As I was writing this letter, Job of the Bible came to my mind where in 11:17–19 God spoke to him: "And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security. " So despite the soul-shaking events of the present times, we remain firm and steadfast in faith and hope.
So, dear uncle, we have two instances here in Kigali; lockdown and commemoration. During this time, we remember and renew our hope and forgiveness.
One British playwright in medieval theater times, Hannah More, called forgiveness an economy of the heart... for it saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred and the waste of spirits. Today those words reckon our understanding with greater passion as we commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In Rwanda, forgiveness is a commodity in abundant supply. The power to forgive gives us one of humanity’s virtues – tranquility. Tranquility of any component of nature – spirit, sea, neighbour, name it – tells much about activity and define how man can tame nature to defeat necessity –physical and emotional.
Just like it is with nature, turbulence of the mind can cloud perception, injure interpretation and create a whole blackness of yawning void of knowledge.
Some of the arresting facets that prevent us from registering tranquility in spirit and body are to do with failure to forgive – forgiving others and ourselves, becoming hostages of history in the process.
In these 100 days, beginning 7th April, Rwanda and the world commemorate and reflect on what befell the country when evil took over good with lightening, shocking efficiency, justice suffocated with impunity, humility and human dignity destroyed with a zeal as radical as religious commitment, truth burnt with rage and civilisation fled in screaming torrents of terror.
This juncture of history (commemoration) in Rwanda has continued to be used by all; the rich, the poor, the leaders, the elite – all, to ponder on transforming the past moments of recrimination and red-hot hatred into buttressing exceptional pillars of unity, reconciliation and, in the process, writing the last epitaph to the ideology of genocide.
The creative destruction – of the ideology of genocide, terror and hopelessness has opened the eyes and minds of Rwandans. Of peasants. Of elites. Of politicians. That creative destruction has dissected and exposed the deceptions that were given great esteem heretofore. The creative destruction of evil has taken the course of using such practices as Girinka which involves giving a calf to a neighbour, a former enemy, creating a contagious passion of love—creating a bond and eliminating poverty at the same time. This is something to love and live.
Uncle, in Rwanda under President Paul Kagame’s leadership, we have used creative methods in melting down the genocide ideology. We have disbanded very gigantic, sophisticated barriers – of time-honoured hatred, poverty, revisionism and denial – that made Rwanda a miserable gulag prior to the 1994 liberation.
As Rwandans, we have now come to appreciate the good that unites us and shun the bad that divide a people and the entire nation.
The Genocide regime enjoyed, with glee, to put a fox in a henhouse. The people who stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi are saying a good shepherd fights for his sheep. And the world of difference is an open book. Just imagine a Rwanda with a genocide in the past, and failure to forgive today. We have taken the path of reconciliation. And it is paying off.
Jesus’ resurrection teaches that good annihilates evil. Reconciliation efforts in Rwanda teach us the same lesson-good destroys evil.
On another good note, as we hop towards hope, I am happy to tell you that so far seven COVID-19 patients have fully recovered and been discharged. No death. No critically ill person. There is hope.
Let me wish you and family a great period of JESUS RESURRECTION.