To beloved we wish we could have saved,
Usually this is the part of ‘How are you doing?’ but since you are dead, I will skip it.
Why am I writing you this letter? Is it because today marked one year since the day Nyakubahwa chose his term over your lives, or is it simply because we can’t get over your death?
How are we doing? Actually that’s the right question. How us, Abarundi, are we doing? Normally we reply politely
‘ Turaho’ regardless that nothing is fine and our hearts are bleeding and bleeding and bleeding more.
But we are not okay. In fact, we have never been okay. Oh wait! what do I know? Me, a young girl of the 90’s. Honestly I don’t have to know a lot to realize that we have faked for so long. We have lived with wounds, smiled while all we feel is hate and this evil anger. We have attended each other’s parties, supported each other while yet, we had deep issues we did not want to fix because we have built a good answer that covers everything: Turaho
Komezamahoro, Jobe Nkurunziza, Euphrem Hatungimana, Michee Nkurunziza, Alexandre Niyongabo, Armel Manirambona, Justin Nzambimana, Rodrigue Uwamahoro, Innocent Gahiro, Jean Bosco Nkurunziza,Theogene Niyondiko, Ndimira Eloi, Bebeto, Armel, Epimaque Ndayiragije, Nsengiyumva Valence,…My dears, a year has passed since the day the one who was supposed to protect you, sacrificed you so he can gain…. uuh I don’t know.
I am writing you this to let you know that nothing has changed since the day you died. More are dying, women are being raped, some have disappeared and refugees are struggling in Camps. Rwanda is blamed for everything that is happening and my fingers are crossed.
They can even accuse it for killing you.
But I, as little as incapable, as I feel hopeless; and as I try to dream for a better future, I am tired. My heart cannot take anymore, better am I handling being asked where I was in 1965 or 1972, why I did not write. Better am I at handling any kind of stones thrown at me, I am not okay when I cannot find words to describe what is happening in my motherland. I am not okay when until now I am without words to use when I am talking about you, Nepo. Your curiosity killed you. My little brother could have done the same, actually any kid could have stopped to see what was happening but you happened to be in a country where kids are killed just like that. Nepo, I cannot lie to you but many are still dying. And your friends are not assured to see tomorrow, for they can be killed any time.
Jean Marie Mwitaminwa, Venant Kayoya, Leonidas Nibitanga, Landry Ntore,Idi, Adelin Manirakiza, Damien Ruzoyi, Idrissa Mavukiro, Eric Ndayisenga, Moise Nimubona, Thadee Niyungeo, Naila Kamariza, Emmanuel Ndereyimana ,Zedi Feruzi, Mwajuma Ndayishimye, Serge Bizimana, Cedrick Nimbona, Juvenal Nyarigabo, Jacques Habonimana, Donatien Ntahomvukiye, Jean-Marie Ciza, Mussa Nziguheba, Selemani and his wife, Paul Ramazani, Meschak Ramazani, Innocent Ndayikeza, Arnaud Ndayiziga, Issa Shabani Mwamba,Gerard Baranderega,Simon Cigumije, Benjamin Mbonimpa, Emmanuel Harimenshi, Deo Nshimirimana, Abdul Karim, Come harerimana, Egide Twagirayezu, Yvette Irakoze, Dieudonee Ntiburumunsi, Abel Ndabumvirubusa, Amoni Bizumuremyi, I wish this letter was hopeful. I wish I could tell you that your lives were not in vain, I wish I could tell you right now that the killers have paid for their crimes against you. I wish I had no other news of death after you were savagely killed. I wish I had news to tell you of a leader that was going to bring us back to the past we have fled from, to the wounds we have hidden.
This crisis has been taking masks off from our faces but mostly, it has exposed the wounds we have concealed, shown as scars while they were bleeding. With “Turaho”, we have ignored them or maybe we thought we could get over the pain. It is scary when you see someone who has power over people, firmly speak of how Tutsis are the ones against Nkurunziza because they want to dominate again the hutus. It is so scary when you listen to the words used in some political parties. You may say ngo imvugo z abarundi zamye zigoye. But I strongly believe we use words that are deeply rooted in our minds and hearts
My dears, I simply wish we could have saved you. I simply wish we knew how to save your lives. Let me make it personal, I simply wish I knew how to keep you alive. But I know how we should not forget about you. We have spent so many years going around the same mountain like Israelites in the desert. Is Rwagasore proud of us if he looks at the country he has died for? He set us free but we have managed to keep ourselves slaves. When will we be nk’ abandi and say “Never again”. When will we be tired of repeated killings? Or actually We enjoy taking lives.
I don’t count on the yesterday generation but I have hope for my generation. We can do better and we will if we chose to make a priority the well-being of our motherland and not inda zacu. We will do better if we learn how to deal with the root when it’s still small, manageable and stop with “Turaho” attitudes. We will do better if we start realizing, that uburundi n abarundi n ivyacu twese. So we better build a home for those homeless kids in Bujumbura, or there will be no Burundi bw’ejo. We will do better, when we will not use any position in the government as a tool to steal, to abuse or build our kingdoms but as a tool to leave a legacy for the next generation to do better. We will simply do better, when we will love Uburundi, not because it is going through dark nights but because a child cannot and should not forget about his mother.
Until now people are still dying, mothers are mourning their children, kids are trying to understand how they will live without their parents, young wives are still struggling to accept that they will have to raise their kids alone without their husbands and I have accepted that this crisis has turned out something bigger than what I thought.
I wanted to end this letter with a “ Rest in Peace “, but I remember Cherissa. She was only 3 year old. What is she resting for? Nepo komezamahoro, what is he resting for? The dreams he had and never got to accomplish?
I would have said that life is unfair, but I believe in God, who created life to be beautiful, but we simply have made it something else.
Until I meet you again in the other world, pray for Burundi if wherever you are, you can say a prayer.
From My heart to yours,