Commemorating the Genocide through drama

Sadness gripped the audience in the National University of Rwanda’s auditorium, as the university’s drama club staged an emotional but educative play about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and its aftermath, over the weekend.
One of the scenes in the play.  The New Times / Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.
One of the scenes in the play. The New Times / Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.

Sadness gripped the audience in the National University of Rwanda’s auditorium, as the university’s drama club staged an emotional but educative play about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and its aftermath, over the weekend.

The play, titled Intete or The Grains, was composed by les Stars du Theatre Drama troupe and staged as part of activities to commemorate for 19th time the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Intete portrays the life of orphans-three in the play- who lost parents during the Genocide   and are left without any person to look after them.

Throughout the play, the young orphans--- a boy and his two younger sisters, struggle cope with the many consequences of the Genocide: they are faced, among others, with poverty, the lack of someone to cater for their needs and a continued moral torture from a woman who had been convicted of playing a role in the killing of their parents.

The orphans confront the difficulties with courage, hard work, determination and relentless efforts and finally they manage to find the light at the end of the tunnel: their efforts result into a better life.

As the play develops into an emotional and touchy act, it flashes back to the pre-Genocide era to reflect on how bad politics led to the tragic event. 

They also take the audience through a show of how greed and selfishness of some politicians, who are relying on ‘minimal’ external donations (portrayed as grains of beans), has negative implications and outcomes on the lives of their compatriots.

At the end, the actors give a message of hope: that the consequences of Genocide will at the end be won. But, for this to happen, the actors set a number of conditions which they express in four words: Hard work, Love, self-reliance and heroism.

The play, which lasts for about 40 minutes, is an expression of optimism that the future of the Rwandan population, including vulnerable genocide survivors, promises to be better-in what is attributed mainly to good governance.

It also offers a positive message to Rwandans that they have to work hard to achieve the desired level of welfare and, thus, becoming self-reliant.

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