Poems of grief.

(6) I will never smile again.

In this Rwanda I lost what’s most precious;
They took from me, that which they can’t pay back;

They broke in me, that which they cannot mend,

I will carry this emptiness, this pain, until the end..

They robbed me of my family, of my people, of my history;
They killed them, they raped them, burned them, they even ate them.

Oh God where am I?
Why here, why this curse?
Why them, why me, why us?

Tutsi were many here, before. They were all killed.
Now, only a few, here, there, adrift, lost…

What’s their sin?
None. To be born. To dream, to aspire, to live.

I have no reason to smile,
There is nothing that’d give me joy;

If I was the only one, I’d cry,
But that is pointless, for there are many of us.

This Rwanda is our curse, it is our burden, it is our cross.
We carry it, for we have no choice,

What else can we do? What else shall we do?
If Tutsi were born to die, let them do what they must, then die in silence.
If their brothers find them a bother, if they can’t live together,
If Rwandans can’t see their worth, if their deeds aren’t appreciated, then that’s a shame.
Let them clean, let them build, let them heal the nation, then let them die.

For it seems it’s true, Tutsi were born to be killed..



(5) The candle into darkness..

With your brokenness, your griefs,

Your heartbreaks, your despears and fears,

Your pains, your scars,

For all you went through, all your loss;

Still, we couldn’t exchange you for anyone in the whole world;

We love you, just the way you are!


You are so powerful, so resilient;

You laugh, you dream, you love and manage to find a place…

You have turned around your destiny;

From an oppressed, subhuman and stateless community;

You’re known as a proud, dignified, hopeful society…

You should always remember who you are;

You should never forget who you lost.

At every step of the way, you should know;

You have a country that supports you,
An army that protects you,
A people that roots for you.

Now dry your tears, brother, you are grown and strong and you have your sisters to protect, besides, men don’t cry;

And don’t cry no more, little darling, you have a nation to raise; besides, your brothers love you, so, so much.

To all the Genocide survivors, we love you endless..



(4) To you the survivors; the fighters:

As I sleep in the comfort of my bed; in the safety of my home;
on this day when we remember those who are gone;

I want to take a moment to thank you for this opportunity;
Your fight is a great inspiration for my duty towards this country,

Your resilience gives a meaning to my existence;
Your life gives me hope for the triumph of good over evil:

You represent life over death, you are the good in mankind;

You survived so we can be together;
Against all odds, we are stronger than ever;

United we stand; in Rwanda our motherland;

We could never replace your loved ones, but we love you with all our heart;
For you are Rwanda; you are our fight!

We are stronger because of you!
So thank you for your life..



(3) Rwanda has fallen in April rain

The rain. More rain.

I am scared, it is April again.

The red clay is muddy, the path slippery;

The weather is dire, the sky gloomy

The smell of death and blood is fresh;

Stray dogs are mad, they’ve tasted flesh;

My neighbours have changed, they see me – the enemy;

The look in their eyes, the words in their mouth – fright me…


The swamp is filled, there is nowhere to hide;

The chill of water consumes me alive;

The tune of frogs keeps me still;

Yet it won’t mute, familiar cries on the hill;

Mosquito bites remind me I am alive;

Should I stay here and save myself;

Find my spouse and risk my life?

The rooster sings, it’s already morning;

I lived through the night, daylight reveals my hiding;

The muzim is strange, he didn’t call for prayer;

Perhaps he’s worried, God is elsewhere….


The radio.

I dread the voice on the radio.

The cynic tone, the messages of hate;

The call to kill, is loud on every hill;

I can hear them approaching,

Their feet daunting, their songs distressing;

I am scared no more, I have no one to lose;

My house destroyed, my loved ones abused…


The rain, more rain;

I am cold, O April rain;

How I used to rejoice at your coming;

The hope of harvest you brought, the second chance of living;

Farmers are singing different chants;

Women are hiding in the swamps…


This time you are deceived, O rain;

This is not your place, O water from heaven;

You shouldn’t have come; you are falling for waste;

This is no season for growth; soiled are the fields;

Hoes, machetes are stained; they won’t plant the seeds;


O April rain;

Go back where you came from, tell them Rwanda has fallen. 


(2) I remember, I see;

You are in my heart, I feel;

Like the bird that flies across the sky,

I will never forget your smile;

The spark that ignites my heart,

The flame that burns through the night;

The strength to carry on;

The drumbeat of a whole nation,

The cause that gives me passion;

The rhythm that leads the dance;

The meaning to my existence,

The drive to keep the fight,

The struggle for a day that’s bright;

I will see you, I know;

Unto you today, I bow.


(1) For the Rwandans I didn’t grow to see;

Special persons I have not met;

Dear friends I have not made;

Whose pictures I can still see;

But whose features will no more be;

The voices I have not heard;

The laughter I have not shared;

The hugs I was not given;

The hands I have not shaken;

The songs I have not heard;

The dance I may not have;

The treasure we have all lost;

The mother I loved the most;

I miss you like a fish misses the sea.



Unrated: To Izamarere, Inkotanyi.

Have we thanked you enough?

Have our words done you justice?

Does our love please you right?

How best can we express how we feel?

You are our everything, our pride, we owe you our life.


From a rebel movement, an outcast militia;

to a dignified party, exemplar of governance, pacifier of Africa.

From stateless, to statesmen; guerrilleros to heroes;

The cockroaches have grown into lions!

You were always lions, they just couldn’t see it. yet…


We thank you for your sacrifice;

we thank you for saving us;

We thank you for bringing us home;

we thank you for keeping us safe;

we thank you for making us proud;

we thank you, we pray blessing upon you, in fact we can’t do it enough…


Our ancestors would be proud of you, your parents would be pleased with you,

and we, your relatives and children; your people, we stand with you.