|Studio Ijambo lost a substantial proportion of its funding. It had to lay off much of its staff. Some of the programmes were cut, including Inkingi y'Ubuntu.
||Celebrating the heroes
In 1999 Radio Isanganiro in Bujumbura started broadcasting a weekly programme named Inkingi y'Ubuntu, Kirundi for 'Pillars of Humanity'. It told the stories of the Burundi heroes, ordinary Hutu and Tutsi individuals who, during the ethnic conflict that tore their country apart, saved members of the other ethnic group. Having risked their lives, many of these individuals continued to be ostracised in their own communities as traitors.
The programme was produced by Studio Ijambo, a project of NGO Search for Common Ground. Studio Ijambo is a collective of Hutu and Tutsi journalists working on radio productions that aim to foster understanding between their communities. The programme gained popularity and the term inkingi is now commonly used to describe individuals who saved members of the other ethnic group during the conflict. In April 2004, Studio Ijambo honoured the inkingi in a three day Heroes Summit in Bujumbura, the capital.
The situation in Burundi has improved. An internationally brokered power sharing agreement in 2003 led to the establishment of a new constitution and an election two years later. Former Hutu rebels won and formed a new government. Talks with the last active rebel group aimed at ending hostilities in June 2006, bringing an end to the civil war in sight. Unfortunately, the international community has lost interest in Burundi. The UN peacekeepers are beginning to leave. Studio Ijambo lost a substantial proportion of its funding. It had to lay off much of its staff. Some of the programmes were cut, including Inkingi y'Ubuntu.
Work remained to be done. Honouring the courage of the Heroes in events held in their own localities can serve to validate them in the eyes of their neighbours and may entice others to emulate their bravery. A tour of the traditional drumming group Ruciteme for that purpose. There is a long history of drumming being used to bring people together in Burundi. Ruciteme's choice was perfect. Throughout the crisis, the Hutu and Tutsi members of the troupe have worked together and in many cases risked their own lives to protect each other. To its core, Ruciteme is an affirmation of the inkingi spirit.