Moral Courage



Tour Diary


Juvénal Nizigama
"You are not even a Tutsi. You are a Hutu and he is a Tutsi, so what do you care?"
Juvénal Nizigama
Juvénal saved a young man in Ramba, during the crisis. He was honoured during a performance in Ruziba, in April 2006, when this interview took place.

I live in Ruziba, on the road leading to Mugina. I was riding from Kabezi, with maize on my bicycle when I arrived at Ramba. It's a predominantly Hutu area. At that time it was a dangerous place for Tutsi to go through.

When I arrived I saw a young Tutsi boy, sitting on the edge of the road. He was tied up and surrounded by a group of Hutu armed with machetes. Next to them was a pile of tiles and other things in a bag, which looked like they belonged to the Tutsi.

I greeted them, but they didn't reply. They seemed very angry.

"Why is that young boy tied up," I asked them, "What are you going to do with him?"

They didn't answer. "Why are you holding him?" I continued.

"It's none of your business," one replied. "You are not even a Tutsi. You are a Hutu and he is a Tutsi, so what do you care?"

"Are you going to kill him?" I asked.

"Tutsi murdered the President, and he must pay for their crime."

"This boy is still young," I said, "I don't think he is even aware of what happened to the President. It's unjust for him to pay for what he didn't do."

"He won't leave this place alive," they replied. "We are going to kill him".

They took him along with his bike, and moved away from the road. I was scared but I followed.

"Please, don't do this," I implored. "Take his bike and money, but don't kill him. Its not his fault that the President has been killed."

© Burundi Voices Project, 2006.