In 1839, English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton penned the now famous saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword” to indicate that words, spoken or written, is a more effective tool than violence. Bulwer-Lytton wanted to show how words can not only influence but also inspire countless people so they can live on indefinitely.
The saying also plays a role in changing the opinion of others, educating people for the better. It has left an impact on many people through the years, encouraging people to use their ability to learn, teach, and help others. Among the many individuals doing this is student Norbert Butare.
Norbert is a 21-year-old international student originally hailing from the country of Rwanda in East Africa. He came to the US in the fall of 2018 to finish high school. He is currently a sophomore at the Florida International University in Miami, studying International Business.
When the pandemic began to sweep the globe, several countries were forced to resort to strict lockdowns. Among the countries is Norbert’s home country Rwanda. The lockdown meant that students wouldn’t be able to go to school. This event highlighted a gap to Norbert in the Rwandan education spectrum.
Norbert decided to create a company that provides a platform for young writers, bloggers, and future authors. He worked to build his company for two months before organizing a team of young Rwandans to work behind the curtains of the platform. The team makes sure that the platform is user friendly and helps all the contributors.
He named his company IKARAMU. The platform allows its users to write about issues that range from social, political, economic, or simply perspectives in different ways. IKARAMU currently hosts the platform at its headquarters in Rwanda, as well as its website.
Norbert envisioned the Rwandan youth to use IKAMARU, knowing that there are plenty of potential authors in his country who don’t have the same platforms that the United States has. He and his team are hopeful that IKAMARU can potentially help develop his country. Their ultimate goal is to become the most prominent private literature hub in Rwanda by having successful authors build their foundation with IKAMARU.
He is confident that his company will be able to thrive in his home country as there are no other companies or platforms that provide the same services IKAMARU provides. Norbert and his team have already rolled out an app that is available for Android, while the iOS app is still well on its way. In its upcoming ventures, IKAMARU is partnering with big Rwandan publishing companies to help publish some of the company’s contributors. They are also in the process of creating writing competitions that can offer scholarships, as well as other awards.
Apart from IKAMARU, Norbert is also the founder and CEO of a marketing firm in Rwanda called Goldtra. With Goldtra, Norbert uses his IT expertise to help businesses reach their clients through the virtual world.