The quest for solace and healing which has triggered abilities in survivors

The many people who have attempted to peer into fully understanding what happened in Rwanda between April and July1994 have ended up with an enigma.
Reverien Rurangwa: The author of My stolen Rwanda, he currently stays in switzerland. (Net photo)
Reverien Rurangwa: The author of My stolen Rwanda, he currently stays in switzerland. (Net photo)

The many people who have attempted to peer into fully understanding what happened in Rwanda between April and July1994 have ended up with an enigma.

The philosophies behind various genocides as highlighted in many books have always been silhouetted in feeble and uncanny reasons, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi being no exception.

Ideally there is no reason on earth that can justify genocide anywhere; it happens out of sheer suppression of all values expected in society.

One can call it an insanity which unconsciously grips humans, only to be disappointed by the fact that it’s normally a systematically orchestrated plot to wipe out a particular group of human beings from the face of the earth.

Many people up to today including the very survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi still wonder why children were whacked on walls, why women were disemboweled and their unborn blotted out to the extent of asking themselves why they survived.

Survivors have lived to ask themselves these questions even at times when no one can answer them.

As a way of seeking for internal sanity from the cruel fates they were innocently condemned to, some survivors have written books to share with the rest of the world about what happened to them.

Due to the absence of a particular ear sometimes to listen to their ordeals, as some people find their stories too horrible to listen to and finish, some of them have sought for audience on their own.

Nshongoza a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi’s who has turned into a genocide song writer and singer, in his songs describes how the killings happened in different places, the screams from children, how the once blissful places like Nyanza-Butare were ripped apart and the blood streams which punctuated the genocide.

Many of his songs portray the agony gripped deep inside his soul but winds comforting all those who were tormented by the genocide not to lose hope but rise up and rebuild their shattered places “Kugarukaho nibwo butwari” is a line from his tribute song to Nyanza-Butare, calling upon those who survived there to merge efforts and rebuild it as the only sigh of heroism.

Eric Senderi in one of his genocide-tribute songs says his singing is not because he is satisfied but it’s due to the agony in his heart for all the loved ones he lost in the genocide, he has also recorded a number of songs highlighting the murders in the different places around Rwanda especially those that were hit hard.

Reverien Rurangwa the only survivor out of a family of 43 members wrote a book entitled Genocide; my stolen Rwanda, in which he narrates his entire family, was butchered in front of his eyes in a small hilly village of Mugina.

In his book he laments of the unbearable life that the fate of genocide ushered in his innocent life at the age of 15 when the genocide was happening.

He asks many painful questions to the world which need to be answered to him probably in a separate book authored by the world, but what hurts more is the fact that some of these questions would never be answered even by Simon Sibomana the real man whose machete blows took the lives of his loving family.

But even if Reverien and other survivors get the answers, it is hard for them to heal the wounds on their hearts but writing and doing other activities like sports, acting music has slowly by slowly massaged their hearts with a ray of hope and many have started embracing forgiveness of those who tormented them which has facilitated their healing.

This can be clearly portrayed by Imaculee Iribagiza the author of Left to tell, another tale of a young girl’s family which was massacred during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi surviving death on a thread.

In a subsequent documentary film called The diary of imaculee as inspired by her book, she chronicles her journey back to the hollow shell of what was once her family’s home to face her cruel past.

The film presents a flawless blend of coming to terms with a tragic past and the warmth of forgiveness as a step for reconciliation especially when she finally meets the man who killed all her family and she effortlessly forgives him, the picture can be best drawn by the words of one the funs of the film who wrote on the website of her publishing company

“We can feel how overwhelming and sad it is Immaculée clearly has healed and moved on from the tragic circumstances of the genocide--and if this woman can forgive her family’s killers, anyone can”

“My favorite moment in the movie is when she talks about meeting one of these killers.”I’m so sorry” the killer says and she replies him

“Yes, I’m past all that, I forgive you.” (And I believe her!) She goes on to say, “But what were you thinking? You used to be a human being! How could you do such a thing?”

Now, what I love about this is that she clearly “loves the sinner, hates the sin”--Her forgiveness is not blind, it acknowledges that something happened that was not good, but she doesn’t condemn the person who did it.

How utterly incredible. It was as if she was asking him why he stole a car or something, adds the unknown commentator of the moving film.

The yearning for solace in their pains has triggered many abilities and done constructive things which the survivors barely knew they had inside of them and this has inspired many people allover the world to embrace forgiveness and reconciliation.

Iribagiza is poised to come for the forgiveness conference dubbed Forgiveness a step to reconciliation organized by Peace and Love Proclaimers(PLP) to take place tomorrow on the 13th July, where many forgiveness crusaders will talk to people on the journey of reconciliation through forgiveness.