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M USIC M ISCONCEPTION AND M ASSACRE : H OW S IMON B IKINDI S MUSIC RE CONTEXTUALIZED "H UTU AND "T UTSI AND INCITED VIOLENC E DURING THE 1994 R WANDAN GENOCIDE B Y L IZBETH H UGHES H AMPTON A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of F lorida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Professor Maribeth Clark Sarasota, Florida May, 2013 !
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1 I NTRODUCTION On April 7 th 1994, less than 24 hours after the purported assassination of President Juvenal Habyarimana, the first murders of what would become the infamous Rwandan genocide were committed. The five Ghanaian peacekeepers and ten U nited Nations (UN) soldiers who were s laughtered by means of machete were only the start of approximately 100 days of madness that engulfed Rwanda, and left somewhere between 500, 000 and one million people dead. The genocide th at took place in Rwanda is often noted for the intimacy of the vi olence. Unlike the Holocaust, where Jewish citizens were taken out of their communities and faced death in satellite Nazi areas, the slaughter of Tutsis took place in homes, on streets, sidewalks and inside establishments where Hutu and Tutsi had once liv ed peacefully together. The genocide was not organized by any one, uniformed group, but carried out by thousands of citizens across Rwanda who decided one way or another, to engage in the violence. These individual murderers killed friends, neighbors, eve n their spouses during the hundred days of havoc. Many experts on the Rwandan genocide over simplify the conflict and accuse the government of "hypnotizing" the Rwandan people into violent action 1 The reality is much more complicated. Instead of relying on the comforting idea that peoples who engage in genocide are somehow different or lesser, it is necessary to review the history and conflict objectively but empathetically, though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
2 without offering excuse, accepting that the potential for violence belongs to no one sub group of humanity. All people are capable of violent action. In this thesis I ask how people in Rwanda made the decision to attack and attempt to eliminate the Tutsi. How were so many individuals compelled to kill? How did slaughtering Tut sis become acceptable ? The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism states that t o address these questions, it is important to understand the humanity of the perpetrator. This is not to excuse the perpetrator, or the killing, but to make the act thinkable: so th at we can learn something about ourselves as humans. Which history framed the agency of the perpetrator, and which institutions reproduced that agency? Who did the Hutu who did the killing think they were? And whom did they think they were killing in the p e rs on of the Tutsi?" 2 I became interested in cases of genocide because I noticed that they very often included a long period of build up in which myths about one group or another circulated in the society. These myths would misconstrue history in favor of one people and dehumanize the other, usually making the "other" out to be a constant detriment to the livelihood of the society. Sri Lanka 3 in the early 2000s and ongoing disputes in Latin America 4 provide some examples of this process of "othering." Rwa nda proved to be a particularly compelling case to me as a history largely based on the oral tradition ended up allowing for much misremembering and biased !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! H -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53.(!3&2!53.+$,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF T U/4)!K/V$>>(, C, !-D&7 >4>=>4$&()!K/5(A!(&@!>%/!W=/7>!2$+!X)(BY!XE0)(4&4&%&45! P$&2)45>!4&!G+4! Z(&?(, F! 73.+4+.!%443+8$ !NT,!&$C!"![HRRR\!JJ ] N^C! O _/84&!3 C !`/ )84&<>$&C, -M(>>/+&7!$2!-L(5/,F!X> %&454>A,!P)(77,!(&@!U(>4$&()47B, F! 9&2(8$/3&2+&'! :#&/(,1#8380!"3/+&!%,(8+.3 !Z$&@$&Y! ZA&&/!L4/&&/+!M=;)47%/+7,!HRRJC!
3 interpretation to occur when the need for a scapegoat coalesced. I found that there was ample r esearch regarding the role of the media in Rwanda bef ore and during the genocide, as the media was used to assure the Rwandan people that killing Tutsis was the only way for the country to move forward, or for the Hutu people to avoid being enslaved. For t heir radical claims, three broadcasters of Radio Tl vision Libre des Milles Collines ( RTLM ) and songwriter Simon Bikindi were put on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and all were found guilty of inciting genocide. The vocif erous elite group that controlled the radio and news sources preceding and during the genocide are often charged with a power bordering on mind control The voice of the elite took many forms ; the newspaper Kangura and RTLM are generally accepted as the m ain pillars of information production before and throughout the genocide. They both contributed to forming and circulating a version of current news that was based on biased and inaccurate versions of history 5 Both made calls to action from the standpoint s of revolution as well as retribution. RTLM also had the tool of music at its disposal, and used it to its fullest extent Simon Bikindi is of particular interest to me because his music affected the genocide in a different way than the hate broadcasts. Bikindi is known for writing music that was so inflammatory it was suspected to have inspired genocidal action 6 His three !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/!=(3& > ?#$.#! ?3830'@+A3B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRRC a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/! D(82+&3&2!E3;+,3&3B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !"IIIC! a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/! D(82+&3&2!E3;+,3&3B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !"IIIC! ^ a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8! 3'3+&$/!F+,#&! ?+G+&2+B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRJC
4 most popular songs, Twasezereye (We Bid Farewell), Bene Sebahinzi (The sons of Sebahinzi or the Sons of the Father or Farmers), and Nanga Abahutu (I hate these Hutu) earned him the ears of hundreds of thousands of listeners across Rwanda and ultimately the attention of the ICTR. Though he was charged with the same counts as the radio personalities, Bikindi harnessed a different power to disseminate messages promoting violence. The musician has a traditional significance in Rwandan life for both Hutu and Tutsi 7 The indictment against Bikindi catalogues the multitude of sensational claims and entreaties he made in speeches and in song, showing that he intended to convince the public that they should engage in genocide. Witnesses testified that Bikindi's music was sung during massacres, and it was revealed that he worked closely with Habyarimana before his death to ensure that the messag es in the songs were in accordance with Habyarimana's agenda. From the trial, and as is supported by much literature on Bikindi and the genocide, it is undeniable that his music was intended to and did incite genocide. What I explore in this thesis is wh y his songs were effective. In Chapter 1, I begin by laying out a timeline of events in Rwanda to show that Hutu and Tutsi were words that described differences in class for the majority of Rwandan history I trace the transformations of Rwandan societ y from the sixteenth century to the genocide and I aim to highlight the fact that Hutu and Tutsi did not describe two inherently different peoples until the imposition of Belgian identity cards in 1935. I consider this a turning point in the history of Rw anda as it recontextualized "Hutu" and "Tutsi" as oppositional races !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! N K+C !b+/@!c(++/&!(&@!Z//!c(++/&C, *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3B!%&!C&/8#2<./+#& C! [ X&<)/1$$@!P)4227 Y! M+/&>45/ ] !Q()),!D&5C,!"INR\,!TC
5 rather than class groups with shared ancestry. T his redefinition opened the door for racism and, ultimately, genocide This ne w version of history stuck, and when Bikindi comp o sed during the 1980s, his music propagate d this idea of inherent difference. In Chapter 2 I address the messages of primordial difference that Bikindi espoused. I c all this propagation of a biased view of history the creation of myth." I argue that much of the power behind Bikindi's words come s from their visceral interpretations of the past. Bikindi c ontinuously refers to a dramat ized version of history in which the Tutsi have always been evil (as is to be expected, considering their bloodline) and invaded Rwan da to enslave the Hutus (the real Rwandans ). S hould the Hutu not eliminate the Tutsi, they would surely be enslaved again. By creating a horrifying and redacted version of the complex dynamic between Hutu and Tutsi, Bikindi sets a false precedent of violen t racism towards the Hutu by the Tutsi. He then declares that the only escape from the cycle is for Hutu to reclaim their homeland. The power in his words comes in large part from his attribution of values and actions to one's lineage. According to Bikindi 's music, the Tutsi were born to make the Hutu miserable and the new generations of Hutu were born to avenge their ancestors and save Rwanda. He charges any Hutu that do no e ngage in violence with denying their ancestry and condemning their progeny to slav ery 8 In Chapter 3 I explore t he fact that Bikindi's "mythology" did not agree with the verifiable history of Rwanda was of no concern to listeners, whom Bikindi was addressing and threatening from the ancient authority of the musician. The role of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! d a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(,! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!# 4!/;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J3;
6 musician in Rwanda is traditionally one of power both political and social By simultaneously stepping into this role and literally calling to the people to engage in a tribal mindset Bikindi persuades his listeners towards violent action The effect was not one of hypnosis, but an appeal to the ingrained value of collective action and care, as well as a threat to the wellbeing of current and future generations of Hutu. The speci al authority with which Bikindi sang, coupled with the new myths he created a new racist version of history through the institution of traditional music. Chapter 4 provides a breakdown of the three most inflammatory songs that he wrote, Twasezereye, Nanga Abahutu and Bene Sebahinzi When reading the lyrics with the real and imagined history in mind, the full power of his words begins to become clear. By the end of this thesis, I hope to have shown one hypothesis for how Bikindi's words could have affected the decision to engage in vi olen ce.
7 C HAPTER I O VERVIEW OF RELEVANT HISTORY : H OW THE MEANING OF H UTU AND T UTSI GREW AND TRANSF ORMED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE FORMATION OF R WANDA To understand the Rwandan genocide we must first look at the two main warring parties, the Hutu and the Tutsi people of Rwanda. Exactly who these names referred to changed dramatically over time, and during these changes "Hutu" and "Tutsi" evolved to ha ve a significance far different from when they were first used. While the inception of these terms cannot be exactly determined, their use in relation to one another came definitively after the area that would become Rwanda was populated. Thus both Hutu and T utsi are equally "Rwandan" and should not be called separate "races." The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism sheds some light on the difference in meaning and implication between the words "ethnic ity and race and how in Rwanda, there was no a "racial" d ifference at all. "Tribes were neighbors, but races were aliens. This contrast underlined the difference between ethnic and racial violence It is only with "race" that the very presence of a group can come to be considered illegitimate, with its claim for power considered an outright usurpation. 9 This quotation foreshadows the deep seeded suspicion of the Tutsi that developed once "race" was added to th e miserable tumult of colonization. The truth, however, is that Hutu and Tutsi were never separate "races" at all. In fact, Hutu and Tutsi lived in the same communities for thousands of years before the terms slowly developed to describe class differences. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53.(!3&2!53.+ $,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF!JJ
8 Until approximately 1500, the people occupying the region now know n as Rwanda were organized into clans. When the term "Hutu" first appeared, it simply labeled people who came into Rwanda from more mountainous regions, and who were not Twa a forest dwelling people supposed to have the longest history in the area The second meaning to develop was an indicator of class: "Hutu" was not the identity of a discrete ethnic group, but the political identity of all those subjugated to the power of the Rwandan state while Tutsi meant those who were the ruling or more privileged class Though class lines wer e typically stable, with families usually remaining either lower class Hutu or upper class Tutsi for generations at a time, the boundaries were transgressible. 10 A Hutu could become an honorary member of th e Tutsi class through marriage, which became increa singl y socially acceptable over time, or an increase in wealth. The transition often took generations, but this "process of ritual ennoblement, whereby a Hutu shed his Hutuness, even had a name: Kwihutura ." 11 Similarly, a Tutsi family could lose its status and become Gucupira As financial status was directly related to one's ownership of livestock, Tutsi became synonymous with herding and a pastoral lifestyle while Hutu was linked to sedentary agricultural work. Although Tutsi people held greater pre stige and wealth than the Hutu, this privilege was not attributed to a racial or ethnic difference. "Tutsi" describe d those at the top ; as a term and concept, it did not determine who would be at the top. Over the next two centuries, until about 1700, ma ny clans condensed into kingdoms. By the middle of the eighteenth century, one kingdom had begun to dominate the others. King Kigeli Rwabugiri reigned over the Kingdom of Rwanda, also called !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "R -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53.(!3&2!53.+$,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF "" -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53.(!3&2!53.+$,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF
9 Nyiginya, and began to implement the rules of Ubuhake and Ubretwa Ubuhake was a system by which status was traded along with cattle T o lose cattle in paying a debt or in trade for a favor, a Tutsi also surrendered some of his status to whomever he gave t he cattle. This status could flow to a fellow Tutsi or to a Hutu who would then gain status approaching that of Tutsi. As the Ubretwa system took effect, consolidating much of the land under Tutsi power, the Ubuhake system began to also apply to the trade of land. Ubretwa institutionalized the power structure between th e upper and lower class, or the higher Tutsi and lower Hutu classes, respectively, and required Hutu people to work for their land under the jurisdiction of Tutsi nobles. These two systems Ubuhake and Ubretwa ( alterna tely described as clientelism, a syst em in which political support is traded for goods or protection) came to be the rule of law in Rwanda During this period Hutu and Tutsi as terms began to have a heavier connotation than just socioeconomic adjectives. King Rwabugiri may have allowed for some movement between classes, but he also subjected those in the lower class to treatmen t that bordered on humiliation. 12 Though this imbalance cre ated tension and exacerbated relations between the two classes, there was no implication that Hutus and Tutsis were biologically irreconcilable. Violence and conflict were not uncommon in the history of Rwanda. For instanc e, soon after the beginning of c olonial rule in 1884, when the area of Ruanda Urundi was given to Germany during the Berlin Conference, the northern region of Rwanda burst into revolt. It is clear that the fight was against those trying to colonize Rwanda and those !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "H K(84@!Z//!G5%$/&;+=&,-.%/!3&>/5/@/&>7!$2!e$@/+&!L1(&@(Y!.%/!UA4<4&A(! _4&<@$B! [+/84/1\, F! %48+.3 !*#230 !JH,!&$C!O![HRR^\Y!"O^ ] !"OIC!
