The journey of starting over after a setback requires a saving grace, and whether you pulled yourself out of the tunnel or you can credit the salvation to somebody else, there’s no doubt that without the heroic acts paving the way time and time again, the world would be unrecognisable. ALSO READ: A tribute to our heroes In an effort to appreciate and address the role that heroism has played in reshaping Rwanda for the better, poets shared with us their tributes to national heroes in anticipation of the 29th national Heroes Day scheduled to take place on February 1st. Honour to You Heroes – Lydie Uwantege Lydie Uwantege’s poem “Honour to You Heroes” is a tribute to all heroes; past, present and future. The opening line of every paragraph references the respectful time periods with candour, well-illustrated with “our heroes past, gone but not forgotten” which alludes to the heroes who lost their lives in pursuit of the country’s liberation. Uwantege also references present heroes and acknowledges that they are “hard to the task” which is a clear commendation of those responsible for the country’s continued development and the ever-progressive healing process that would not have been as successful without their input. In the poem, Uwantege also recognises that new generations have a legacy to carry on and a definitive future ahead, also simultaneously shading light onto the fact that it’s all a work in progress and the future being at a safe distance creates room for grace. “Our heroes’ future In the works now Eyes on the foundation laid And proven works raised Pioneering ahead” The Rwandan Spirit – Reagan Shema All through the poem “The Rwandan Spirit” Reagan Shema tackles the struggles associated with bouncing back from a tragedy and the loss of identity it is tethered to. As the poem progresses, glimpses of the healing process make an appearance with lines like; “This country has grown and replenished back to milkdom, dressed in her pain, determined to heal, but not at all afraid to show.” Which stands as a testament to the nation’s growth and overcoming obstacles.” ALSO READ: Know your national heroes God’s Soldier – Raissa Muvunyi “God’s soldier”, a poem by Raissa Muvunyi, implicitly highlights how the sacrifices made by heroes back in the day are the foundation on which our present lives lay. Lines like “should a man be fearful, means they will cry out to the brave” strongly imply the hope of a saving grace and as this poetic pattern develops, it is made inherently clear that the newfound access to core necessities like peace and security can be traced back to past sacrifices made by heroes, and that is more than enough reason to celebrate. The poem turns jovial as it nears its end, emphasising that though “we cannot recite all their names” it ends on the high note that; “We shall dance to the rhythm of their strength We shall call them God’s soldiers For they love to fight terror.” Our light and hope – Brian Bazimya With this poem, Bazimya built a shrine meant to celebrate and acknowledge the strides that followed heroic sacrifice, noting that; “To you our heroes Who gave us a voice To you our heroes Who made us say Nd’umunyarwanda To you our heroes Who made this land of a thousand hills Worthy again, I thank you.” Further emphasising that the sacrifices they made have significantly played into redefining and recommitting to cultural identity, and warrant a celebration.