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From the Horse’s mouth: As I sang along to the Rwanda anthem, I felt tears in my eyes (Part 1)

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The Rwanda National Soccer team at the burial site for the Zambia National Soccer team players that perished in what has come to be called the "Gabon Disaster"

The Rwanda National Soccer team at the burial site for the Zambia National Soccer team players that perished in what has come to be called the “Gabon Disaster”

As I sang along to the Rwanda national anthem during the match between Zambia and Rwanda last Sunday, I felt tears in my eyes, writes Lisa Bwalya. My mind wandered unrestrained to the past.

For those of you 25 years and under, you may only have read about it. But I lived through it. I saw it. I experienced it. I feel it up to now. A few minutes and I will explain.

The whole thing started like a joke. We never imagined it could end up that way.
Although there was a civil war in Rwanda in 1994 ( low key) life was normal. People went to work, school, church, nightclubs, football matches etc. We only read about the war in papers just like everyone else.

My father was working for the UN in Kigali in the 90s and to me then, the place was like home, like Zambia. I had pals of both tribes with whom we would go shopping and dancing on weekends. Life was good.

Then in April of that year, things turned sour.
On the night of April 6th, we heard gunfire and explosions in all directions. It continued through the night. Even though I had an idea what was going on (remember the country was at some war), I did not expect the news that dad brought to my bedroom the following morning. He said President Habiyramana’s plane had been shot down and that the vice President was going to address the nation to confirm it. We waited for madame Agathe to address us but she never did. Later we were told that soldiers had assassinated her too on her way to the radio station.

You might wonder what this article is all about. Please be patient, am almost done.
There was untold chaos outside. It was planned meticulously. Ordinary Rwandans like you and me carried pangas, knockberries, hammers and guns on that day, killing people in cold blood. Soldiers encouraged it. There was shouting and screaming everywhere. I was frightened and wanted to go home, to Zambia.

Dad believed that the UN would put an end to the killings on the streets, in churches, in schools, in homes. He said 2 days. But when over 400 of my school mates were killed in one week alone, our family decided to leave like other foreigners were doing. But it wasn’t easy. There were roadblocks at every corner manned by panga carrying cadres. The hatred between the two tribes had gone beyond redemption. 300,000 men, women and children were killed before April ended.

I will tell you the full story later. It was unimaginably horrible. It had been propagated by politicians using the media. The hatred, the animosity.
For those of you 25 years and under who spend all your time on facebook posting messages of tribal hate, I wish you knew what you were doing.
I wish you knew.
The only thing that brought back a smile on my face last Sunday was Zambia’s victory. Thanks Kalaba, thanks Mukuka, thanks chipolopolo.

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19 Responses to From the Horse’s mouth: As I sang along to the Rwanda anthem, I felt tears in my eyes (Part 1)

  1. HH and his ZWD will bring war in this country. him has our stolen money,so he will run away and leave us to kill eachother, i have never known such a bitter man.a man who cant even smile.

    kim
    March 30, 2015 at 11:06 pm
    Reply

    • such careless stupid talks is exactly the writer is talking against.. You must grow up and this maturely.

      Ukwa
      March 31, 2015 at 6:30 am
      Reply

    • @kim – Maybe there is something wrong with you if all you can see in HH is an enemy. It says more about you than it says about HH.

      One-Love
      March 31, 2015 at 6:41 am
      Reply

    • @kim, it u6s such unprecedented high levels of foolishness that the writer is talking about that can cause a catastrophe. We know this article is beyond your comprehension and the best you can do is to keep your idiocy to yourself.

      python
      March 31, 2015 at 10:11 am
      Reply

    • Someone is recalling genocide and we get a fool to respond like this. What is wrong with you?

      stanley
      March 31, 2015 at 12:51 pm
      Reply

  2. @kim
    Keep HH away from this, what has he done to you?

    Keen Follower
    March 31, 2015 at 1:58 am
    Reply

  3. Sounds the storyline Panga Family is writing for itself, and sadly for Zambia

    child of the sky
    March 31, 2015 at 3:09 am
    Reply

  4. well told my dear. one zambia one nation come back and finish.
    i understand you.
    God bless you
    God bless zambia

    chris
    March 31, 2015 at 7:23 am
    Reply

  5. Pingback: From the Horse’s mouth: As I sang along to the Rwanda anthem, I felt tears in my eyes (Part 2) | Zambian Eye

  6. The Rwanda mass killings came as a result of greedness, selfish and failure to share national resources equaly among the people. Many conflicts in Africa such as ones still hot in DRC, Sudan, Nigeria are as a result of few selfish individual.

    Mainza
    March 31, 2015 at 10:51 am
    Reply

  7. As Zambian let’s learn to value our relative freedom though quite temporary if the kind of hates we see in the media continues. This article is timely.

    Dexter
    March 31, 2015 at 11:12 am
    Reply

  8. Sata destroyed Zambia. Worst tribalist ever!!!! But God is great!

    Blago
    March 31, 2015 at 5:11 pm
    Reply

  9. The article is insipid and the lacks direction and depth.

    Willard Mubvumbi
    April 1, 2015 at 9:11 am
    Reply

    • Anyway, you are under 25 years. God forgive you, for you do not know what you are saying.

      muna sakata
      April 1, 2015 at 7:03 pm
      Reply

  10. The article is insipid and it lacks direction and depth.

    Willard Mubvumbi
    April 1, 2015 at 9:13 am
    Reply

  11. If you are wise heed the advice from earlier comments. You are a danger to our peace young man

    Tim
    April 3, 2015 at 3:45 pm
    Reply

  12. The earlier comment is meant for Kim

    Tim
    April 3, 2015 at 3:46 pm
    Reply

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31