SEVERAL ARTISTES released songs conveying a message of unity and reconciliation as the country commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Most of the songs have been playing on radio and TV stations.
The New Times’ Sarah Kwihangana talked to a number of artistes who released genocide commemoration songs and they explained the motivation and message behind their songs.
I was only 8 months old when the Genocide against the Tutsi occurred in Rwanda. But I have lived to see the trauma it left on our people especially the orphans. In my new song IhorereMwana I am reaching out to those people who lost their parents or separated from their families as a result of the Genocide.
I am comforting them and telling them to have hope for a bright future. I am urging them to be patient and that they too deserve to have everything they need in life. Journalists and musicians had a hand in the 1994 Genocide but as a musician of today I would like to use my talent to convey a message of unity and reconciliation.
Rwandans have cried a lot for the past 20 years. To wash away their tears I decided to release my song dubbed Ndaje which means ‘here I come’ and I am giving hope to Rwandans for a better future.
Genocide should never happen again in our country or anywhere in the world. It is our duty as Rwandans to create a new history for our country. After 20 years we should focus more on where we want to go but not forgetting where we came from.
As the theme for this year’s genocide memorial goes, “Remember, Unite and Renew, I wanted to unite Rwandans through my song entitled IbangaTwarimenye. This literally means that the secret has been revealed and it is unity. In my song I am telling Rwandans to join hands and work together to develop our country.
It is our time to build the nation and we have to forget about divisions along ethnic lines.
My song is called Ndabakumbuye and it features legendary songstress Maria Yohana.
It is based on my real life story. I lost my mum and many friends during the 1994 Genocide that I miss so dearly and I want to be with them. We are telling our loved ones that we lost during the genocide that we miss them so much but also telling the survivors not to worry for the future is bright. To all children and people who lost their loved ones, they should be strong and work hard for a bright future.
My new song is Urabe Intwari and I was inspired to do it after listening to a story of a genocide survivor who witnessed her father and siblings being killed and her mum being raped as she watched. This woman today is a mother of two and happily married. She has been able to move on despite her tough childhood. In this song I am telling Rwandans they should move on and shouldn’t think about revenge. They should forgive, love one another and have a vision for a bright future. Let us try to live happily and in harmony.