10 allowing it, not again st Tutsi people. As a whole, as people of Rwanda, Tutsi and Hutu alike saw their country invaded and manipulated by a foreign force. In response, the Nyabingi spiritual cult fought against the Germans and the Tutsi nobles allied with the Germans but Nyabi ngi was composed of Tutsi as well as Hutu membership Both classes fought alongside one another under the direction of th e former Tutsi queen, Muhumuza. Despite this uprising, German rule continued until the end of World War I, when German colonies were re appropriated in the Treaty of Versailles (28 June 1919). In this reshuffling, Rwanda became the property of Belgium. While the German colonizers had not affected the social structure in Rwanda except to reinforce the ruling class, the Belgian rule toppl ed the delicate balance between Hutu and Tutsi that had kept them from conflict for centuries, and redefined the differences between Hutu and Tutsi through bloodlines They issued identity cards that stated one's race as either Hutu or Tutsi. These cards i nstitutionalized racism making it part of the legal system, dividing the Rwandan people and ignoring the subtleties of the Rwandan way of life. Although today we know that racism is a cultural construct ion with no basis in scientific fact, during the 19 20s explanations for differences between cultures based on physical attributes were gaining notice and acclaim. Imposed upon the cou ntry during the Belgian regime beginning in 1916 racist ideas infiltrated political ideologies as desperate leaders searched for a scapegoat for Rwanda's problems after colonial rule ended. The intricate and tentative relationship between Hutu and Tutsi was misinterpreted and pushed aside to make way for the finite laws of racism. In 1935, after 20 years of Belgian rule the Belgians decided that there must be a biological difference between the upper
11 and lower classes of Rwanda. Applying the methods of the increasingly popular study of e ugenics, the Belgian colonialists found and cited minor differences in the appearanc e of Hutu and Tutsi people as an indication that the Tutsi were not indigenous peoples of Rwanda, thus emphasizing further the division that the identity cards had structured. They declared that the Tutsi had Hamitic origins, while the Hutu were "real Afri cans" of Bantu origin. 13 According to this logic, the words "Hutu" and "Tutsi" did not signify an economic class, but were references to origin. The Belgians used these supposedly genetic or biological differences to explain why the Tutsi were the upper c lass and the Hutu were subjugated to Tutsi rule. It was not a matter of becoming one class or the other, but having the prerequisite ancestry to be called one or the other. Beyond racist logic being totally wrong, the Belgians were entirely incorrect in as serting that the Tutsi were not from Africa. The people who ended up being called Hutu or Tutsi occupied the same region of Africa for centuries. But the declarative logic of racism overrode this fact. The Belgians immediately attributed a difference in cl ass to mean that the Tutsi were inherently superior, and lacked the essential "Africanness" of the Hutu. By claiming that the Tutsi were not, in fact, African, the Belgians legitimize d their entrance into the region They manipulate d the evidence of Rwanda 's advancement as a state in order to cast it a European accomplishment. With this decision came the imposition of identity cards in 1935, explicitly stating every Rwandan citizen's race as either Hutu or Tutsi. The cards not only made motion between the g roups impossible, but changed history by circulating the falsehood that Tutsi people were not a natural part of Rwanda's history. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "T -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53.(!3&2!53.+$,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF
12 The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism explains that race implies a difference of origin while ethnicity is a more subtle term that puts importance on culture and lifestyle along with lineage. Racist logic organizes humans hierarchically according to their ancestry and physical characteristics. Ethnicity is not so tangible as race, which allows those ascribing to the racist ideolo gy to judge another's worth and potential from a distance. Races are differentiated (supposedly) from one another by one's ancestors' place of origin. The identity cards thus, came with a racialized a nd wrong version of what "Hutu" and Tutsi meant. No l onger were the words reflective of one's potentially unstable class status ; instead they represented a biological hierarchy that could not be changed. They denied the Hutu any opportunity for upward movement and declared that the Tutsi were f oreigners in their home country. This process is called "race branding." With race branding, "it is possible not only to set a group apart as an enemy, but also to annihilate it w ith an easy conscience." 14 Over the next 25 years, from 1935 to 1959, Rwandan political li fe was i ncreasingly shaped by suspicion toward the Tutsi a suspicion that endured and which may have contributed to the country 's dissolution into revolution. Once the Belgians excluded the Tutsi from the natural history of Rwanda, Hutu reattributed many old wounds from the days of clientism to the invasive Tutsi, who were now understood not to belong in the region in the first place. The facts of the past were replaced by fictions that depicted Tutsi as spies for their Belgian brothers, with whom they shared ancestry. W hile it is usually the foreign settler who uses race branding as a justification for pillaging innocent people, it can just as easily happen when those under attack come to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "O -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53.(!3&2!53.+$,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF
13 see their attackers as an inhuman force of violence. After being subjected to the inhuman cruelty that characterized colonization, it was just as easy for the indigenous population of a country to view settlers as non human. While colonists saw their victims as heathens blocking them from their goal, those being invade d perceived their attackers as bloodthirsty aliens motivated only by the prospect of enslaving the Hutu. Frantz Fanon describes native violence as "the violence of yesterday's victims, the violence of those who had cast aside their victimhood to become mas ters of their own lives" 15 Fannon, as cited in the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, writes "He of whom they have never stopped saying that the only language he understands is that of force, decided to give utterance by force The argument the native choo ses has been furnished by the settler, and by an ironic turning of the tables it is the native who now affirms that the colonialist understands nothing but force." The legacy of colonial rule heightened the anxiety within Rwanda as the movement for indepe ndence began to organize. The push was not only for the removal of colonial forces, but their Tutsi protgs as well. In 1957, the Hutu Manifesto was published by the newspaper Kangura and changed the political scene dramatically. The Hutu Manifesto creat ed a set standard for Hutu resistance, a clearly demarcated line between Hutu and Tutsi that was not to be crossed. Just 25 years after the implement of identity cards and the institutionalization of race branding, the Rwandan people had internalized racis t logic. In 1959, hostilities were developing within Rwanda. Both Tutsi and Hutu wanted the Belgians out of Rwanda, but the loudest Hutu voice was also the most radical, calling !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "J -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53.(!3&2!53.+$,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF
14 for a separate Hutu state. 1959 marked the first instance of "ethnic" viol ence between Hutu and Tutsi. Fear and anger erupted in November of 1959 in a massacre that is now referred to as "the wind of destruction ." 16 After rumors that a Hutu politician was assassinated by Tutsi and reports of a legitimate assassination attempt of president Kayibanda by a Tutsi person, the rage and anxiety that filled the country were thrown into overdrive, resulting in between 20,000 and 100,000 Tutsi deaths. Hundreds of thousands more Tutsis fled to neighboring countries, seeking to escape retribu tion. Over the next three years the Belgian colonists shifted their support to the Hutu cause. Displaced Tutsi refugees in surrounding countries attacked periodically, engaging the now Hutu military factions that were keeping them from their homes. In 1 962 the Tutsi monarchy was officially excised from Rwandan political life and Rwanda was declared independent through elections organized by Belgians. The elections marked the close of the Belgian regime in Rwanda and the beginning of an independent and de cidedly Hutu Rwandan state. The MDR Parmehutu (Hutu D emocratic Movement of Rwanda, Parmehutu: Parti du M ouvement de l'Emancipation Hutu ) political party which was the majority in Rwanda at the time was formally elected to be the first govern ing party of in dependent Rwanda. Grgoire Kayiba nda became president as the anti Tutsi rhetoric intensified. T HE PROCESS OF INTENS IFICATION Kayibanda was born in 1924 in the southern province of Tare. He identified as Hutu and was deeply engaged with the Hutu cause. He was allegedly one of the nine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "^ M%4))40!S$=+/84>5%,!-c/!c47%! >$!4&2$+B!A$=!>%(>!>$B$++$1!1/!14))!;/!?4))/@!14>%!$=+! 2(B4)4/7Y!G>$+4/7!2+$B!L1(&@(,F!HRRRC!
15 Hutu intellectuals behind the Hutu Manifesto and initiated pro Hutu policies while in office. The Manifesto set out specific rules of engagement for Hutus when interacting with Tutsi. The document largely expresses a deep suspicion and frequently refers to the Tutsi as spies, prepared to take over Rwanda from its righ tful citizens at the first notic e. Kayibanda's actions as president, however, were not as staunchly pro Hutu as expected from a coauthor of the Hutu Ten Commandments. While he did initiate quotas that required the percentage of Hutu people in schools and civil service to be equivalent to their percentage of the total population of Rwanda and discouraged Hutu Tutsi intermar riage he stopped short of violence. After ten years of presidency, Kayibanda was ousted by his Defense Minister Major General Juvnal Habyraimana. Habyarimana was a fellow author of the Hutu Ten Commandments, but unlike Kayibanda he expressed his belief in Hutu superiority through militancy On July 5th, 1973, the soon to be infamous Habyarimana staged a coup and instated himself as the sole rule of law in Rwanda. He threw out the National Assembly and the constitution, even criminalized political activi ty within Rwanda for two years. Under Habyarimana's regime, the quotas requiring a certain minimum of Hutu participation in school and civil service were, at first, abolished. The intent of this action is disputed. Some authors theorize that it was meant t o trick many Tutsi in exile outside of Rwanda to come back, ultimately so that they would be in Habyarimana's jurisdiction when he instituted roadblocks just a few years later. The immediate effect was that the return of Tutsi in places of significance hei ghtened Hutu anxieties and sparked violence within Rwanda almost immediately. Massacres ensued and even more Tutsi fled Rwanda.
16 In 1974 Habyarimana reinstated the quota policy much to the relief of the Hutu, who now had been reminded what life in Rwanda wa s like with the presence of Tutsi. Habyarimana also founded the MRND (National Revolutionary Movement for Development) in 1975. The MRND would soon become the most radical and violent Hutu nationalist party in Rwandan history. In 1978 Habyarimana held elections in which the MRND was the only legal party and he and was the only candidate on the ballot. He was elected president in that election as well as the following in 1983, and again in 1988, under similar electoral circumstances. Throughout his regim e he built a circle of elite members of Hutu society that were loyal to him and his cause. This group was called the Akazu and included his wife, military experts, and the heads of several media sources throughout Rwanda. Among this group, tied closely wit h the leaders of the hate radio station Radio Television Libre des Milles Colines (RTLM), was the popu lar folk singer Simon Bikindi. T HE EMERGENCE OF S IMON B IKINDI AS A POLITICAL PUNDIT Bikindi arrived on the Rwandan music scene in the late 1980s with his song "We Bid Farewell," which was played at a celebration of Rwanda's independence from Belgian rule. As time wore on and violence increased, Bikindi's music became more and more about H utu solidarity against Tutsi people and less about moving Rwanda forward as a whole. Paired with the tenuous state of relations be tween Hutu and Tutsi, the songs incited ethnic violence.
17 Aside from Bikindi's music, c onditions in Rwanda became more open t o racist ideologies. Over the next 13 years, tensions in Rwanda rose. An influx of nearly 50,000 Hutu refugees that had escaped the violence by fleeing to Burundi came back to Rwanda after encountering anti Hutu attacks there. The Rwandan Patriotic Front, composed of Tutsi refugees in countries bordering Rwanda invaded Rwanda from Uganda two years later in 1990 while Rwanda was still under the rule of Habyarimana. The civil war between Hutu and Tutsi, once two parts of a complete Rwanda, had officially beg un. After three years of civil war Haby arimana and the Hutu military were weakened enough to grudgingly sign the Arusha Accords, officially agreeing to a ceasefire and peace between the two factions. Despite the public signing of the Accords and the declared new rule of peace, Rwandan media sources continued to construct and distribute hate propaganda against the Tutsi and the Arusha Accords, saying that the Accords would again force the Hutu to submit to the desires of the Tutsi Radio broadcasts l ike those of RTLM which showcased Simon Bikindi's music, continued to communicate messages of violence against the Tutsi, not peaceful reconciliation. When Juvenal Habyarimana's plane crashed and was rumored to have been shot down, killing him and the pres ident of Burundi, in April of 19 94, the people were prepared to carry out a genocide despite a lack of central leadership. Part of this preparation came from the music that Simon Bikindi had written, and that the radio continued to broadcast through the pe riod of violence that followed the crash. Over the next one hundred days, the Hutu citizens who had remained in Rwanda throughout all the waves of anxiety, fear, and propaganda that flooded the country since colonization,
18 carried out the orders to band tog ether and eradicate the Tutsi. In just three months, between 800,000 and one million men, women, and children were murdered. It was not the work of Habyarimana alone that made genocide a rational choice for the people of Rwanda. That logic was built over years and through different kinds of media ranging from breaking news sources to creative media -the kind of media that informs our decisions in the context of our past and posterity, and creates the cultural environment that we live in. These are the myths on which we were raised and the histories that founded our concept of the world. Bikindi provided strongly worded and misconstrued versions of history meant to stir the hearts of the Hut u people. His music bolstered his words with a culturally significant platform from which to espouse his views, and called upon a traditional dynamic between himself and his listeners that opened the way to genocide. S IMON B IKINDI S MUSIC AND VIOLENCE P receding and throughout the genocide, Bikindi used the social power that he had gained from his musical career to write violent and racist music so provocative that it bordered on instructional in 1994 during the genocide. His music gained popularity in co njunction with increasing violence in Rwanda and is believed to have been one of the biggest motivating factors for the lay people of Rwanda who became genocidaires. Though the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda could not convict Bikindi for his mus ic due to his right to freedom of artistic expression, he was convicted of inciting genocid e for a speech that he gave through a loud speaker in his car.
