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Date:    21th June 2000 __________________________________
Name: Hakizimana, Stephen                                                            
School: Kabahini Secondary School, Umutara Province                
ID #: 463290573                                                                              

This examination consists of three sections, A and B and C.
Answer ALL questions, barring other instructions.
Time allotted: 2 hours.

A) Grammar and Vocabulary
Write a sentence in conditional I, in the negative form.
If I do not pass this exam, I will not become a S4 student

Underline the correct answer. There is only one.
Karangwa went at home.
Karangwa went to home.
Karangwa went in home.

Write a sentence using verb + prep.
The others students make fun of me because I am so big

'If Hope had arisen earlier, she would have been in time for scbool.'
Rewrite beginning, 'Had ... '

Had Hope had arisen earlier, she would have gone to school.

Correct the mistakes in the following sentence. ‘At our country, elec-
tions are held each two years. We are very proud on our free elections.’
In our country, erections are held every two years. We are very
proud of our free erections.

Write a sentence using the superlative form of old.
I am the oldest/eldest boy in the school.

B) Reading Comprehension
Read the passage on sheet 3, ‘Scrabbling for Words’, and answer the
questions on the bottom of sheet 3 below.


1. It is a game made by Butts, Alfred, American, but game
     also played in our Rwanda.
2.  Champion of world of 1979 (my birthdate) was France, Jean
3.  True
4.  True
5.  1260 points
6.  'to scratch frantically'
7.  i) Yes, I have ever played this game Scrabble.
     ii) With my father. He buys me this game when I 1st
          learned to read English, and he could not, but he moves
          tiles around and asks me to spell out letters.
      iii) A Scrabble dictionary. I have this with me in the
            refugee camps where I am lost for five years, but only
            the eight letter words part is there, so I study and know
            many eight letter words. There are so many of these
            words like LOVINGLY, MERCIFUL, and OPTIMISM,
            and my father's name, INNOCENT.  There is also GENOCIDE.
8.  Butts, Alfred was an architect which was his dream job.
My dream job is (please PTO there is no space here. Answer is after Composition)

C) Composition
Choose from one of the following topics and write 500 words on it.

A wedding you once attended.
Our country, Rwanda, faces a difficult future in the increasingly complex
socio-political climate of the 21st Century. What actions should our leaders
take to remedy this?
'When a strong wind blows, the palm trees bow to pay homage.' Discuss.

Yes, I attended a wedding and on the one hand it is a very good wedding and on the other hand it was a very bad wedding, this wedding of my brother and his wife. To set the ball rolling, my name is Stephen and I am Rwanda. I am very black with white eyes. I am somehow fat and broad and short, but my three brothers were tall and thin, and my sisters were none. My father was humour and a peasant farmer. He owned three 'milk machines' (cows). Every morning we all walk up at half six o'clock. We plant and farm sweat potatoes and Irish potatoes and some bananas. My father and my mother work hard  to send us to school. Our father gives us a push to the end of the ramshackle road every morning to say that goodbye.
     Our village is called Video because you can see films there. It is in the land of a thousand hills, which is also the land of a thousand problems. More to that, my older brother Prosper was getting married to a beautiful girl. She has the eyes of a
young cow (Rwandan compliment.) It was my first time to go to a wedding. On wedding day we all get up and prey to God. I brush my tooth and wash my hairs. I collect firewood and water and my father buys Fanta and goats to eat. Eh, my friend! So many people were moving up and down in the village that day for the wedding of my brother. In the morning we all pray football, and break fast. Then suddenly the radio says that 'You must to kill the inyenzi'. Which is Rwandaise for cockroach, which is what Tutsi are sometimes called and we are Tutsi. My father is eating beans and making a humour noise with his bottom, and my mother shouts at him and we all laugh. At twelve noon we all go to the church. The priest joins my brother and his wife together. Then there is a feast under the trees. We all take Fanta and converse with one and other. But on the radio, the president's plane exploded, and the radio said that now is the time to stamp on cockroaches. My father stood up and said to all of us that 'Give me your identity cards' and he took them all and put kerosene on them. My mother said 'Don't!' and my father said, 'We must, isn't it?' and he burnt the cards.
     Furthermore, the gorillas came. I remember these gorillas all the days of my life. There are/were a baker's dozen of gorillas (13). They all had pangas (machete) and some had long guns. The leader of them wore sunglasses and had no eyes. The second little ugly fat gorilla was hard to tell if he was a man or a woman. He was like a worm (i.e. androgynous). It is a cockroach wedding, the fat one said. Where are your ID cards (identity cards)? They shouted. (The cards have Hutu and Tutsi on them, and they want to kill only the Tutsi.) We don't have cards, my father said. It is OK said the gorilla, we will have an examination. We can see who is cockroach by looking, and he pointed with his panga at my mother and my three brothers and our cousins and our neighbour who is Tutsi too and the fat one said, Come and we go, and took them into the church. And the others he said were Hutu and let them go.
     Henceforth there was only my father and me and the gorillas and the big gorilla said, What is this one? You are a Tutsi, isn't it? Here, he points at me. And my father said, no he is a filthy Hutu like you, look at him, he does not look like me. I don't believe in you, the big gorilla said, and so my father expectorated on my face (This is a biology word, meaning spit with saliva.) He is not Tutsi my father said, he is not. And the gorilla said, Go, and I went into the Nature and I hid.
     At the end of the day, all things considered, when I came back after some time I looked in the church and it was full of cadavers. All my family and friends were there. I wept many tears from my eyes.
     In conclusion and final to that, it was the worse wedding. And that is 700 words.


8, continued. My dream job is to be biologist teacher. Biology
is the study of life and nature. There is no genocide in nature,
only human nature. In biology there are five kingdoms (which
is not to include Kingdom of Heaven, where is my family). I
want to teach that people are not cockroaches, and there is
no Hutu and Tutsi only Homo Sapiens. And for that I must to
pass this exam. Then I will be happy, everyday.
      Now, full stop.

A: 5/10 B: 4/I5 C: 9/10 Final Mark: 18/35 = 51%

© Ryan O’Neill

This electronic version of “The Examination” appears in The Barcelona Review with kind permission of the publisher. It appears in the short-story collection The Weight of a Human Heart by Ryan O’Neill, published in Australia by Black Inc, 2012; published by St. Martin’s Press, 2013. Book ordering available through and

The Barcelona Review is a registered non-profit organization

Author Bio

Ryan O'Neill -photoRyan O’Neill was born in Glasgow in 1975.  He lived in Africa, Europe, and Asia before settling in Newcastle, Australia, with his wife and two daughters.  His fiction has appeared in The Best Australian Stories, The Sleepers Almanac, Meanjin, New Australian Stories, Wet Inc, Etchings, and Westerly.  His work has won the Hal Porter and Roland Robinson awards. His collection, The Weight of a Human Heart was shortlisted for the 2012 Queensland Literary Prize.  He teaches at the University of Newcastle.