On July 4, on Liberation Day, Comedian and Actor Jean Bosco Mustapha Uwihoreye, commonly known as Ndimbati, shared a photo of himself from way back, indicating that it was taken during the Liberation struggle.
His Instagram post was a surprise to many and led to suspicion among members of the public as this was the first time such information had come out.
Until that day, Ndimbati was just known as a comedian who made a breakthrough late, through the comedy series ‘Papa Sava’. His photo caught many off-guard.
Some claimed that he probably served in the former government forces known as the Armed Forces of Rwanda or ex-FAR, while others indeed affirmed that the youthful Uwihoreye joined the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi), much as others did not take him seriously.
However, in an interview with KT, Ndimbati cleared the confusion surrounding his old photo and affirmed that he indeed joined the liberation struggle as a young man.
“Like other young people who were concerned about the liberation of the country, we moved and acted, by God’s grace, we liberated it. I was at a youthful age like many then,” said Ndimbati, who cracks many with his random jokes which go viral.
Before becoming one of Rwanda’s funniest men, Ndimbati says he was among RPF Inkotanyi fighters who stopped the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 and declared a liberated country on July 4.
“I moved out of Rwanda in 1989, at that time, I entered Burundi, later, continued the journey in Uganda and eventually I entered the RPF army,” Ndimbati says.
Four years after the liberation struggle, that is to say in 1999, Ndimbati retired from the RPF Inkotanyi after defeating the government forces and Interahamwe militia and also engaging infiltrators (Abacengezi) who launched attacks on Rwanda between 1994 and 1999 when he retired.
Ndimbati says he joined the RPF at the youthful age after marrying in 1989, with a mission of contributing to the liberation of the country.
As the rest of the Rwandans were celebrating liberation day for the 27th time, Ndimbati posted his photo on social media (Instagram) wearing a military uniform with words that read “the target was liberating the country.”
Apart from accepting being among the liberators (RPF-Inkotanyi), he said few words about his journey and service in the army.
Ndimbati is married with “many children” of which he says some are adopted and call him dad.
He was born in Muhanga district, Southern Province, the place where he started his journey before moving to Burundi and finally Uganda to join the RPF Inkotanyi.
“At that time, I lived with many people, I talked to them, we all knew what was going on in the country and some people had started moving. My family got problems after they left, it is a long story,” the actor says.
According to Ndimbati, one of his parents was not among the hunted tribe during the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, but he had to join the liberation struggle because of ‘what he was seeing then’.
Some people who saw Ndimbati’s photo in military attire said he could have been among the defeated EX-FAR soldiers because of the military uniforms he wore, prompting him to clear the air.
Ndimbati said social media users are free to say whatever they think about him, including claiming that he was among the defeated ex-FAR soldiers, information he said was wrong.
“At that time, the military uniform was not much considered. You could find a person in casual wear, but when he/she is part of the liberation struggle,” he said.
Currently, Ndimbati is a retired RPF soldier who is also a comedian and lives in Karama model village, Kigali sector located in Nyarugenge district.
He said he is accommodated in the house built and donated by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame.
In his message, Ndimbati says the youth should love their country because it is an inheritance they cannot be given by anyone and should do whatever to defend the country.