19 The inability of the tribunal to convict Bikindi for his music does not take away from its prominent role in the genocide. This music transformed the propaganda c oursing through the Rwandan air waves at that time from violent political discourse to a dangerous cultural shift wherein the sanctity of a tradition was breached Bikindi mutated folk musical t hemes with his messages of violence and hate and created a dynamic niche for himself in the process. With his place secured as a pivotal member of the Akazu President Habyarimana's innermost circle Bikindi fled Rwanda during the genocide, leaving his mus ic to represent him. In his absence, Bikindi missed some of the most powerful performances of his mu sic imaginable: those in which his songs were sung during massacres of innocent people. Not much is known about Bikindi's early life in northern Rwanda, wh ere he was born in 1954, but considering the history of the country as well as his birthplace, there is no doubt that from a young age Bikindi was steeped in anti Tutsi rhetoric. Living as a Hutu in the north meant that he was exposed to some of the most r adical anti Tutsi sentiment. This hatred was extended to include Hutus who were sympathetic to Tutsi. From his music and his actions later in life, it is evident that his hatred for the Tutsi became a part of Bikindi's identity. Because of his role in Rwan dan society as an artist, and thus as a creator of culture, it was especially dangerous for Bikindi to identify as a radical Hutu. His investment in the racist ideas that he grew up with showed through in his music and made a message that was hard to ignor e. Bikindi's music planted his own warped ideas into the new culture blooming in Rwanda, and encouraged others to adopt his ethnic myth as their own.
20 By his actions delineated in his ICTR case, Bikindi's investment in Hutu superiority is evident. Bikindi went beyond advocating hatred and racism and engaged in massacres and genocide himself. Bikindi was put in charge of the youth wing of the Ministry of Sport, where he trained young men and boys in hand to hand combat and how to use rifles, while using his rhetorical prowess to sensitize them to the Hutu cause 17 Bikindi was also given funding and air time to express his views, legitimating and rewarding his increasingly violent words and acts with power. As a dynamic and creative leader, those that he held p ower over were easily swept into his brand of racism. He affected not only the young people who were involved with the Ministry of Sport (who became trained soldiers for the Hutu militia) but gained access to the general population with his music. Bikindi played a crucial role in deepening the effects of Habyarimana's campaign against Tutsi people in the media. As articulated in the case against him at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Simon Bikindi participated in the campaign to de feat the enemy in the media by collaborating with Ferdinand Nahimana, Jean Bosco Barayagwiza[and] President Juvenal Habyarimana to launch Radio Television Libre des Milles Collines (RTLM), a privately owned radio station aligned with extremist political currents in the MRND [National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development] and the CDR [Coalition for the Defense of the Republic] RTLM in part conceived as a media alternati ve for Radio Rwanda, then subject to the programming restrictions of ORINFOR [Rwanda Bureau of Information and Broadcasting] and the newly installed ministry of Information, RTLM programming interspersed popular music and listener participation with news r eport s and anti Tutsi propaganda. 18 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "N a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/!F+,#&! ?+G+&2+B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRJC "d a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4 B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/!F+,#&!?+G+&2+B! %,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRJC
21 RTLM articulated and encouraged the real hatred that was running the country, channeling it towards the Tutsi who remained in Rwanda. With the addition of Bikindi's passionate and catchy music, the messages of the Akazu were spread to the people and became a part o f the popular culture of Rwanda. The ICTR cited the process during Bikindi's trial: Simon Bikindi consulted with President Juvenal Habyarimana, Minister of Youth and Sports Callixte Nzabonimana, and MRND aligne d military authorities on song lyrics as follows: In order to release a musical composition Simon Bikindi provided a tape with his recorded composition to Nzabonimana, who in turn would indicate what changes he thought were necessary. The recorded compos ition was then passed on to President. Habyarian who would listen to the tape to ensure that it was in line with government policy and subsequently authorize its release. Simon Bikindi also recorded his compositions at the Radio Rwanda studios with assist ance In late 1993 Simon Bikindi made available to the RTLM for broadcast those songs that had been authorized for release, as set out above. S i mon Bikindi also performed his compositions at Interhamwe meetings and MRND and CDR party functions, most of wh ich were large public gatherings that were frequently hel d 19 There is a sizable sum of literature about how RTLM and the media in Rwanda affected the genocide, in awe of the ability of a radio station to "hypnotize" an entire nation, some authors even go ing as far as to dub RTLM "Radio Machete." 20 The propaganda machine that was RTLM is portrayed as the main factor in inciting the lay people of Rwanda to genocide. Often, Simon Bikindi and his music are only a chapter in a book, or referred to throughout th e bulk of an article about the role of media in the genocide. Simply because Simon Bikindi was not imprisoned for his music on the basis of freedom of artistic expression, his music is not given enough credit as a contributing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "I a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/!F+,#&! ?+G+&2+B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRJC HR G5$>>!G>+(=7,!-c%(>!47!>%/! L/)(>4$&7%40!;/>1//&!Q(>/!L(@4$!(&@!V4$)/&5/f!L/>%4&?4&/F,F !7#)+/+.$!M!F#.+(/0 !TJ,!&$C!O![HRRN\Y!^RI ] !^TNC!
22 factor to genocide. It was Bi kindi's music that made the context built by the broadcasters of RTLM come alive and relevant to the people listening. It was Bikindi's music that was sung and chanted, spread and sold throughout Rwanda, gaining fans and listeners. It was Bikindi's music t hat made genocide a part of Rwandan culture, spreading his personal experience of his ethnicity as a child from the most violently nationalist prefecture in the country all over the airwaves, and inscribing his own ethnic myth upon the history of Rwanda. T he Tribunal demonstrated how, to some degree, the musical aspect of Bikindi's messages d eepened the effect of his words. The efficiency of the mobilization of Rwanda's Hutu peasantry for attacks upon the Tutsi during the period 7 April 1994 mid July 1994, and the systematic nature of such attacks by the military forces of the Interim Government, including civilian militias equipped, trained and sensitized to target Tutsi civilians imply planning and coordination at the highest levels of the political, mili tary, business and media elites of MRND affiliated governmental authorities. Simon Bikindi's musical compositions and live performances and recruitment, training and command of Interhamwe were elements of the plan to mobilize civilian militias to destroy, in whole or in part, the Tutsi. Simon Bikindi's songs were a crucial part of the genocidal plan because they incited ethnic hatred of Tutsis and further incited people to attack and to k ill Tutsi because they were Tutsi. As a result of the mobilizing effect of Simon Bikindi's music, members of the Ballet were recruited into the Interhamwe militia, partic ipated in military training and committed subsequent killings of Tutsis 21 This exce rpt shows the depth with which Bikindi was committed to the Hutu cause. His actions as a cultural leader musically and as a choreographer of dance dovetailed with his roles in the military, creating a seamless integration of militancy into more typically c reative work. With his actions as a military leader in mind, Bikindi's music looks much more sinister. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! H" a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/!F+,#&! ?+G+&2+B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRR JC
23 C HAPTER II M USIC IN R WANDA : H OW THE TRADITIONAL R OLE OF MUSIC AND MUS ICIAN GAVE S IMON B IKINDI A PLATFORM OF AUTHORITY AND HIS W ORDS A DEEPER CULTUR AL CONNOTATION THAN SPEECH ALONE Music is a part of the foundation of many societies in Sub Saharan Africa as a part of traditions, ceremonies, and as a tool for re membering the past. Through these roles and functions music has had the power to shape historical memory, community values, and s ubsequently influence the actions and beliefs of that people. Alt hough new forms of media such as film, television, and the internet, have developed in Rwanda music almost always plays a role in these new context s further showing the important place of music as a social structure. M usic still maintains the magnitude of a tradi tion that for generations defined history. Music is still valued in the modern day, and the inf luence that Bikindi held is an example of that continued respec t for an old tradition. It is a highly respected, dynamic system through which the public is invit ed and incentivized to come together for the sake of the tradition of music itself and the value of collective action. When Simon Bikindi used music of a traditional style in a popular context and paired it with his calls to Hutu solidarity, he was produ cing much more than a rallying cry. He was calling upon generations of tradition and using one of the most powerful tools at his disposal. He manipulated the power of music as well as the collective mindset to produce a violent reaction from the Hutu peopl e. He gave a new meaning to a longstanding tradition, and made music a pivot point for violent action. Considering the deeply significant role of music in general, Bikindi's music begins to make more sense as
24 a factor in inciting genocide. This is amplifie d when the roles of the performer are taken into consideration. Music in Sub Saharan Africa ha s long been more than an art form or means of entertainment. In Rwanda, it is and has been one of the most important features of ceremonies, where communal rite s of passage are pivotal to the order of society and the development of the individual, be they Hutu or Tutsi. In traditional (as well as modernized) societies in general, ceremonies are held with the passing of all kinds of life events, be they monumental or everyday. The songs that are connected with these ceremonies often share the same name as the ceremony itself, indicating the importance of music to the event. In these cases we cannot presume the music associated with a ceremony is simply accompanying the ceremony, it is more accurate to consider the sound as a force motivating and instructing the actions of the ceremony. More than just providing mutable background noise to a ritual, J.H. Nketia writes in Music of Africa music gives purpose to a gathe ring and instructs those gathered in what is to occur. He explains how the ritual action will not happen without the music, thus the phase in life, the celebration, or the process will not occur without first setting the proper sonic space. Further, the ty pe of music performed fits the scenario and helps develop the social scene around it, be it an instance of relaxation or specific intent. In Traditional African societies, music making is generally organized as a social event. Public performances, therefo re, take place on social occasions that is, on occasions when members of a group of a community come together for the enjoyment of leisure, for recreational activities, or for the performance of a rite, ceremony, festival, or any kind of collective acti vity, such as building bridges, clearing paths, going on a search party, or putting out fires -activities that, in industrialized societies, might be assigned t o specialized agencies. 22 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HH #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\C
25 Here Nketia introduces the integral role that music plays in social interaction and hints at a difference in the structures of collective versus industrialized societies. In countries like the United States there is a tendency to rely on experts to solve specific problems, for to work on the grounds of general c on sensus in a country as vast as ours would be impractical for every day issues (it would also be completely "un American"). We do not typically rely on neighbors for practical things like building roads or houses, (the Amish are not industrialized), and e ven less often (if ever) do we come together socially to validate individuals for passing personal life benchmarks like menstruation or circumcision. In general we consider ourselves a large number of individuals operating without the need of approval of a ny other person. In this same vein, we also tend to act and react without much empathy and emphasize the importance of an individual's right to act as a "free agent" rather than a member of something greater. In societies that value the individual as part of a whole, every major life event, from birth to puberty to mourning, is passed and felt as a community. Participation in that community is obligatory and the emphasis placed on collective action is passed down through generations, constantly reinforced t hrough tradition and ritual and all of these traditions and rituals are codependent on music. Music calls upon the listener to engage with the artist or artists, to feel their messages and, if necessary, act. By using the power of music, Simon Bikindi t apped into a critical line of communication for the Rwandan people. His calls for Hutu solidarity and action were felt doubly by listeners, for whom music itself is a pillar of their society as a means of remembering history in a country built on the oral tradition. His words begged his listeners to follow his lead, and his music deepened the effect of his messages far beyond
26 that of a speech. Though we cannot generalize facts from anthropological research centering around one part of the vast continent of Africa to another, there are some general aspects of the traditional use of music that are common to many regions, including the area we know today as Rwanda Nketia explains that his research and findings do not attempt to homogenize or essentialize t he multitude of various music and dance ceremonies and proce sses that happen across Africa, but he does seek to impart the general idea that music in all the regions he has studies has held a place of high importance. He explains that music is an important part of other art forms and social life. "Moreover, because of the close integration of music and social life, it is inevitable that changes in the way of life of and African society in its institutions, political organization, and aspects of economic li fe or religious practice should lead to corresponding changes in aspects of musical practice or in the organization of performances. 23 While Nketia asserts that changes in music result fr om changes in life, in times of great political strife or upheaval that a strong voice -especially in music -can initiate changes in the sentime nts of the population at large. Music and its texts are, typically, much more easily memorized than lists of facts or speeches. In places where written language did not exist until recent generations, such as Rwanda, music and ritual have been the main means of remembering the past and building history. Song texts provide a means through which historical figures and specific events are delineated, and may also serve to attach a moral lesson with the ceremony itself. The need for the music is twofold, at once solving the practical issues of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HT #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\C !HO" ] OOC
27 memorizing lineages and events, and also indoctrinating t he participants of a ceremony with a moral story of some sort. As Nketia writes, One of the most important categories of songs found in African societies may be described as "songs of the elders." They remind people of the past and of the values of a society, and require some knowledge of oral tradition before one can understand them. They have been described as historical songs in the literature on African music, even though, with a few exceptions, what they generally provide is not detailed narration of events, but brief allusions to significant incidents and genealogies. 24 In this kind of system, there must be some basis of faith in the guardians of history and traditions that they are in fact representing long standing ideas and not simply inventing and imposing a new order of their own accord. To do so would be to undermine the in stitution through which they gained their influence in the first place. Of course changes in traditions do occur, but in order for traditions and rituals to maintain salience they must be considered by those performing it to be in some way validated by a p recedent for the action itself. This highlights the importance of the collective, for without verification by other group members and without the group working to monitor and evaluate versions of history there would be no cohesive account of the past. The re would be no hope of continuity into the future, either, in terms of beliefs and traditions and their meanings. The cultivation of musical life in traditional African societies, therefore, is promoted t hrough active participation in g roup life, rather t han through the creation of special musical institutions. This is what forms music making in Africa into a community experience, for the continuity of musical traditions depends to some extent on both individual and collective effort. It is the creative in dividual who builds up the repertoire or re creates it, but those who learn it and perform it on social occasions sustain the tradition and make it a part of the common heritage. 25 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HO #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0( &A,!"INO\ !"I^ C HJ #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\ !JR C
28 Less formal traditional music is also used in more immediate situations to sing praise or to defame members of a society. Music and musicians hold and have held political agency as voices of authority that are simultaneously embedded within the lay people but given authority to criticize the power structures at hand and inspire action. This in itself is a tradition; that music is more than an abstract creative outlet, but a valid news source that directly reflects the sentiments of the majority. Nketia s hows how music is traditionally engaged with and acted on, not just listened to and dismissed. Of course, the reaction and response of the listener varies from individual to individual, but even though the musician is afforded authority they are still vuln erable to the sentiments of their audience. As discerning listeners who value music as a representation of the state of the society, there is just as much a tradition of voicing disapproval of a musician's viewpoint as there is of support. Living in these areas requires participation in community ceremonies as a requisite part of growing up and passing milestones. It is also a necessary part of showing solidarity with one's community. In societies where personal worth is determined by the community at larg e, engagement with others and acceptance by others are a part of survival, not just socialization. To opt out would mean total isolation and stagnation as peers passed benchmarks and moved onward together. Collective traditions give individual validation, and all of these traditions revolve around the music associated with them. The importance of music is thus imbedded in every member of these societies where music is so much more than something to listen to, even in the modern day.
