21 Years Ago

21 years ago, lots of Rwandans gushed into Zaire like a flood
I saw soldiers carrying old guns, on some uniforms there was blood
In a couple of days, the whole town became a refugee camp
The smell of death had everyone in discomfort like a constant cramp
Every day dozens died by my doorstep and were aligned by the roadside
Children, women, men… famine and cholera had no respect for life
I remember that one day as I was fetching water from the lake Kivu
A corpse floated and someone pulled it to the shore like it was a deja vu
I used to skip dead bodies like hurdles and kick skulls like a ball
I was a kid numbed by daily struggles, that’s all I did know
The universe, the gods, time, mother nature were not being kind at all
Why? Forget spirituality, it’s all about mankind deeds
I’ll spare you edited-and-reedited-sugar-coated speeches
The human kind is a messed up species
When your neighbor shows up at your door wearing banana leaves
Holding an axe and chops your entire families into pieces
Walks around the hills with your father’s head on the tip of his spear
You’d think it’s the most disgusting horror movie
Welcome to the real Silent Hills
When my friend told me his neighbors asked his dad to dig his own grave
Then buried him alive while laughing and singing till he suffocated
I thought that had nothing to do with bad governance
I know manipulation works magic when coupled with ignorance
But for untrained first-time killers, I gotta say that’s beyond scary
It took efficient teamwork to wipe out about a million lives in just 100 days
If Hitler was alive and he hadn’t been racist these “workers” would be nazi slaves
Crazy how people can flip in a moment and destroy faster than earthquakes
In the name of securing the future for the “chosen ones”
How can people forget that no one chooses life. Life does.
Nothing makes anyone the judge of who lives and who dies

I will never understand this phobia that leads to genocides…
From the Herero and Namas, to Cambodian’s, Armenian’s, Jews’
Sudanese, Tutsi’s and all those forgotten by books
If time was a sad song and genocides were verses, “Never again” would be the hook

Excuse my lack of faith in humanity
The past holds enough data about our hidden animosity
Maybe being human isn’t such a great thing after all
Killing as a survival instinct got me wishing I was an animal
It’s the natural way of life, at least that makes sense
21 years back and I remember the direct consequences
I could’ve died of cholera or be killed
But this is not about me
It is about that void that cannot be filled
That constant reminder that we are our own devil
And the hope that compassion could be the cure to evil


PS [To the non Rwandans]: I won’t ask you to remember what you did not see/hear/witness. It would be unfair to rest this huge burden on your shoulders. I myself rarely remembers the Holocaust Memorial Day and all the rest. But as Rwanda mourns for the 21st time, take a moment to learn why and how more than one million people were killed within a space of 100 days. The more we ask, the more we know and maybe finally “Never again” will stop being a hook across the song of time. ‪#‎kwibuka21‬

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