Dreams to Find Another World is a poetic book based on the history and lifestyle of Rwandans.
It combines different testimonies of the Genocide against Tutsi that are written in form of poems because poetry contributes to creative diversity in dialogue, and the free flow of ideas that end up with hope, unity and reconciliation stories.
Sharon Kantengwa caught up with the author, Fred Mfuranzima who shared his inspiration and experience in writing the book.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to understand what happened in my country, especially the Genocide against Tutsi that happened in 1994 before and how we have been affected by it.
I tried to learn more about the event and I wondered if I can’t understand why Rwandans killed each other and later forgave and united themselves, what about the next generations after me?
How will they get answers and how can I contribute to developing critical thinking among African youth who are still imprisoned by wrong beliefs.
As an author and poet, I thought of how I can share some of the stories and testimonials about the history of Rwanda especially the Genocide to give lessons to young Africans that wars and genocide don’t answer anything but unity and love regardless of any kind of differences as Africans can make us a safe continent.
Although these stories of my country are sometimes heavy, loud and complicated to my heart, I have been compelled to hear and tell what has been entrusted to me.
The book was facilitated by poetess Amina Umuhoza, Ann Stella Wanjiru and Clemance Umutoni.
What message were you trying to convey?
I wanted to remind Africans that we are strong enough when we leverage the critical thinking of the people who might read this, and to keep alive the memories of the people who were killed in the Genocide against Tutsi.
As a post genocide Rwandan youth, what medium of research did you use in writing this book?
The story of my work Dreams to find another World, is derived from specific records of my life experience. All stories and poems are based on real life stories, the poems represent personal discovery about life, human kind, and our capacity both for love and cruelty.
How long did it take you to write this book and what was the experience like?
It took me two years of writing and doing some research. I have organised different events where I met different people of different age groups. All their stories gave me a gist of Africa’s problems and some of the solutions to them.
Some of the youth stories resonated with mine, and I learned that as I write our stories, my witnesses simultaneously give me a voice. In the process I decided to create a space where I can contribute to creating social responsible leaders and active youth.
I then created an association Imfura Arts for Peace, affiliated to Never Again Rwanda that brings young people together to get understanding of their community issues and take action to solve them through arts.
What went through your mind before writing this book?
My expectations were to contribute to the development of poetry and writing in my country and Africa because it might help out our country in developing critical thinking.
We have to prove that we can and encourage others to do so especially Rwandans because we have many lessons to teach fellow Africans.