29 The value put on tradi tional music, like Bikindi's, and the emphasis of certain norms within his songs ask the listener to disengage with contemporary reality and avenge the past. While his claims may seem blatantly racist or even absurd out of context, Bikindi's voice conveyed a clear message and laid out a plan for reconstructing the country from the ruins of political upheaval. His use of a sensitive tool (music), imperatives to remember one's past and protect one's future (using guilt and shame to encourage radicalism), and a faulty account of history combined to make him and his messages hard to ignore. Once his ideas caught on, they were self reinforcing as individuals sought to prove to their peers that they were indeed radically Hutu, an image that was particularly import ant to embody with a lack of enthusiasm meaning death. A recurring theme in Bikindi's music and in the accounts of violence was that of holding other Hutu accountable. The degree of social cohesion in such communities is usually very strong. Not only may the members know one another, but they may also be bound by a network of social relations: they may be kinsmen or members of social groups that cut across kinship Spontaneous response to group needs and involvement in collective activity expected of the members of a community ceremonies or rites that bring the members of a community together provide and important means of encouraging involvement in collective behavior, a means of strengthening the social bonds that bind them and the values that inspire their corporate life. The performance of music in such contexts, therefore, assumes a multiple role in relation to the community: it provides at once and opportunity for sharing in creative experience, for participating in music as a form of community expe rience, and for using music as an avenue for the expression of group sentiments. 26 Performers are traditionally expected to express some kind of political statement or at least an understanding of the current political context. This ability gives a perfo rmer respect and authority. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! H^ #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\ !H" C
30 The ability to handle texts or make appropriate references to a situation on the spur of the moment is possessed by those who have "clarity of mind" (adwene mu da ho), and so do not confuse the subject or mix up words. The sing er's ability to improvise reflects his alertness or presence of mind. A singer must be sensitive to or show a general awareness of current situations. Since he has to perform in public, he must not only be shy when performing; indeed, some amount of histri onic temperament is said to be desirable, for a singer is involved in dramatic communication. He must act, articulate the beat in a body movement, or express the depth of his musical feeling outwardly. He must be able to involve others in the music where a ppropriate. If he is a solo performer with no supporters or chorus of his own, he should inspire those listening to him to sing a ch orus or a refrain now and then. 27 Bikindi also took advantage of the songwriter's traditional role as a political figure. T he three songs he was tried for were powerful enough to take a small chunk of history and elaborate it into something worth killing over. In part, his words were made powerful by the fact that they were in a musical context. Were it not for their use as a part of music, his insinuations against Tutsi people would have been merely suspicious words, not infectious messages of hate and suspicion. Nketia speaks at length about how the institution of music creates a legitimate space for more emotional types of appeals to be heard publicly. It is where subtle indications of emotion or personal observation may be brought up and explored by the audience. While the audience does have the agency to reject or ridicule the performer for their song and/or speech, Bik indi made his arguments almost impossible to oppose. Though he bashed the Tutsi and blamed them for the ills of all of Rwanda, at the same time reinforcing and incubating a false history, his actual pleas for action were merely asking the Hutu people to st and together. Bikindi, as the artist, did the work of creating (or solidifying the line between) the distinction of Hutu and Tutsi. He laid out for his listeners a version of history that contained within it falsehoods that were imposed during !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HN #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$ &!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\ !J^ C
31 colonization He stated the Hutu cause in terms that, seemingly, could not be denied. All he asked his listeners was to oblige and engage with him. (See Appendix ) Songs serve as depositories of information on African societies and their way of life, as record of thei r histories, beliefs, and values. In some African societies, deliberate attempts are made to use songs for educating the young at initiation camps, for example or for transmitting information. Instances can be found of the formal use of songs for making announcements or proclamations, expressing gratitude or appreciation to a benefactor, serenading lady loves, warning, advising, or boasting. Sometimes what cannot be said in speech can be stated in song: someone who wished to complain or cast insinuations may find it more effective to do so in song than in speech. This is why ethnographers, among others, record and analyze song texts for data or use them to illustrate aspects of their analysis and description, for "song texts are a reflection of the culture of which the y are a part" Hence some attention is given to songs as "oral documents" by students of African history and philosophy, as well as by students of social psychology, for as A.P. Merriam points out, "Through the study of song texts it may well be possible to strike quickly through protective mechanisms to arrive at an understanding of the ethos of the culture and to gain some perspective of psychological problems and processes pec uliar to it. 28 Bikindi's music certainly runs the gamut of these functions. Through a simple elaboration on a misrepresentation of the relationship between Hutu and Tutsi, as well as by stepping into the powerful role of musician, Bikindi invited the Rwandan people to engage with him and his ideas in a way that is trad itionally impossible to refuse. The dialogue he then enacted manipulated the call to cohesion that served as the basis for all of the Rwandan society so that it excluded the Tutsi minority. (See Appendix ) The inclination to engage in musical contexts is deeply ingrained into members of this society. Music is not to be ignored, as it is what instructed the rituals that allowed for individuals to grow up and societies to continue. The small changes that do arise in the music throughout time only serve to up date and make the ritual more relevant to the new generation. The issue of bigger importance is that the tradition continues in general. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hd #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\ !HRO C
32 Although in every generation performers are supposed to play what is passed on to them, each generation may reinterpret it, particularly with respect to those fluctuations arising out of subjective feeling. 29 The difference between performer and audience is not always clear in these situations where audience interaction is very much a part of the spectacle. The audience is expected to engage emotionally with the performer, to go as far as joining the performance in dance or in song, or even taking part of the performance time as their own. Individuals may shout in appreciation when something in the performanc e strikes them, or indicate at a particular point their satisfaction with what they have just heard or seen. In addition, their conduct may indicate that the performance satisfies or makes manifest a social value, or that is satisfies a moral need." 30 This kind of interaction intensifies the bond felt between performer and audience. This structure certainly aided Bikindi. This kind of engagement asks the audience to participate in the performers emotions; to step beyond witnessing and empathize with him or her. This is a powerful practice that undeniably strengthens the bonds between members of the community, but sadly, in the case of Bikindi's music, it also made his violent ideas not just accessible but almost obligatory. While it might seem backwards to argue that empathy was a part of the motivation towards genocide, the Rwandan genocide was built on a teetering pile of invented history and faulty logic. As evident in his lyrics (provided in Appendix ) Bikindi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HI #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\ !HOR C TR #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y! cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\ !TH C
33 departs from historical fact and creates hor rifying images to demonstrate what Rwanda was like the last time she fell into the hands of the conniving Tutsi. He refers to the Tutsi as if they had always been known to be an invasive species, come to manipulate the peaceful Hutu and take their land. In truth, the Hutu and Tutsi were two parts of a whole when the area of Rwanda was becoming populated, the words simply indicating whether or not one was an agriculturalist or a cattle farmer. By asserting a racial difference between Hutu and Tutsi, Bikindi elaborated on the social structures asserted by the Belgian colonizers. The first major human rights violation in this story was t he imposition of Belgian rule that dissected Rwandan social structure, assessed, an d reassembled it with little care or und erstanding of the social history of the nation The result was anger and resentment that caused shifts in remembered oral histories. As a citizen of Rwanda, Bikindi felt this anger. As a musician he was able to give voice t o his frustrations and opinions which he popularized and disseminated across the country, into homes, and into the hearts of the citizens of Rwanda. As Nketia writes "The most far reaching influence is exerted by the verbal texts to which songs are set. African traditions deliberately t reat songs as though they were speech utterances. There are societies in which solo poetic recitations, both spoken and sung, have become social institutions." 31 And 1994 was no exception. The Rwandan genocide was in part the result of a powerful institut ion -music and public radio, in this case -being used by talented and corrupted people. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! T" #CQC!_1(;/&(!U?/>4(,! *;(!H<$+.!#4!%48+.3 ,![U/1!`$+?Y!cCcC!U$+>$&!g!P$B0(&A,!"INO\ !"NN C
34 On a greater scale, it is important to consider the role of hi story and myth in the development of morals to begin to comprehend just what Bikindi's music meant to the people listening to it, and to accept that any human, as we are all born with the same insatiability to absorb our surroundings, could have acted as a genocidaire if raised with a cer tain idea of the world around them. As is explored in the next chapter, that which we are taught to believe about ourselves and the world changes our values as individuals. Traditions and the stories attached to them have the ability to alter our understan ding of our environment and people, and even affect our actions. Using the tradition of music and the new stories Bikindi sowed with his songs as an example, I explore how his music was implemented as a persuasive tool during the genocide.
