Liberation is a Journey

Posted on November 25, 2009


Today I was in the dvd store and I picked up a moved, read the back and decided to spend the dollar fifty to see if it would be any good. It is an independent film and so you never really know what you are going to get with them but I thought why not.

The name of the movie is “Munyurangabo”. It is about two friends who set off to get revenge on one the man who killed one of the boys fathers during the genocide in Rwanda in the 90’s. Now you can see why I was intrigued. I have for a while now been interested, if you can use such a word, in the genocides that have taken place around the world. I watched the movie and it held my attention to the point where I was only watching it and then around the end of the movie when the boy seeking revenge for his father has made it to the town where the man lives he meets this stranger in a shop. The stranger see the machete that the boy has and tells the boy that he was asked to speak on Liberation day and askes the boy if he wants to hear the poem, and he begins.

This poem though long is very much a lament about the journey that Rwanda has bee traveling. It is eloquent and and very well put together. After some research I found that the man in the movie was the actual writer of the poem and a Rwanda Poet Laurette Uwayo B. Edouard. And so for my post tonight I would like to share with you this poem. It has much to teach all of us no matter who or where we are.

“Liberation is a Journey” by Uwayo B. Edouard

Liberation is a journey

Rwandese of Rwanda and Rwandese outside of Rwanda

All who speak Kinyarwanda

We descend from a common culture

Come, we’ll sit here in Rwanda

Immersed by the culture of Rwanda

Let’s remember how liberation came

Unleashing heavy burdens in my youth

When I was young and just a child I played in mud and heard of hate

Rwanda readied children for war

Children chosen and armed against enemies

I heard that Tutsis were roaches and should be stomped

With tails like snakes, they should be killed

We were given bows and spears

And foreign countries gave us guns


Darkness came to Rwanda , Machetes in place of peace

I saw people killed

Muslims and Christians worked together

Joined by machetes and their will to kill

And our Rwanda burned

Rivers flowed with bodies and corpses covered fields

Rwanda’s youth led the battle,

don’t you know that this is injustice?

That our Rwanda, its beautiful rivers and pools

Its beautiful fields with roads and no famine

Became a cemetery and a shame

Don’t you know what this is injustice?

And the RPF ARMY I was taught to hate

Decided that it was time to defend Rwanda

Should Rwandese die?

Should there be widows?

Should the dead be shamed?

They said, “No”

War began in Kinigi, in the heat

Everyone was involved so understand, my children

It wasn’t about guns or weapons

It was about a fight for truth

I will thank them wherever I am

Their heroics will be known worldwide

From Darfur in Sudan

To the Comoro Islands, they will be admired

And I’ll see them the way the Pope sees his church

But now that they have conquered, I ask of them

Free us from poverty and illiteracy since liberation is a journey

I’ll start with the family, the foundation

I condemn the many men who don’t allow their wives to have a voice

They hit them and think they’re mindless

Who gains from this?

Man of Mustache and small mind,

Hairy chested and without pity

You burden your wife to stay in the house

You are killing out vision of being a strong nation

And the children I see working so hard everywhere

Picking tea and coffee but they can’t even afford soap

What a shameful image of Rwanda

Give the child what he needs and he can become a king

His parents will live in peace and his family will be safe

Young girls miss school and are given a broom

And they dig in the valley because education is only for their brothers

A wife works all day and her husband hits her

And who will save her?

Where will liberation be?

And men work hard, sweat pours down

But he makes no money and it’s never enough

Don’t you see that this is injustice?
Let liberation come and let liberation be a journey

Away from prostitution

And towards wisdom and to new projects done with fervor

The rich one can prepare a gift to give to the poorest one

And how poor is he?

A house of wheat and a bed of wheat and he eats just wheat

And then he’s thrown out like wheat


Our beautiful Rwanda with beautiful rivers

Beautiful pools and fields with roads and no famine

Tell me

Will it remain a cemetery without peace?

Don’t you see that this is injustice?

Let me speak further

What happens in the village genocide courts?

Let justice liberate

Let truth replace lies in Rwanda

Sitting together on the grass without division or hate

Without lying to each other

As we live in peace and the guilty seek forgiveness

Our Future is already failing

Unless we begin out journey well, helping widows and orphans

And food for the man in ruins with nothing

What is left is to share everything

As we battle against hate

I wish you all the best

And so I close here

I, a poet will speak again

Peace to  you in Rwanda, peace everywhere.

Posted in: Prayer