Moral Courage



Tour Diary


Tour Diary

"You have done a very bad thing. And you will have to be punished!"

Trouble with the Deputy Governor
The policeman escorted Maziar, Gladys, Richard and me to a group of officials standing on a small rise above the performance grounds. One of them introduced himself as the Deputy Governor of the Province of Muramvya and asked Maziar whether he had obtained a permit to conduct the event.

"Yes," replied Maziar, "we have received the permission of the local administrator."

"But do you have the consent of the provincial governor?"

"No, we didn't know we needed it."

"Of course you need it! This is very bad!"

"I apologise," said Maziar. "Now can we proceed? Please."

"Of course you can't! You need to go to Muramvya to get a permit and come another day."

"I really am very sorry," repeated Maziar. "We will certainly make sure that we obtain a permit next time. But we have come all the way from Europe to honour the inkingi of Rutegama. Now that we are here, would you please allow us to complete the performance? It will only take half an hour."

"No," he shook his head. "You have done a very bad thing. And you will have to be punished!"

Punished? My ears pricked up.

"You are right," said Maziar. "You are right and I am wrong. If you want to punish me, take me aside and slap me. I know it was very bad of us to come here without the permission of the governor. But it will be even worse for us to go back without having accomplished what we set out to do."

It was only after Maziar intimated that some very important persons in Bujumbura might be extremely upset by the Deputy Governor's intransigence, that he reluctantly allowed us to continue with the performance.

In subsequent days, Maziar endeavoured to keep well away from the area lest these very important persons in Bujumbura fail to provide the necessary protection from the Deputy Governor of the Province of Muramvya.

On the bus to Rutegama with the Ruciteme drummers

© Burundi Voices Project, 2006.