35 C HAPTER III M YT H AND M USIC : H OW THE STORIES PROPA GATED BY S IMON B IKINDI APPEALED TO T HE PERSONAL VALUES O F THE LISTENER AS WE LL AS SOCIETAL NORMS AND RATIONALIZED VI OLENCE AND GENOCIDE In Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana and his inner circle tapped into the power of music to change peoples' minds 32 Though music is often only given tentative recognition as a serious tool of social change, sound structures are a defining feature of any culture. Though not every culture has a concept equivalent to the western idea of "music," where music is considered as a part of a separate artistic institution sounds and sonic environments have the ability to intensify if not change the values circulating in a society. In Rwanda, it help ed create the environment for genocide to develop. Hab yarimana was quick to tap into the power of the spoken word after his coup, taking immediate steps to control the airwaves and ensure that his mess ages were the loudest in Rwanda 33 To control information in a society is to manipulate the people's ability t o make decisions. Further, the cultural implications of music in Rwanda gave the claims and entreaties disseminated by Bikindi the ability to affect the values of the Rwandan people. There is much research and debate on the actual effect of hate radio o n the Rwandan genocide (see 34 ). The general consensus, however, is that the messages !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TH a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/!=(3& > ?#$.#!?3830'@+A3B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRRC TT a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/!=(3& > ?#$.#!?3830'@+A3B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRRC TO Z4,!K(++A)C!-X5%$/7!$2!V4$)/&5/Y!P$&74@/+(>4$&7!$&!L(@4$!(&@!S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF! =#<8&3)!#4! N(.+2(!5($(38.; !^,!&$C!" ![HRRO\Y!I ] !HNC
36 streamed from RTLM had a deep and somewhat immeasurable effect on the minds of the genocidaires, some authors going as far as to call it brainwashing. T he main radio hosts and managers of the station were brought to trial by the international criminal tribunal and found guil ty of "inciting genocide. When people in a position of authority, as these men were, use words like "cockroach" to refer to 20% of the population, ther e is bound to be some considerable negative e ffect should the social context already be muddy or unhappy But mere words cannot account entirely for the brutal genocide that took place. The use of Bikindi's songs, however, incorporated the historical signi ficance and traditional power of music into the rhetoric. Cultural subversion occurred to make the jump from sensitizing Hutus to the nationalist agenda to motivating them to actually engage in it violently. Habyarimana took hold of the power of the spoken word with RTLM, but the power of the radio was greatly augmented by the music of Simon Bikindi. Bikindi was raised in an environment rife with hatred for the Tutsi peoples. He saw the world through the eyes of a person who had been taught that he and hi s people had been slighted again and again by a greater yet tangible undeserving power that ought to be eliminated. Any Hutu tradition that he engaged in would have simultaneously served not only as a performance of culture, but also as an act of protest a gainst those his !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!! M()=5?,!X)4*(;/>%!Z/8A!(&@!K$&()@!MC!S+//&C!-K/2/+/&5/,!K477/&>,!(&@!K470=>/! L/7$)=>4$&Y!3&!XE0/+4B/&>()!D&>/+8/&>4$&!a74&$!P%(& U$+B7!(&@!'/%(84$+! 4&!L1(&@(CF !%,(8+.3&!7#)+/+.3)!F.+(&.(!5(O+(@ !"RT,!&$C!O![HRRI\Y!^HH ] !^O OC '4))!'/+?/)A, !-G$=&@7!$2! V4$)/&5/Y!L1(&@(67!_4))/+!L(@4$, F! *;(!E(@!5(1
37 people had hated for centuries. The myth that Hutus and Tutsi could never find peace and would always be in opposition permeated the region of the north where Bikindi grew up, and left little chance for him or any other child of the area t o believe otherwise. Indeed, to think differently would be an act of betrayal. Bikindi's music is a reflection of the myths he grew up with, as is evident when cross referencing his lyrics and accounts of the political environment at the time when he was r ecording Bikindi's music began circulating well before the genocide. His first hit, Twasezereye came out in 1987, and while it was not blatantly anti Tutsi, it was, in its first form, ambiguously nationalistic. The song was later rewritten to make clear that Bikindi was indeed taking a stance against Tutsi, but those alterations were not made until after the hostile political environment had ripened. His two other songs, Bene Sebahinzi and Naga Abahutu were decidedly more explicit in regards to their exp ression of hatred for the Tutsi and intent to unify the Hutu against them. Gamaliel Mbonimana and Jean de Dieu Karangwa prepared the Expert Report on Bikindi's music for the International Criminal Tribunal case which sought to convict and imprison Bikin di for inciting ethnic hatred specifically regarding his music. In the report, Mbonimana and Karangwa provide some basic background on the conflicts between Hutu and Tutsi since the 1959 revolution, the differences between the Hutu and Tutsi, and some crit eria on which they based their argument that these three songs were indeed inflammatory. They take care to explain, albeit briefly, that the role of the singer songwriter in Rwanda has a deeper cultural connotation than may be evident at first glance. In the end, Mbonimana and Karangwa effectively argue that Bikindi's songs were
38 intended to incite rage, and even hint that they had the ability to encourage listeners to engage in the genocide because of the traditional political role of song. What Mboniman a and Karangwa dismiss, however, is that Bikindi references a history much older than 1959. Bikindi's words reach back to a time when history relied on oral tradition. The images he invokes are timeless, his characters could be from any generation (and are thus relatable to the listener), but the lyrical and musical context situate the narrative in a time of strife so long ago that it insinuates a primordial difference between Hutu and Tutsi. The folkloric concepts and musical ideas that Bikindi incorporate s ask the listener both explicitly and through musical insinuation to remember a time before their own existence. Bikindi then fills in the gaps with the ancient authority of the musician and informs the listener of not only the natural differences between Hutu and Tutsi, but of the predestined task of the Hutu to come together and rid Rwanda of the invasive Tutsi once and for all. Bikindi's songs carry much more weight than a memory of three decades. They incorporate generations and centuries of change a nd manipulate the power structure upon which Rwanda was built. He refers to himself as a soothsayer, as though he is one in touch with the collective memory and the ancient truth that neither Hutu nor Tutsi can survive if the other remains. In all three so ngs he gives himself authority (first by assuming the role of musician, then by assuming an all knowing character) and then orders the listener to believe him as he misconstrues history and gives the Hutu population an ultimatum; engage in genocide or face extermination. Myths, fables and tales are an integral part of any culture. They provide the cultural material from which a society derives its morals and traditions. In the case of
39 Rwanda, the focus on the collective made the stories sung by Simon Biki ndi impossible to dismiss. He actively called upon his listeners to engage with that which he was saying and accept it as true. The myth s that he propagated culminated in the claim that the Tutsi needed to be slaughtered on the grounds as violators of the Hutu homeland This argument, while in reality representing a stack of myths with no basis in real historical fact, was legitimated by Bikindi's assumption of the role of musician. In a more general sense, myths can be religious, national, cultural, familial or individual, be spoken or written, explicit or ambiguous in their purpose. They are separate from stories in their explicit attempt to connect our everyday lives to a mythologized past. Their interpretation varies depending on the group of peopl e doing the interpreting, but there is a tendency for myths to have a moral or purpose, especially in the context of ceremony 35 Anthony Giddens argues that tradition helps us handle the issues of modern life. Whether we are reinventing the traditions that once formed the pillars of our society, or creating totally new traditions to look to in our amorphous state of mo dernity 36 I speak of an ending, in the guise of the emergence of a post traditional society. This phrase might at first glance seem odd, Modernity, almost by definition, always stood in opposition to tradition; hasn't modern society long been "post traditional"? It has not, at least in the way in which I propose to speak of the post traditional society' here. For most of its history, mode rnity has rebuilt tradition as it has dissolved it. Within Western societies, the persistence and recreation of tradition was central to the legitimation of power, to the sense in which the state was able to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TJ G>/8/&!b/)@,! F#<&2!3&2!F(&/+,(&/B!?+82$6!I((1+&'6!7#(/+.$6!3&2!F#&'!+&!P3)<)+!-Q18($$+#&6! [M%4)(@/)0%4(Y!a&48/+74>A!$2!M/&&7A)8(&4(!M+/77,!"IdH\C T^ !! D&!>%/!(+>45)/!-S/&$54@/F!2+$B!>%/!X&5A5)$0/@4(!$2!L(5/!(&@!L(547B,!>%/!(=>%$+!7>(>/7!-S/&$54@/! %(7!;/5$B/!(!24E>=+/!$2 !B$@/+&4>A,!;$>%!(7!>%/!=)>4B(>/!5+4B/!(<(4&7>!(!<+$=0!(&@!(7!>%/!4@/&>4>A! B(+?/+!$2!(!<+$=067!845>4B4*(>4$&CF!.%47!B(A!B/(&!>$!4B0)A!>%(>!&$54@/!47!$&/!B(&42/7>(>4$&!$2!>%/! %=B(&!@/74+/!2$+!@/24&4>4$&!<$&/!(1+AC!!
40 impose itself upon relatively passive subjects' For tradition placed in stasis s ome core aspects of social life. 37 Though Giddens speaks specifically of Western life, his idea of tradition as the foundation of power dynamics and societal structure is relevant to Rwanda. As a country that relied on t he oral tradition for centuries, the exactness and investment of performers of ceremony determined what history would be maintained and thus the beliefs of the present and future generations in relation to their people's culture Nuances and changes are in evitable when the past is recorded in such a way. R elying on human memory means risking the pitfal ls of subjective experience and the capacity to retain information, remember accurately. Further, that which is remembered depends on the values of the indivi dual. While ideally the individual has received and accepted a carbon copy of the very first occurrence of the ceremony or story, that notion is totally impractical. The respect given to ceremony in traditional societies certainly increases the chance that a ritual would remain close to its original manifestation, but even the most staunchly traditional societies have the power to adapt a ritual or discern when a practice has reached obsolescence entirely The decision to alter, change, or retire a ceremony can have a ripple effect into the values of followers. While allowing a tradition to grow with the progress of time is a constructive process of synthesizing long standing values into the modern day, manipulation of a tradition or traditional framework ca n have devastating effects. This is evident when reviewing the role of Simon Bikindi's music in Rwanda. Though the genocide happened in 1994, well after Kinyarwanda became a written language and the nation had moved forward into modern life, the traditiona l !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TN 3&>%$&A!S4@@/&7,!-Z484& ] .+(@4>4$&()!G$54/>A,F! 5(4)(Q+O(!H#2(8&+A3/+#&B! 7#)+/+.$6! *832+/+#&!3&2!%($/;(/+.$!+&!/;(!H#2(8&!F#.+3)!R82(8 C!J^ ] !"RIC!
41 understanding of music as a deeper form of mass communication remained intact. Bikindi had much control and power from his position of a singer and composer of music and used this pivotal structure to transmit ideas that were anything but traditional or historical. Under the guise of a guardian of tradition, Bikindi manipulated history and infected values of collectivity with violence. Tradition drives culture and informs values. Without it, people living in a state of modernity (all of us, supposedly) face the challenge of choice without guidance, and the multitude of outcomes that are produced when individuals are disconnected from social expectations. Giddens discusses the transformation of human motivation from biological factors to social desires as a g roup of people modernizes. He argues that though traditions can become muted or watered down with the increase of time and population, they still hold an imp ortant power over interactions as the stories and v alues connected to them remain. "As nature b ecomes invaded, and even ended', by human socialization, and tradition is dissolved, new types of uncalculability emerge In the social world, where institutional reflexivity has become a central constituent, the complexity of scenarios' is even more mar ked." 38 Even though the traditional role of music changed in Rwanda, music kept much of the power that it was afforded as the primary means of remembering. Just as a ritual may change without undermining the values associated with it, Rwanda has mod ernized and music has maintained its status of importance The same is true for the person making the music. Though Bikindi was a modern man, his use of folk music afforded him the status of a leader. His lyrics reinforced his authority by making pleas to l isteners to remember !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Td 3&>%$&A!S4@@/&7,!-Z484& ] !.+(@4>4$&()!G$54/>A,F! 5(4)(Q+O(!H#2(8&+A3/+#&B! 7#)+/+.$6! *832+/+#&!3&2!%($/;(/+.$!+&!/;(!H#2(8&! F#.+3)!R82(8 C!J^C
42 their Hutu ness, and come together like in the days of old to protect their Hutu culture and their homeland of Rwanda. This blatant revision of history and entreaty to believe and join in genocide shows the power of tradition in the most brutal way. Through altering history and appealing to the Hutu people of Rwanda, Bikindi engaged in the racist separation of Hutu and Tutsi, and succeeded in convincing thousands that murder and hate should be the next tradition in Hutu history. Giddens highlights the important fac t that the traditions we receive come to us through some form of an interpreter. This interpreter, or "guardian" as Giddens writes, chooses which aspects of a tradition they wish to convey and teach to the following generation. In this way, the interpreter s of tradition have some power over the future. This power is of varying degrees depending on how much the interpreter seeks to engender morality along with ritual. Often, the importance of a ritual is explained in the myth surrounding the act itself, and thus the moral lesson lies within the myth. As a tool for creating a culture, traditions are a weighty and important part of society; one that many people feel the need to stand up or fight for. They represent a continuation of the past into the present, w hich legitimates the current generation of guardians as they interpr et the culture and indoctrinate the younger populations to the same ideas. In this way they have power over their own lives and a sense of security that the values that they hold most dear will be similarly promoted in the future. This world is disorienting, and people seek to orient themselves through tradition. Though strict adherence to tradition is often seen as sentimental or even backwards today, permutations of old rituals still hol d an important place in every culture. Though they may be distanced from their points of origin, many rituals persist along with their
43 accompanying myths, or stories. As Anthony Giddens writes "Everyday experiments reflect the changing role of tradition an d, as is also true of the global level, should be seen in the context of the displacement and reappropriation of expertise under the impact of the intrusiveness of abstract systems" 39 Here Giddens talks about how authority that was once associated with t hose in charge of ceremony or guarding tradition is now associated with professionals. Those who were once looked to before the integ ration of technological advancements into society now take on a more symbolic role that is becoming more and more optional in the United States. In Rwanda, those who maintain traditions have a different significance. In the case of musicians in particular, the songwriter was given the charge of recording and building the history of the country. In a general, traditional contex t, m usicians were expected to provide commentary not only on the current political situation, but to also praise or scold individuals who had done something out of the ordinary. Today, Rwandan music covers many more genres than the historical or editorial, but the musician still has much agency in those spheres of life. In many ways, musicians have been the guardians of history and tradition in Rwanda. The system effectively compensated for the lack of a written language, but it also left history vulnerable to the interpretation of people like Simon Bikindi and the Akazu With ri tuals and their myths holding such a massive ability to change the present and the future of a society, we can see how a different interpretation of tradition or history can drast ically alter the trajectory of a group of people. In Rwanda, the elite !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TI 3&>%$&A!S4@@/&7,!-Z484& ] !.+(@4>4$&()!G$54/>A,F! 5(4)(Q+O(!H#2(8&+A3/+#&B! 7#)+/+.$6! *832+/+#&!3&2!%($/;(/+.$!+&!/;(!H#2(8&!F#.+3)!R82(8 C!JOC!
44 Akazu including Simon Bikindi took control of the radio and musical culture to convince an entire nation that they were born to kill over 800,000 people in under 100 days. I NDICTMENT A ND EVIDENCE AGAINST B IKINDI : T HE MUSIC HE CREATED AND T HE CHARGES AGAINST HIM The indictment against Simon Bikindi by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal: Rwanda, carefully documents Bikindi's most inflammatory actions and words. During the period 1990 to 1994, Simon Bikindi addressed public gatherings, composed, performed, recorded or disseminated musical compositions extolling Hutu solidarity and characterizing Tutsi as enslavers of the Hutu. These compositions were subsequently deployed in a propaganda campai gn to target Tutsi as the enemy, or as enemy accomplices, and to instigate, incite, and encourage the Hutu population to separate themselves from the Tutsi, to commit acts of violence against them and to kill them. Simon Bikindi composed, wrote, performed, recorded, and disseminated musical compositions and addressed public gatherings as set out above with the specific intention of instigating persecution of all Tutsis, and of Hutus opposed to ethnic division. The basis of responsibility for the deployment of his compositions is Article 6(1) of the Statute for aiding and abetting the persecution of Tutsis, thr ough his songs that assimilated all Tutsis as the enemy, by blaming the enemy for the problems of Rwanda, by continuously making references to the 1959 revolution and its gains by the rubanda ngamwinshi, and by finally sup porting the Hutu ten commandment s 40 In the case, he is being tried for inciting genocide (among a myriad of other similar charges) based on the catalog of events presented by the pros ecutor. In general, there is little if any mention of how the historical role of the musician factored into Bikindi's power. Mbonimana and Karangwa touch on the idea that Bikindi was tapping into a power greater than that of the typical extremist, but they cut their own argument !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OR a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(!78#$(.#8!3'3+&$/ !F+,#&! ?+G+&2+B!%,(&2(2!C&2+./,(&/6 !HRRJC
45 short by only citing historical references in Bikindi's songs that recall 1959. They assert that Bikindi's music derived its inflammatory might from images of the 1959 revolution. But this ignores the rest of the lyrical content tha t stresses the evilness of the Tutsi and implies an irreconcilable difference and does not give adequate attention to the historical position of the singer as historian and social activist in Sub Saharan African society In this section I will use the e vidence in the indictment and the structure of Mbonimana and Karangwa's report as a foundation for a larger argument that the reason why Bikindi's actions, words, and music were so powerful is because they interact with the collective memory and rewrite hi story from an established place of authority. I look not only at Bikindi's seemingly hypnotic power, but also at the social institutions and individual values that afforded him such influence over rational, logical people. That Bikindi has been dubbed the "Rwandan Michael Jackson 41 for his popularity portrays some idea of just how large his group of listeners was. His music reached the ears of thousands of Rwandans through various means. The hate radio in the Rwandan genocide is often presented as the only way that his messages were disseminated, but Bikindi's music was recorded, sold, shared, sung and performed across Rwanda in the period before and during the genocide starting in 1987 with Twasezereye and continuing through 1994. His lyrics are coupled w ith traditional musical structures like call and response sections and a specific musical language that signal that his music is meant to be more than just something in the background at a caf, it is meant to be listened and responded to. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O" e5U/4),!K$&()@!SC!-_4))/+!G$&<7CF! *;(!E(@!S#8G!*+,($ ,!e(+5%!"N,!HRRHC!
