Moral Courage



Tour Diary


"The man who was drinking beer asked me, 'Rose, are you hiding Hutu, those killers?'

'Why didn't you catch him while he was passing through here?' I answered."

Rose Sindayigaya
Rose saved a young Hutu and was honoured during a performance in Kinama in April 2006, when this interview was conducted.

One day I went to visit my neighbors. On the way, I saw Tutsi with machetes and who were threatening to kill a young Hutu called Pierre. I joined the crowd and managed to whisper to Pierre: "Can't you find a way to run away and come to my home?" Pierre was able to get away. They chased after him. At the time, I used to run a bar at home. Pierre went through my living room, passing a Tutsi customer who was drinking beer. When I got home, I noticed that Pierre hid himself under the bed. The man who was drinking beer asked me, "Rose, are you who is hiding Hutu, those killers?"

"Why didn't you catch him while he was passing through here?" I answered.

Before the Tutsi killers arrived, I managed to open the back door. When they asked me where Pierre was, I told them "don't you see that he opened the door, jumped the fence and escaped?" They were disappointed to lose him and left. I waited for the man who was drinking beer to finish. When he went out, I told Pierre who was still hiding "don't be afraid. Just stay there under the bed."

When my husband came back home, I told him that I had saved Pierre as they were going to kill him. My husband asked me where Pierre was. I told him he was under the bed. Pierre was afraid that husband would harm him. My husband told Pierre not to be afraid and to remain hidden under the bed in case the children would see him and tell our neighbours.

Later that night, after we have eaten and were sure no one else would come to the house, our children asked me what was moving under the bed. "It is Pierre," I told them. "We saved him. Do not reveal this to anyone as he may be killed." I gave Pierre some food and I made up the bed for him. I told him that whenever I would find an opportunity, I would help him escape. In the meantime, he had to stay with us.

© Burundi Voices Project, 2006.