: Gihanga is well known in Rwandan traditions as a super hero and the first King who established the Kingdom of Rwanda.
A skilled woodworker, blacksmith and tannery, Gihanga was an adventurer who was ready to conquer the royal powers in modern Rwanda and its periphery.
Son of Kazi and Nyirarukangaga, Gihanga was born in Mazinga in a period of disaster, after the death of his father Kazi, his mother took him to her grandfather’s home and grew up there

From his early age, Gihanga was a very smart and talented boy and his grandfather’s favorite. The soothsayers had revealed that he will inherit the throne from his great grandfather and his maternal uncle were so jealous of him.

So he left Mubari with his cousins and they first settled in Gasabo then Bungwe where he was blacksmithing and had his first wife. Oral traditions says that Gihanga ruled Rwanda in the place called Buhanga. Initially, the emblem of his kingdom was double, a hammer and a musical instrument called Nyamiringa. Later on, this was replaced by a royal drum with the name Rwoga, introduced to Gihanga by Rubunga, the keeper of the esoteric code. Although drum emblem was adopted, the Hammer and Nyamiringa were not entirely abandoned. They were always important in collation of royal dignity

For example when someone was put in exile, the signal was a drumbeat. If the sentence was final, the signal was Urusengo (Nyamiringa) Gihanga’s empire was bigger than the area of Rwanda today. It was extended to Uganda, Congo and Burundi. His children from different wives ruled different Kingdoms, His son Kanyarwanda I Gahima from his wife Nyamususa became the heir of Rwandan Kingdom.


  • Title: Gihanga
  • Creator: Rwanda Museums
  • Location Created: Rwanda
  • Type: Myths
  • Rights: Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy
  • Medium: Digital photo

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