46 Bikindi began his musical career as a folk artist. He had a rich understanding of the traditional music of Rwanda, as is shown by his first album (again, an album of wedding songs) and in his later popular music. As the New York Times reported in 2002 when Bikindi was up for trial by the International Criminal Tribunal, he set his lyrics of hate to traditional beats and rhythms, giving new meaning to traditional structures. As New York Time s reporter Donald McNeil wrote in 2002 it was Bikindi's ble nd of old with new that connected powerfully with his listeners. "His style was to infuse old folk songs with new rhythms and ideas. He wrote powerful rap lyrics that mixed English, French and Kinyarwandan and set them to traditional tunes. 42 This same art icle quotes Bikindi making the argument that he only wrote the songs to please the government. While it could be the case that Bikindi was only writing to gain the favor of the government considering the extensive revision process that his music was subje cted to by the Akazu and Habyarimana but even divorced from any one individual's intent, the power of the music is evident. To take the framework of an old tradition and cover it with a new idea retains the power of the original structure, but can turn th at power in a different direction. The momentum of music bolstered Bikindi's lyrics and gave them a connotation deeper than any speech or mere pop song could have managed. Bikindi's music w as made to bring up the values tied with songs and music, hearkenin g back to the days of myth and inject them with new messages for the present, effectively hijacking tradition with his hateful words. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH K$&()@!SC!e5U/4),!-_4))/+!G$&<7,F! *;(!E(@!S#8G!*+,($6! e(+5%!"N,!HRRHC
47 C HAPTER IV T HREE STRIKES : T HE SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPLICATIONS OF THRE E SONGS BY S IMON B IKINDI The three songs that Simon Bikindi was brought to trial for by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal were Twasezereye (We Bid Farewell), Nanga Abahutu (I Hate These Hutu), and Bene Sebahinzi (the Descendants of Sebahinzi). While these were not his only three songs, they were considered to be the most blatantly violent. In this chapter I seek to explain certain allusions in these songs in the hopes of making clear exactly why his words had such an impact. T WASEZEREYE : W E B ID F AREWELL Bikindi' s debut on the political music scene occurred during peacetime in 1987 on the 25th anniversary of Rwanda's independence. (Mbonimana 9) Twasezereye was at first presented as a song of national pride and rejoice for all Rwandans, to celebrate as one people t he anniversary of the colonial forces' departure. But even in that national context of unity, it articulates a thinly veiled resentment towards the Tutsi monarchy. Twasezereye resurfaced during the more tumultuous times leading up to the genocide, but with the titled slightly changed from "We bade farewell" to "We bid farewell," implying that there were yet more oppressors to get rid of. This time Twasezereye was aimed directly at dehumanizing the Tutsi people As such, it represented Bikindi's first explicit push towards Hutu solidarity. While Bikindi's lyrics refer to the evils of both colonial rule and the Tutsi monarchy, he dwells much longer on the particular ills of the Tutsi regime. Bikindi recalls "the whip and the chore," seeking to remind H utu of Rwanda's inhumane past. He
48 misconstrues the facts, though, by omitting the fact that Hutu and Tutsi are not different species and that Tutsi people came from Rwanda just as much as Hutu people. He uses images of slavery and colonization to insinuate that the Tutsi invaded Rwanda and took over the land from the Hutu. Per his usual structure, Bikindi uses this claim of alien invasion as a reason for the Hutu to band together as one. By invoking images of shared suffering, Bikindi creates a precedent fo r Hutu collective action. Mbonimana explains the whip as signifying colonial rule, but the references to miserable forced labor and compulsory marches are specific to the Tutsi kings. Colonial power is embodied in the ikiboko the whip, a form of corpora l punishment inflicted on citizens for lapses, and the shiku labour involving cash crop cultivation, but som etimes on arid land, an arduous task requiring hard work. In cont rast, the monarchical regime is portrayed in greater detail: uburetwa unpaid forc ed labour for Tutsi chiefs and sub chiefs, offering of gifts, long days of walking combined with nights spent out in the open with no gratitude in return. All that could render the regime abhorrent is cited. Such disproportionate treatment suggests that Rw andans in general and Hutu in particular are more resentful of the excesses of the Tutsi regime than those of the colonial system. Even the restrictions imposed by the colonizer are attributed to the Tutsi a s auxiliaries of colonial rule 43 A major theme in Bikindi's music describes the Tutsi as an extension of the Belgians. He is effectively rewriting myths about Rwanda, rec asting Tutsis as the antagonist and using racism to argue that the Tutsi are bad on the kinship level. In t he chorus of the song Bikindi sings directly to different parts of society as he calls to them according to their age and gender. His songs often include a section of call and response, but the chorus of Twasezereye is unusual in that it highlights the voice of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OT a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
49 the youth who di d not experience the revolution and only know of it secondhand. He first calls to the youth to listen and respond, and then to the adults and elders, encouraging them to tell the younger generations of their struggle against oppression. This device initiat es a literal interaction between the past as remembered in a very specific context: the context of this very militant song. Calling upon his listeners to remember or ask their elders reinforces the bond between generations and fosters a polarized environment in which the cycle of myth, belief, and propagation of a value can continue. Bikindi uses the most violent memories of the past in his music, setting the framework for and increasi ngly radical set of beliefs about the past and future to circulate. Another example of Bikindi misconstruing the past in his lyrics is when he references Grgoire Kayibanda, the first preside nt of post revolution Rwanda. Habyarimana ousted Kayibanda in a coup that occurred before this song was produced and released. The coup was advertised as bloodless by the media, but in reality 55 of Kayibanda's closest officials, lawyers, and businessmen were executed, and their families bribed into silence. Kayibanda himself and his wife were reportedly kidnapped and imprisoned in an undisclosed location until they starved to death. The coup was anything but bloodless, and Habyarimana was anything but a hero or a friend of Kayibanda. Yet in Twasezereye Bikindi plays t he role of mediator for Habyarimana who at the time of the release of Twasezereye was doing all he could to win over Rwandans who had been supporters of Kayibanda's regime. With the oral tradition so deeply embedded in Rwandan history, songs have a weight beyond measure. With Twasezereye Bikindi was able to transmit Habyarimana's new perspective on Kayibanda as if they had been allies all along in a blatant attempt to edit the collective memory.
50 The next stanza stanza 5, focuses on Habyarimana and Habya rimana alone. Though he was an Army Commander and not an actual political leader during the revolution, Habyarimana is lauded with the same level of admiration and devotion as the two leaders before him. His position as Army Commander at the time of indep endence is recalled, and Habyarimana is somehow elevated to the status of a hero of independence like his predecessors. His dedication and innate commitment to peace are extolled and he is in passing proclaimed pride of the youth, Rwanda's future. By the e nd of the verse, hi s a ura seems even to eclipse that of the rue heroes of independe nce, Kayibanda and Mbonyumutwa 44 In this one stanza Bikindi has elevated Habyarimana to the likes of Kayibanda and Mbonyumutwa, who had both become president of Rwanda through legitimate means, and washed over the truth that Habyarimana's succession was horribly violent and that Mbonyumutwa was neither respected nor liked by the general population. Bikindi is solely seeking to focus on the aspect of Hutu pride and solida rity and dismisses any evidence to the contrary, going as far as to say of Habyarimana "he loved peace from the moment he was born. 45 The second half of Twasezereye is a lengthy and repetitive call and response where Bikindi sings to each sub group of Rwa ndan society (omitting the explicit distinction of Hutu or Tutsi) individually, asking them to respond with "twenty five," the years since the feudal and the colonial regimes were overthrown. This may seem !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OO a&4>/@!U(>4$& 7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
51 innocuous, but the early reference to the monarchy is a direct allusion to the Tutsi. In engaging in call and response Bikindi is making listeners an active part of the new culture he is creating. Mbonimana eloquently describes how this section inculcates all parts of Rwanda society into this new order. Having called on the young people. Bikindi moves on to their elders and parents. When it is the turn of the old men and women, he emphasizes their role as privileged witnesses of the colonial era, living libraries, to paraphr ase the sage Hampat Ba. He in sists that they should recount their experiences to the youth, and makes them the cust odians of memory and tradition 46 As Giddens suggests, those who are in charge of preserving tradition have the power to shape the culture and values of future generati ons. As an artist of spoken word and song, Bikindi used his power as a guardian of those traditions to change the course of the entire nation of Rwanda. Twasezereye asks for more from its listeners than mere mental capitulation. In this song, Bikindi str esses memory in action. When he refers to the Bene Gahutu the sons of Gahutu the Hutu (the warrior ode), the listener must simultaneously add in his mind the Bene Gatutsi the sons of Gatutsi that is the Tutsi. The phrases containing the notion of memor y are often repeated in this song, like "Dear Rwandan, look back: do you remember the whip and forced labour, do you remember the days of unremunerated labour in the service of the chief? 47 He begs l isteners to keep those times in mind and to prove that t hey have not forgotten their, albeit reinvented, shared Hutu past !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O^ a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
52 B ENE S EBHAINZI OR I NTABAZA The second political composition by Bikindi to appear on Rwandan radio was Bene Sebhainzi or Intabaza translated as Sebahinzi's D escendants or The Alert. Mbonimana begins his analysis by explaining the different language forms used in Kinyarwanda depending on the subject matter and what is being conveyed In Bene Sebahinzi Bikindi makes liberal use of the language of ibisigo poems. In Kinyarwanda, to w rite a poem is precisely gusiga to convey things that are not readily understood, and the noun derived from it, ibisigo means a veiled message, difficult to decode. However, without the poet being cryptic or totally opaque, sometimes one needs to resort to gusigura to interpret a poem or a message that eludes an uninformed speaker or listener in the street A straightforward poem or song does no necessarily compel the listeners' appreciation. With Bikindi, one has to decode the meaning of the words and ex pressions or stylistic devices in order to appreciate the harshness of the language, the constant incitement of the Hutu to implacable hatred of the Tutsi 48 Bikindi begins Bene Sebahinzi by describing a dream sequence that the narrator of the song exper ienced, with Bikindi assuming the role of an all knowing guardian of the Hutu past. He describes his dream, and the people respond by reiterating the dream's story. "He dreamt that cows were eating cooked sorghum from the cover of baskets, that the cocks w ere no longer crowing and hens were no longer laying." This apocalyptic depiction of Rwanda sans Hutu revolution (a condition that is revealed throughout the song) not only asserts that Rwanda would be a miserable, starving hellhole should the Tutsi regai n power, and alludes to the Tutsi moving in on the resources that were rightly the Hutu's, the cow representing the Tutsi through their trade of herding, and the basket !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Od a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$# &'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
53 of sorghum signaling the Hutu as agriculturalists 49 In Bene Sebahinzi Bikindi again u ses his creative agency to recall only the most brutal parts of Tutsi rule. This includes the Kalinga drum, the royal drum used by Tutsi kings and decorated with the g enitals of defeated Hutu chiefs Bikindi pairs these horrific images of desolation and mi sery with indirect chiding that Hutu people must never betray their Hutu brethren warning that to turn away from Hutu extremism will certainly cause these nightmares to come to fruition This prophecy is all the more radical when considered in the context of Bikindi's version of history, where these scenes have been very real in the past. Bikindi is not merely inventing an image of the future, but claiming that he, as the all knowing musician, has seen these horrors occur in generations past and thus has t he authority to predict their recurrence. In this song Bikindi assumes the character Mutabazi "The Liberator," as he seeks save Rwanda from this bleak future by bringing the Hutu together and herding the Tutsi out. There are references that Mutabazi has t he ability to solve the problems only because he has been completely loyal to the Hutu cause. Mutabazi visits Biryabayoboke (soothsayer) to find the cure for the disease that is killing Rwanda. Mutabazi returns with news that if his message from the sooths ayer is not heeded, then Rwanda will continue on its downward spiral. Bikindi takes this chance to pick on those Hutu that he describes as having a short memory, for if they remembered the proper version of history (which, it seems, can change upon the whi m of the political leader in favor) they would surely already be deeply involved in the nationalist Hutu cause. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OI !! G//!300/&@4E!3!2$+!7$&
54 Again, Bikindi/Mutabazi calls for a unification of all Hutu peo ple against their common foe. According to the soothsayer the only way to defeat the Tutsi is for the Hutu to form a united and solid front. And Bikindi capitalizes on the imagination of the Hutu population, especially those who are in opposition to the MRND regime, so that they do not become allies of RPF, the enemy, but rather join the Hutu of MRND and CDR. The Hutu must be vigilant ( kuba maso ) and have a single goal, they must be Inpuzamugambi those who have the same goal. He requests them to forsake all the other parties in order to join CDR and support the Rwandan Armed Fo rces if need be. And it is as rubanda nyamwinshi the majority population, that the Hutu would call for democratic electio n, which they were sure to win. 50 N ANGA A BAHUTU "I H ATE H UTUS Nanga Abahutu was arguably Bikindi's most popular song during the genocide. A quick reading of the translation is enough to get the sense that the author is outraged. Even an outsider to the conflict can perceive that the songwriter is making powerful arguments against certain Hutus. Put into context, the song Nanga Aba hutu provides a useful example of the process of myth creation during the Rwandan genocide. Nanga Abahutu tells the story of Ngirengirente which translates to "the undecided." The rest of the song puts into context who is undecided and what they are und ecided about. Ngirengirente is a reference to any Hutu person not engaging actively in the nationalist campaign, with a specific tilt towards the youth 51 Throughout the song Bikindi enumerates different kinds of Hutu that he hates, all of which fall under the umbrella of traitor for their lack of devotion to the extremist Hutu cause. According to the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JR a&4>/@!U( >4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
55 report compiled for the ICTR, there are five categories of traitorous Hutus fo r whom Bikindi extols his hate, and a whole separate world of hate for the Ibyihu ture those who were born into Hutu families but became Tutsi by trade of cattle or by marrying into Tutsi families. This is an interesting distinction for Bikindi to make, because while he does argue that the Ibyihuture have renounced their Hutuness, thes e people also demonstrate th at Hutu and Tutsi are not labels writ in blood. "In the song, Bikindi, alias Mutabazi, identifies two categories of people he hates. They are firstly the Hutu and then the Ibyihuture The Hutu in question fall into five types: 1. Those who have renounced their Hutu identity; 2. Those who look down on other Hutu; 3. Those who are greedy, who merely live off ubuhake clien telism and bribes (doled out by Tutsi), who would go so far as to kill other Hutu. They are killers for hire; 4. Those who are so naive that they get involved in a war (alongside Inkotanyi Tutsi) the ins and outs of which they do not know, the fools; 5. Those who, when a Hutu makes a mistake, do not correct him by taking him aside so that the greater good, namely ensuring that the unity of the Hutu, endures. 52 Again we see the resurgence of Mutabazi the Liberator, setting Bikindi apart in a mythic shroud of authority as he enlightens the other characters in the song of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JH a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
56 dangerous traitors. Mbonimana identifie s three main characters that "the Liberator" addresses. The first is the afore mentioned Ngirengirente the undecided Hutu. The second is the deaf Hutu who does not wish to see the conflict as it is (i.e. as Bikindi and his constituents see it) and are tur ning their back on their Hutu heritage by not engaging in violence against Tutsis. Bikindi also uses Mberabumva roughly translated as "a word to the wise" in conjunction with his pleas to "come and listen!" for those who are willing to listen must be wis e. There is a secondary, more sinister meaning to the use of Mberabumva as well; that to listen is advisable while not listening to Bikindi's reasoning could result in personal harm. Bikindi references the Hutu Ten Commandments on several occasions thro ughout Nanga Abahutu, showing his dedication to Hutu extremism and desire to spread his hatred for the Tutsi to as many people as possible. The Hutu Ten Commandments was arguably the most inflammatory document preceding the genocide, formally stating rules separating Hutu and Tutsi and imploring Hutu people to completely disengage from any relations they might have with Tutsis. The first commandment of the Hutu Ten Commandments warns that all Tutsi women and girls are in fact spies for the Tutsi regime, sen t to weaken the unity among Hutus so that the Tutsis might regain power and enslave the Hutus yet again. Thus the same commandment states that any Hutu who marries a Tutsi woman is reno uncing their Hutu identity and becomes Ibyihuture the word that Bikind i uses in Nanga Abahutu when referencing Hutu men who marry Tutsi women. The fourth commandment, which denounces and business arrangements with people of Tutsi lineage, arrives in Nanga Abahutu when Bikindi uses the word ubuhake.
