I Did Not Kill My Cousins – A Poem by A. Happy Umwagarwa (Click to watch the video)Published January 17, 2020
#Rwanda is a country of people who speak the same language, share the same culture (with its diversity), and live in the same villages, on the country’s beautiful hills, as neighbors, friends and relatives.
Researchers and scholars have not yet agreed on both the origin and the meaning of the groups ‘Hutus’, ‘Tutsis’ and Twas’, but all we all know is that these groups have coexisted for centuries, and this resulted in so many intermarriages.
The 20th century has been tragic for Rwanda, and towards its end, in 1994, the country experienced one of the biggest tragedies the world has ever known: The Genocide against the Tutsi.
Although, not all Hutus participated in the genocide (in fact some were also killed), the perpetrators sang that they were killing in the name of Hutus, and encouraged all Hutus to join the hunting of their Tutsi neighbors.
In the process of healing and reconciliation, the Rwandans born of intermarriages between Tutsis and Hutus seem to have particular questions and emotional needs. Many identify with the survivors of the genocide, but also feel somehow linked to the identity of the killers. Sometimes, they experience rejection by both groups, and feel like they do not belong.
This fictional poem is an attempt to tell the story of an imaginary character I named Rukundo, which means ‘Love’ in Kinyarwanda. Like any other fiction stories, the purpose is not to explain history or to suggest what the future should look like. My aim is simply to tell a story and hope that each of us might draw a lesson from it.
My name is Umwagarwa
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If you like my ideas, you may read more from me on Umwagarwa’s Take
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To read my short stories, go to Umwagarwa’s fiction short stories
Have you ordered a copy of HeartsAmongOurselves, my new novel set in in the post genocide Rwanda? I have posted below its trailer.
To read more and order your copy from Amazon, click here.
Those who are in Rwanda, I am pleased to inform you that the novel is now on Kigali bookshelves. Please get your copy from Librairie Caritas, in town (Tel. +250(0)788300787), and Arise Bookshop, on Kimironko road (Tel. +250(0)788354020)
Below is the trailer of Hearts Among Ourselves.