rutazima. We ignite
that candle. Every year. April.
Never let it fade. Because hope is
stronger than darkness.
Because light is
where we
A 100 days. A million graves.
Because I watched my father,
my mother, my sister, my brother,
my child walk out of the door for
the last time. Because I ran to find
shelter but they slipped through my
hands. Dragged. Because I don’t
know where their bodies lie. Or what
torture they had to embrace before
death took its claim on them.
1994. Every year since. It began
with grief. With terror. You survived.
With tears running down, I watch you
re-enter. Re-enter memories that haunt
you. The trance where you think you
are being hunted. Still. It has seeped
beneath your soul where the pain
and the terror engulf you even in
the present. A walk to remember.
Our walk is towards the candle.
To make it glow stronger with each year.
Join me. Kwibuka*. So that every year
we remember. Remember to make
sure that we find no divides. Remember
so that our children will not see a time
where race and ethnicity will divide –
where divide will conquer and result in
massacre. Massacre of the very essence
of being human. Where we forget that
beneath our skin and race and ethnicity,
we are not different. Remember so that
we don’t have to watch souls of familiar
and comfort taken away and thrown into
pieces, buried under earth where we cannot
find them. Remember so that we don’t have to tell
anyone that we regret. Regret being born into a time of
violence. Regret to be born to watch people suffer in vain for
no good reason. So that Never Again will remain etched in history forever.

Urumuri rutazima – light that never ends.

*Kwibuka – Remember

Based on the Rwandan Genocide

Image credit: UNAMIR