57 Ubuhake connects to he Hutu Ten Commandments and is an allusion to Rwanda's past of pastoral clientelism. This allusion is a good example of selectively remembered history, for in those times the designations of Hutu or Tutsi were particularly fluid, and were nearly solely conne c ted to socio economic standing, but in the context of Nanga Abahutu ubuhake was a strict and evil institution created by the Tutsi so they could enslave the Hutu completely. Bikindi overlooks the fact that under ubuhake a Hutu could become Tutsi by ownin g land While this was made difficult by the favoritism of the Tutsi lords for other Tutsi people, it was a very possible change that meant little a bout one's character or destiny [I am not suggesting that the system was kind or fair, nor am I suggesting that it would be the fault of a person of lower class should they not be able to make it into the upper class and I am certainly not stating that one class is better than the other. I do hope to demonstrate that, judging by the fact that the titles were c hangeable before the arrival of the Belgians, the people of Rwanda were of the same belief that "Hutu" and "Tutsi" were words describing socio economic standing, but not at all measures of worth.] Bikindi seems to forget that it was not the natural state of things for Hutu and Tutsi to be in opposition as he makes his case against doing business with the inherently conniving and manipulative Tutsi. Mbonimana notes that Bikindi goes as far as suggest that Hutus who do engage in business with Tutsi are liab le to kill other Hutu, should a Tutsi promise them money for it. Bikindi uses indirect but sadistic language: He hated the Hutu who kills another Hutu (implying that if he kills a Tutsi there is no problem). He declares his hatred for those Hutu who move blindly, lack judgment, are manipulated or receive money to kill a person and, what is more, kill a Hutu rather than an enemy for whom no
58 pity need be felt. Killing a Tutsi is a widely tolerated, indeed necessary, act of bravery (vv. 65 68). 53 The ninth c ommandment demanding Hutu solidarity is arguably the basis for the entire composition. "The Bahutu, wherever they may be, must be united, and show solidarity and concern for the lot of their Bahutu brothers. The Bahutu inside and outside Rwanda must always be on the lookout for friends and allies of the Hutu cause, starting with their Bahutu brothers." 54 Bikindi's whole purpose in Nanga Abahutu is to convey the importance of the idea described in the ninth commandment. Every allusion and reference that Bikin di makes throughout the song is with the purpose of calling the Hutu people to action as one solid unit against the Tutsi. Those who fail to hear the call will be lumped together as the other and eradicated along with the "cockroaches" and traitors that pl ague the Hutu fath erland. The final commandment states "The Social Revolution of 1959, the Referendum of 1961 and the Hutu Ideology must be taught to every Muhutu and at all levels. Every Muhutu must spread this ideology widely. Any Muhutu who persecutes his Muhutu brother for reading, spreading, or teaching the ideology is a traitor." This is represented in Bikindi's repeated pleas to the youth of Rwanda to learn about their shared past. To ensure that the proper version of history is remembered, Bikindi calls directly to men, women, and elders in Nanga Abahutu and even more explicitly in his other songs, to maintain this version of the past and indoctrinate their children into the Hutu cause. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JT a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;(,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B! I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
59 Bikindi provides examples of Hutu historical figures for th e listener to ponder as he extol s his messages of hate and suspicion. He sings, "I awaken the hero!" as he lists off six figures of the Hutu resistance who died fighting for equal representation in government. He fails to mention whether or not they died w hile Rwanda was under Tutsi rule, or Belgian rule via the Tutsi monarchy. The facts of their deaths, however, are not of importance in this song. The only important thing is that these people and their ends can be construed to be cases of martyrdom and use d as symbols of a common Hutu past. Bikindi rails against those Hutu who take for granted the sacrifice of these people dismissing whether or not they were against Tutsi people specifically or against repression in general by not engaging in genocide. A nother version of the song as translated by a different source includes these stanzas: O my brave! Mbwirabumva Come and listen Mbwirabumva Come and listen That God I swear, As I awaken the hero, dear comrades! I swear to God As I awaken the hero Rw akizima! I hate these species of Hutu, Walking blindly. I hate these species of Hutu,
60 These indiscriminate species of Hutu, Who start to make war Without knowing the cause, dear comrades! 55 This version of Nanga Abahutu includes a reference to different species of Hutu people. The outrageous statement appears more than halfway through the song, well after the listener has been worked into the nationalist mindset with increasingly dramatic and decreasingly factual argumen ts. There is nothing more dehumanizing than to blatantly assert that a group of people is not, in fact, human; t hat th ey are another species entirely It was a daring move for Bikindi to take his genocidal rhetoric and apply it to Hutu people as well as Tu tsis, but it was a risk with a huge reward. Once the enemy and its accomplices are defined as separate and non human they are that much easier to eradicate. One of the most startling aspects of the Rwandan genocide was the way in which most massacres took place. The use of the machete as a tool for mass slaughter is horrifyingly personal, yet it was the weapon of choice throughout the genocide. With the context of Bikindi's music, however, the linkage between dehumanization and ruthless brutality is evident The myth that Bikindi helped create turned Tutsi into cockroaches along with any Hutu who might help them. The people engaging in genocide and violence were following the logic that they were not attacking other people. They were believing in the new myt h circulating throughout Rwanda and operating under the idea that the only way to survive was to kill off all the Tutsi and their spies. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JJ a&4>/@!U(>4$&7!D&>/+&(>4$&()!P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2$+!L1(&@(C! *;( ,3/+.!3&3)0$+$!#4! /;(!$#&'$! *@3$(A(8(0(B!I(!J32(!438(@())K!E3&'3!3J 3;
61 Bikindi's words alone are powerful, but what gave them the power to inspire people to act was the fact that they were presented with the context of traditional music, giving his messages a power reserved solely for musicians. The role of music and the spoken word in Rwanda is deeply established, and when Habyarimana, the Akazu and Bikindi tapped into that resource they w ere wielding the power of generations of tradition. Bikindi's music confused history and put words in the mouths of his listeners, lead them to take his conclusions as their own, and eventually changed the decisions made by the people of Rwanda. By inventi ng a new set of collective memories and corrupting the tradition of spoken word, Bikindi and the Akazu held Rwanda hostage in a prison if misinformation. Without truth and with much persuasion, the people of Rwanda followed the only logic that was availabl e to them, the logic of racism with the conclusion of genocide.
62 C ONCLUSION The pages dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide in the Gale Spannus E ncycolpedia of Race and Racism begin by describing the two main threads of discourse surrounding it. For the most part, the academic approach has been to seek to explain away the conflict as the result of the manipulation of a people by their government, and largely ignoring the acts of personal violence. The journalistic view has been mainly "pornographic," putting violence at the forefront, As in pornography, the nakedness is of others, not us. The exposure goes alongside the unstated claim that we are not like them. This is pornograp hy in which senseless violence is a feature of other people's cultures: they are violent, but we are pacific, and a focus on their debasedness easily turns into another way of celebrating and c onfirming our exalted status. 56 Both of these approaches, the academic and the journalistic, fail to communicate what is actually the most important and most disturbing aspect of the genocide that it was carried out by people who were just as rational, just as capable, and just as human as any of us. Throughout the course of this thesis I have aimed to show the process through which music played a part in normalizing violence and murder. When researching music in Rwanda, I discovered that it has been responsible for the transmission of history and beliefs since long before Simon Bikindi appeared on the scene, and that he was carrying the torch of generations of musicians and griots by shaping the political scene. Considering music as a means of creating history, I sought to explore the roles that myths and generated truths play in our concept of self, our concept of the world around us, our concept of self in relation to the world around us, and our moral and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J^ -&.0.)#1(2+3!#4!53 .(!3&2!53.+$,6! 7C8C!-S/&$54@/!4&!L1(&@(CF
63 decision making processes. Here I began to understand how music as a tool of culture, and even more important ly, history, had the potential to seriously affect the outcome of the Rwandan genocide. I also hoped that this chapter would make clearer that music is indeed very important in this society. By relating music as a means of creating culture in a more genera l sense I wanted to offer to the reader an avenue for understanding how arguments for genocide and violence can be made convincing. In Rwanda, Bikindi used his music to threaten that which was most important to Rwandans, being allowed to remain a part of t he collective. !
