SEVENTEEN years after the 1994 Genocide, Rwandans continue the hard work of healing, restoration and laying the foundation for a better future.
One of these is Belgium-based Rwandan musician and genocide survivor, Kizito Mihigo, who is propelled by the need to foster hope and unity among Rwandans through music, and works wholeheartedly on improving the country’s image.
Born in Kibeho, in the Southern Province, Kizito’s love for music began in his early years and the potent messages he conveys reach all levels of people and societies.
The 29-year-old singer is at the moment organising a free concert dubbed ‘Ishami Ryashibutse Mu Ishavu Rigashashagirana Ibyishimo’ to be held on April 24, at the EXPO Grounds in Gikondo, Kigali.
Meanwhile, on Thursday night, local artists who included Maria Yohana Mukankuranga, Mani Martin, Patrick Nyamitari, Tonzi, Eric Rukundo, Sgt. Robert, Eric Senderi, Grace Kitoko, Dieudonne Munyanshoza, a.k.a Mibirizi and Kizito performed to thousands of people at the Amahoro National Stadium grounds.
Speaking to The New Times, Kitoko encouraged Rwandans to be strong as they remember their loved ones and shun hatred and conflict that would lead to Genocide in the country.
“The killers who confessed and asked for forgiveness should take another step and ask the world for forgiveness because Genocide is an international crime against humanity,” Kitoko said.
In an interview with The New Times, the Legal Consultant at the National Commission for the fight Against the Genocide (CNLG), Diogene Bideri, revealed that another performance would be held at Rebero, Kigali, on April 13, to mark the commemoration week.
Below are the lyrics of ‘Twanze gutoberwa amateka’ the official song composed by Kizito to mark the 17th commemoration of the Genocide. It conveys a message of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Imyaka ibaye cumi n’irindwi twibuka.
Twibuka Jenoside yakorewe abatutsi.
Nyamara hariho benshi bakomeje gupfobya ayo mateka
Bagatinyuka kuyajora bakayatokoza uko bishakiye
Twanze gutoberwa amateka, twanze kuba insina ngufi.
Twanze kugana aho tutazi nk’aho tutazi iyo tuva
Umuntu utema imizi y’igiti aba agamije kwica imbuto zacyo.
Umuntu upfobya amateka aba agamije kwica ejo hazaza
Niba dufite icyerekezo cy’umunezero,
Niba dushaka amahoro mu rwatubyaye,
Jenoside niyitwe Jenoside tubuze abandi kuyishakira utubyiniriro
Jenoside yakorewe abatutsi, niwo musaraba w’uru Rwanda.
Kera nkiri muto ngifite ababyeyi,
Bambwiraga ko urumuri ngo rubonesha.
Nanjye ubwo nkabikiriza nti: Ibyo nta wutabizi,
Ubungubu iyo ntekereje nsanga ntabyo nari nzi,
Iyo ntaza kuba mu mwijima sinari kubona urumuri
Sinsingiza umwijima, sinshima ibibi byawo, ahubwo ndawusobanura,
Nkavuga ko ariwo utuma menya ibyiza by’urumuri
Sintaka umusaraba ubwawo, jyewe nivugira izuka wangejejeho.
Sinkunda urupfu ubwarwo kuko nta kiza rugira, ahubwo rutubera nk’umuryango tukinjira mu buzima buhoraho.”