Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Officer and a Gentleman

There's a minor but memorable character in The Last King of Scotland: Idi Amin's health minister, Jonah Wasswa, played with subtlety and skill by the Ugandan actor Stephen Rwangyezi. Wasswa is an educated and decent man caught up in the maelstrom of Amin's madness. An intellectual dancing to the demented tune of a military man. This has been the usual fate of the gentleman in recent African history.

Can these two great archetypes, the officer and the gentleman, be perfectly blended in one man? (Or woman, I hasten to add.)

There's a major and very memorable character in Rwanda who provides a fascinating test case for this most ancient of questions: Paul Kagame.

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