Remember. Unite. Renew.

Kwibuka 29

Yes, it is April again... Every year in April the rainy season starts. And every year, every day in April... the haunting emptiness descends over our hearts. Every year in April, I remember how quickly life ends. Every year, I remember how lucky I should feel to be alive. Every year in April... I remember. (Sometimes in April, 2005)

Rainy season started early this year, but today it was different. I woke up and it was overcast and rainy. But not a hard rain, just a consistent drizzling rain. You can still hear the chirping birds hiding in the trees. People are still able to walk to work without getting drenched. It’s the rain that quiets the laughter. 

One day there is music and laughter and then this particular rain comes and everything gets quiet and the time of Kwibuka comes once again.

Kwibuka is a Kinyarwanda word that means "to remember". It is the name of the annual commemoration period in Rwanda that marks the anniversary of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Kwibuka is observed every year from April 7 - 13. Throughout that week, Rwandans will come together to remember the victims of the genocide, reflect on the tragic events that occurred, and reaffirm their commitment to unity, reconciliation, and the prevention of future genocides.

The Kwibuka commemoration includes various events and activities, such as candlelight vigils, memorial services, educational programs, and community gatherings. 

During this time, it’s our role as “outsiders” to be here, be around, and show up for our Rwandan friends. It’s a time to educate ourselves and to pray. There is so much to learn and Rwandans want to educate the world so it never happens again. 

You can join us in praying, by educating yourself, and remembering. 

Movies you can watch:

  • Sometimes in April
  • 100 days
  • Shooting Dogs

Books to read:

  • We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. By Philip Gourevitch
  • Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. By Immaculee Ilibagiza