

Nowadays, the crew gathers more than 70 bloggers from different Burundian’s regions and from the Burundian diaspora all over the world. Moreover, it is estimated that about 11% of Burundi’s population have already consulted the publications of « YagaBurundi ».

References

Cultural Diplomacy News
Pierre Even, CD News