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


DoveLisa Bwalya continues telling the story to Zambian Eye. Let me continue from last time. BY the time we were settling in Kigali in 1992, the seeds of tribal discord had already been planted. It had been a gradual process, spanning many decades.

Sporadic incidences of violence between the two tribes had been reported from way back, but that was as far as it had gone. In general life remained normal. We moved into a quiet neighborhood of expatriates. We felt at home. The Rwandese nationals, while being hostile to each other, showed remarkable hospitality towards foreigners.

Many of my new classmates knew about Zambia. They knew Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s First President. And Soccer Icon, Kalusha Bwalya. Not many knew the new Zambian President FJT Chiluba at that time though. But they often equated my country to peace.

Despite the tranquility on the surface in Rwanda, hostilities were brewing underground. Political parties were cropping up, most had fiery messages. As was fashionable at that point in Africa, many Rwandans felt that theirs was a dictatorship government. Apparently believing that the election route would be too long, some in diaspora formed a rebel group. This rebel group was strongly inclined towards one tribe.

In reaction, the government started to train party cadre youths to fight the rebels. As it turned out the training was not meant to counter the rebels after all. The UN sent in a mission to keep the two sides apart. I think the two sides had signed some form of peace treaty. That treaty worked for a while, life continued as before.

In the midst of this, the media poured petrol on fire. Radio and print media continued relaying hate speech day after day, literally inciting the nation into a frenzy. The media is powerful. All that was remaining was a spark to light up the fire. I will talk about that spark in detail. Before that, let me again address the young facebook users.

What I will describe next may be disturbing. I do not intend to frighten you. I only need to show you how it was fueled. It was like a joke. But it all was fueled by the pen, by what was written and said. You may feel if chaos broke out today, you would stay indoors and spend your time on facebook while waiting for it to pass. Let me warn you there will be no INDOORS.

Second, you won’t have access to facebook. no one will be there to maintain the MTN, Airtel or Zamtel network to enable you access data and watch porn. We are not talking riots here. Do you enjoy chilling at Arcades or Levy with your lover at weekends? Well that goes away too. Are you a soccer fan who enjoys going to the local stadium to watch ZANACO or Power Dynamos every week? Or perhaps you love watching the English league? That goes away too. You say you love watching latest TV series on your laptop? There will be no electricity to charge your laptop battery. You run out of food. Shops close, banks close, schools close.

Believe me, regardless of any misgivings you may harbour against your fellow man, you don’t want to go there. It is beyond imagination. And yet by posting irresponsible hate speech on facebook everyday, that is the country you are preparing for yourself. That keypad will bring unimaginable regret if misused. Please stop and think about the children. Think about the women and the aged. They can’t take any more pain. There is unemployment and hunger already. The only thing they base their hope on is peace. They just can’t take anymore chaos.

I will be back once I stop crying.

In case you didn’t get to read the first part, you can find it by clicking here.


16 Responses to From the Horse’s mouth: As I sang along to the Rwanda anthem, I felt tears in my eyes (Part 2)

  1. We take our peace for granted in Zambia. We do not deserve it ; God is just too kind to us. The hatred and hate speech that has come to foe after the elections, is so scary.
    May God continue to be kind to us. Our forefathers the Kaundas, Sipalos, Mundendas Grey Zulu etc were not trible. I thank God for them! The majority pompous trible leaders of to day will not go any where. God will will check them!

    March 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm

  2. I like your articles, that is what is exactly happening , there is a group in diaspora inclined to a Tonga party inciting violence everyday on FB and ZWD ,its really sad.

    March 31, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    • You are the type of people the writer is talking about. Please stop this hate for Tongas. Once the spark ignites the flame, Kim you will have no chance to post your nauseating vomit here. Sober up. There is no good tribalism and bad tribalism. The tribalism from Kim is as bad as my tribalism. Tonga or Bemba tribalism are the same. Please ba kim and Mumbi repent

      March 31, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      • stop your tribal foolish attacks on me , i have my rights and freedom of speech. imbwa iwe.

        March 31, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    • You`re the kind of person this article is referring to. All you talk about is HH and the Tongas. Find something to do.

      March 31, 2015 at 5:07 pm

  3. Sata destroyed this country with his tribalism.

    March 31, 2015 at 5:08 pm

  4. zambia is blessed with many tribes.chances of a genocide happening in such a diverse society are slim.but this scenario where a few tribes prioritise themselves may bring about a choatic future.however,it being a christian nation is under GODS protection from all discomforting vices.

    shoko tee
    March 31, 2015 at 11:53 pm

  5. Hi Lisa. There will be some who will pour negative comments even on what you have written. But don’t pay attention. Your message is getting through and thanks for taking the time to write this. Looking forward to your next instalment

    Zed Boy
    April 1, 2015 at 10:14 am

  6. this is a wonderful observation. yo piece of advice is timely.

    mwabafu masiliso
    April 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm

  7. Most guilty on this ZWD……we need to find them and ……

    April 3, 2015 at 4:58 pm

  8. Good artical. Timely warning.

    Cactus Flower
    April 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm

  9. Good artical

    Cactus Flower
    April 3, 2015 at 6:54 pm

  10. Kim and mumbi this is not a your eyes this what your friends have created,tribalism whn they were campaigning.the used to say dont vote for upnd and for a tonga or a you can see wht the have caused.and you want to continue with hate speech,very stupied,like your leaders

    April 4, 2015 at 6:21 am

    • Iwe chikala, tawaumfwile balelanda ati” it is time for a Tonga to rule”. Don’t be tribal. Let us just embrace one another. No tribe is superior to the other.
      This is a good article and we can learn something from what happened in Rwanda

      shimucita panono
      April 4, 2015 at 7:09 am

  11. Pingback: From the Horse’s mouth: As I sang along to the Rwanda anthem, I felt tears in my eyes (Part 3) | Zambian Eye

  12. Good article and timely advice. Keep it up.

    Chimuka Hanyama
    August 16, 2015 at 10:25 am

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