April 7th candlelight vigil, Amohoro stadium, Kigali

April 7th candlelight vigil, Amohoro stadium, Kigali
April 8, 2013 Dave Fullerton

I wasn’t up for explaining this event last night.

It began with a Walk to Remember from Parliament House to the stadium. A road full of mainly young people stretching well over a kilometre. Laughing, chatting, excited to see the president, and get the chance to have a quick chat and take a photo on their phones with the police commissioner or some other celebrity.

Into the stadium, and as it got dark and the candles were lit and the music, speeches and stories started, it was quiet. A lot of people keeping an eye on what the mzungu with his camera was doing. It was hard to understand the symbolism of a lot that was happening. But after a couple of hours, there were noises and movements around the stadium. Some of them were close: people crying, screaming as they obviously re-lived events of 1994 – the creative cruelty as the militias ‘went to work’. Those people were escorted to waiting ambulances and counsellors.

The mzungu packed up his camera, sat quietly and shed a few tears.

I hope they understood the symbolism.