Refer to the story, “He lost all his family in Genocide but 82-year-old Nyirinkindi soldiers on’, (The New Times, October 16). Can words ever do justice to this kind of indomitable spirit? I often think that resilience does not even come close to describing people like Mr. Nyirinkindi and many survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi – the determination to go on despite feeling that you have nothing left to live for and to survive the losses and memories at a senior age when you thought you had understood all you needed to about life and human behaviour.
And then to have to dig deep within yourself and decide to connect with others again – victims and perpetrators alike –, as is the case in many areas around Rwanda. If that is not the most striking lesson on the power within us, I don’t know what it is. It speaks of a higher force that inhabits each and everyone, a voice that whispers that ultimately our spirit cannot be crushed if we decide that it will not be.
We may experience pain, distress and grief, but if we are able to listen to that voice inside and connect to it – the core of our spirit, our higher selves – then we can slowly rise up again. And become a daring testimony of rebirth and strength to those vicious killers, as well as a constant reminder to their negationist friends, that they should carefully avoid our path when “revisiting” the Genocide against the Tutsi.
Because if they had to face those powerful survivors, not only would they have to deal full front with the reality of the Genocide – in spite of themselves – but also with the reality that those who were meant to be extinct are in fact standing tall. One could say taller than ever.
Even though his entire extended family was wiped out during the Genocide against the Tutsi, this old man found another family of children who loves him and who take care of him. He’s now called the “grandpa” – the glorious gift any man would wish to live by.
I wish him to live longer and to leave this world a happy man. I also take this opportunity to remind Rwandans of the need to uphold the social and moral values we have gained from the Government of Rwanda so that genocide won’t ever happen again in this country.