64 3 MMXUKDj! QX!Z`LDPG!:b! G De:U! D_DUKD 6 G!e:G.!M:MaZ3L!3UK!e :G.!DUbZ3ee3.:L`!G:U SG I%F-T-5-S6 E %EN%! % ?%L9*9 6 !3UK! ? -E-! F -?%LCETC 6 !.L3UGZ3.XK!3UK!U:.3 .XK!.:!DUKDP3.X!e:eX U.G! cQXLX!GMXPDbDP!e aGDP3Z!KXVDPXG!3LX!X eMZ:`XK !Z`LDPG!.Q3.!KXUDSL3 .X! a.GD !3UK XU.LX3.DXG!b:L! Q a.a!G:ZDK3LD.` k .+(&7)(>/@!)A+457!(7!0=;)47%/@!4&!>%/!/E0/+>!+/0$+>!0+/0(+/@!2$+!>%/!D&>/+&(>4$&()! P+4B4&()!.+4;=&()!2 $+!L1(&@( !;A!S(B()4/)!e;$&4B(&(!(&@!#/(&!@/!K4/=!_(+(&<1( l Dashes under text indicate negative reference to Tutsi and/or moderate Hutu Heavily underlined text indicates a call to Hutu solidarity or common memory I. TWASEZEREYE INGOMA YA CYAMI I. WE BADE FAREWELL TO THE MONARCHY Text: Refrain (R/) We have put the monarchy behind us The bad feudal and colonial yokes have departed together So we now have the democracy which suits us. Come, let us rejoice for our independence. Verses (v.5.1.) D ear Rwandans, cast a glance behind you:
6 5 remember the whip and forced labor! remember the days without pay working for the chief and celebrate independence! (2) Remember the days of walking, sleepless nights outdoors, transporting gifts to offer the chief or tribute to the royal court depriving your family which needed them and carrying these goods to their destination which weighed heavily on your head and with no thanks for doing so. Come, let us celebrate independence! (an incomprehensible warrior ode follows) (3) I am very young and I did not go through that situation, I was told about it I even read about it And when I understood, I praised the Creator, He who spared me that grief; This is the particular r eason that prompts me to celebrate independence. (4) I pay great tribute to the militants who freed us,
66 25 Kayindanda first among them, I am thinkin g about Mbonyumutwa in particular and their brave comrades to whom we owe this independence. (5) For the well born worth waits not on their years, in that era, Habyarimana was in the forefront, commanding the army; he loved peace from the moment he was born and he is still fighting for it Ayiii! We acclaim you, pride of the youth. May you continue to lead the army gallantly! (6) How many years of independence have we behi nd us, dear Rwandans? R/ Twenty five years. 1. Rwandan youth, do you know how many? R/ 2. And you young girls, do you know how many? R/ 3. And you young men, do you know how many? R/ 4. Men of middle age, do you know how many? R/ 5. Women of mid dle age, do you know how many? R/ 6. Old men, tell them! R/ 7. Old women, tell them! R/
67 8. Y ou lived through those nights. R/ 9. Adolescents of b oth genders, R/ 10. Such days are painful to talked about: R/ 1 1. May you never experience such nights! R/ 12. Such times are not to be talked about! R/
68 II. NANGA ABAHUTU II. I HATE THESE HU TU or THE AWAKENING N.B.: The intervention Mutabazi (Bikindi) is in italics A Ngirengirente (the undecided) was a child who made his mother sad and was a concern to his father, dear comrades! The deaf gave birth to the deaf The unanointed gave birth to the madman, 5 the bush gave birth to the owl, dear comrades! "The truth passes through fire without burning" and, it is said, "to tell the truth does not prevent good neighborliness" Mbwirabumva (A w ord to the wise)! Come and listen! 10 Mbwirabumv a (A word to the wise)! Let me swear to God! Let me swear to Go d and I awaken victory, dear comrades! Let me swear to God and I awaken the hero Rwakizima
69 As for me, I hate th e Hutu (Twice) 15 As for me I hate the Ibihutu and I hate the Ibyihuture dear comrades What about you, Mutabazi? Allow me to say it, Oh Ntuza! My heart is gripped by anguish! I am going to tell you why I hate them, yes! I hate the Hutu 25 who renounce their identity identity, Abahozi! I hate the Hutu Who greatl y despise one another Claiming that they are better than others 30 and do not want to share fo o d and drink with other Hutu, dear comrades! I hate the Hutu The Hutu with big bellies, Those who only stuff their bellies, who like to curry favor 35 and who live only on clientelism d ear comrades! But can you really blame a man for that? If I hate those people, that's fine.
70 Our luck is that there are few among us, dear comrades! 40 Those who have strayed are few Our luck is that there are few among us, dear comrades! B Ngirengirente (the undecided) was a child who made his mother sad and was a concern to his father, dear comrades! 45 Moreover, they say that the deaf gave birth to the deaf that the unanointed gave birth to the madman, that the bush gave birth to the owl, dear comrades! "The truth passes through fire without burning" and, as the adage says, "to tell the truth does not prevent good neighborliness" oh my good people! 50 Mbwirabumva (A word to the wise) Come and listen Mbwirabumva (A word to the wise) Come and listen Let me swear to God! 55 Let me awaken the hero, dear comrades! Let me swear to God
71 Let me awaken the hero Rwakizima! Me, I hate those so and so Hutu (twice) who wal k blindly along 60 Me, I hate those so and so Hutu the so and so Hutu without proper judgment who set about fighting a war the cause of which they do not know, dear comrades! They are tearing one another apart, aren't they ? What a disaster! 65 Me, I hate the Hutu The Hutu who is bought for a single coin And who kills a Hutu who kills a Hutu, dear comrades! Oh yes! 70 If I hate those people, that's fine! (twice) Me as well I Our luck, is that they are few among us, dear comrades! (bis)
72 C The deaf gave birth to the deaf, 75 the bush gave birth to the owl, dear comrades! "The truth p asses through fire and does not burn" and "to tell the truth does not pr event good neighborliness" oh my good people! Mbwirabum va (A word to the wise)! ( ter ) 80 Come and listen! Let me swear to God, let me awaken the hero! Let me swear to God and awaken the hero Rwakizima! Me, I hate the Hutu, those Hutu who do not remember Nzira, son of Muramira 85 who do not remember the way he died and who do not remember the cause of his death. And who do not remember the death he died, my child! Me, I hate the Hutu, those Hutu who do not remember Mashira son of Subugabo 90 over there in Nyanza and who do not remember the death that he died, and who do not remember the cause of his death, dear comrades! Idiocy, isn't it? Me, I hate the Hutu 95 those Hutu who do not remember Nyagakecuru on the range of Mount Huye,
73 who do not reme mber what death she died and who do not remember the cause of her death, dear comrades! Is there anyone who does not think about it? 100 Me, I hate the Hutu, those Hutu who do not remember who do not remember the saying: You must take care of Ruhande by killing Mpandahande" 105 Over there in Butare, dear comrades! Me, I hate the Hutu, these Hutu who do not remember Rukara, son of Bishingwe Or Basebya, as well as Ndunguste 110 At Ruhengeri in Murera [those Hutu] who do not remember the cause of their death, dear comrades! Oh, yes! My child! Those Hutu who do not remember Rukara, son of Bishingwe, 115 and who do not remember the way he was hanged, Basebya along with Ndunguste At Rhuengeri in Murera, and who do not remember the cause of their death, dear comrades!
74 Treason, of course! 120 If I hate those people, that's fine! ( bis ) Our luck is that there are few among us, dear comrades! (bis) D The deaf gave bi rth to the deaf, the unanointed gave birth to the madman, 125 the bush gave birth to the owl, dear com rades! Mbwirabumva (A word to the wise)! ( ter) Come and listen! Let me swear to God ( bis ) Let me awaken the hero Rwakizima! 130 Let me swear to God (twice) and let me awaken the hero Rwakizima! Me, I hate the Hutu, who do not take the offending Hutu aside 135 in order to make him mend his ways there on the spot, but to maintain unity, dear comrades! Instead of that they give him a long hug!
75 Me, I hate the H utu who do not take the 140 offending Hutu aside in order to make him mend his ways there on the spot, but to maintain unity, dear comrades! Nothing more than greed! If I hate those people, that's fine! (twice) 145 Our luck is that they are few among us, dear comrades! Me, I hate the Hutu, the pot bellied Hutu those ones who only stuff their bellies, 150 who like to curry favor and who live only on clientelism Me, I hate the Hutu who are very arrogant, who are braggar ts 155 and who look down on other Hutu, dear comrades! Is it allowed to look down on your own people? Me, I hate the Hutu, I hate the Ibyihuture dear comrades! Me, I hate the Hutu!
76 160 Me, I hate the Ibihutu who walk blindly along Like idiots! Ibihutu who lack common sense who set people against each other and tear one another apart, 165 who are fighting a war the cause of which they do not know, dear comrades! Me, I hate the Hutu, the Hutu who is bough with a single coin and who kills a fellow Hutu, dear comrades 170 And who kills, I swear to you And who kills a fellow Hutu, dear comrades! If I hate those people, that's fine! (twice) No! That's fine! Our luck, 175 is that they are few among us, dear comrades! ( twice) E Ngirengirente (the undecided) was a child who made his mother sad and was a concern to his father, dear comrades! The deaf gave birth to the deaf the unanointe d gave birth to the madman,
77 180 the bush gave b irth to the owl, dear comrades! ''Truth passes t hrough fire without burning" and, it is said, "to tell the truth does not prevent good neighborliness", oh my good people! Mbwirabumv a (A word to the wise)! (10 times) Come and listen!
78 III BENE SEBAHINZI THE DESCENDANTS OF SEBAHINZI (Refrain: sung in c horus) (1) If I could [have] a bold chi ld and another with fast feet (t wice) So that I can send them to Muhinzi, he who saved the harvesters by driving away the Mwima and Mushirarungu stockbreeders. You say: q uick, to the rescue, he dreamt that cows were eating cooked sorghum from the covers of baskets, that the cocks were no longer crowing and hens were no longer laying. You say: quick, to the rescue, he dreamt that the Inyambarabishahu was defeated again, the children of Sebahinzi warding him off again. You say: quick, to the rescue, the sower of strife is among you and you are going to tear one another apart, the young and the old. You say: to the rescue, Nshimutamugabumwe [the abductor], the enemy of Bishingwe's son has settled in our community and people are being killed with the spear
79 You say: quick, to the rescue, he dreamt that parents were going to cry bitterly and that children would soon become orphans, your brothers are going to sell Rwanda, to the rescue! ( Three verses sung by Bikindi ) (2) 1. I have cross ed Ndonva and Mayaga from Mutara I have gone to Buliza and Bwanacyambwe I have travel led up and down Buganza and Bugesera I have even travelled all over Gisaka and everywhe re, I have found that it is the descendants of Sebahi nzi who are tearing one another apart. (3) 2. I have gone thro ugh Buyenzi and Bwanamukari I have g one thro ugh Busanza and Bufundu I have gone through Nduga after covering Busaha I went through Bumbogo and Bukonya I have travelled all over Bugoyi Everywhere, I have found that it is the descendants of Sebahinzi who are tearing one another apa rt. (4) 3. I have crossed the Kanage of the Bashakamba
80 I have travelled all over Bwishaza I have gone through Rusenyi and Ntantango I have crossed the whole of Kinyaga everywhere, I have found that it is the descendants of Sebahinzi who are tearing one another apart. ( followed by the staging of a divination session, in declaimed dialogue with a musical background) (5) Good d ay to the household o f Biryabayoboke [only the faithfu l eat it] Househ old of Biryabayoboke, how are you? Who are yo u? And may God be with you? It's Mutabazi. Com e in! Why are you coming so late? I thought that you would not come. Sit here on the mat. I would have arrived earlier (t wice), but the paths are not all safe. The descendants o f Sebahinzi are killing one another, destroying each other's house s, looting one another. Dear Biryabayobok e, I no longer know what is happening in this Rwanda Good, spit on these grains [of divination] so that I can start the consultation.
81 (sound of spitting) Peace, peace be upon Rwanda, peace be upon its inhabitants, Peace be upon the extended family of Sebahinzi's descendants! Dear brother Biryabayoboke! Tell me the cause of the disunion a mong Sebahinzi's descendants, among my brothers who risk being exterminated. Find me the antidote which would put an end to the dissension among Sebahinzi's descendants and restore peace in Rwanda. (deliberate sneeze) He is smiling, he is smi ling, Mutabazi the fa rmer, the descendant of Sebahinzi he is in good health and cannot die unexpectedly he is neither a stalk of sorghum nor the one struck down by death, nor the meat of destiny and is not embraced by the one returning after a long ab sence, attacking from abroad. (6) I performe d divination among the Basindi and Babanda, I performe d divination among the Bega and the Bazigaba, I perfo rme d divination among the Buguyane and the B agesera, I performed divination in Rurengamihizi's home, you should be given the been remaini ng in the jug. Heee!
82 (7) I performed divination and I predicted to Mash ira the Hutu, son of Sabugabo, over there in Ny anza, I predicted to him that the girl who was given to him in marriage was not just a wife, but rather a spy who was to prepare his murder. A real spy! He did not want to take my advice and all his people have been exterminated. (8) I performed divination for Nyaruzi, son of Haramanga, in Mukindo near Makawza. (9) I perfomed divinat ion for Benginzage [alias] Nyagakecuru over there in the Huye range, I told her that her goat herds were rather seeking his head; the next day she was indeed murdered. Yes, it was done quickly. (10) I performed divination Gisu rere in Suti from Banega Over there in Banyambiri, I performed it for Ndagano the kind of the Bukunizi and of the Busozo. (11) I performed divination for Nzira the Hutu, son of Muramira, telling him that Ruganzu did not ente r his hou se as a servant, but as an enemy spy who had infiltrated through his army. He did not listen to my advice and the follow day all his people were exterminated by this same Ruganzu. (12) I did divination for Ndungste and I did it for Basebya, son of Nyirantwari, in Ndorwa,
83 I told them that they had been betrayed, that they would be killed and that Rukara would be hanged. A while later, that happened: he was hanged. (13) At the side of the famous Joseph Gitera, I performed divination for Mbonyumtwa while the country was on the edge of the abyss. The alarm sounded in Byimana and the war drum was heard in Kayanza in Ndiza. At that t ime, Sebahinzi's descendants came together and the antidote I administrated to them secured them victory: Consequently, forced labo r and slavery disappeared for good. (15) [ sic ] Mutaba, Mutabazi, let me give you the antidote Oh my dear bowl, do not let me down fin d the origin of this disagreement among the of Sebahinzi. Find the solution that would restore peace here in Rwanda (16) Mutabazi, here is the cause: all these misfortunes are due to the one returning after a long absence, attacking from abroad, and above all to the ignorance and greed of some people among the descendants of Sebahinzi Greed, I swear to you! Dear Mu taba, apparently the one returning is full of trickery. So what are we going to do? Nothing more than greed. (17) Mutaba, what are we going to do? Fortunat ely, you have come in time, if not, it would have been a disaster. See how he dis guises himself as a woman
84 See ho w he tak es the shape of a girl. See how he tran sforms himself into a child of the family. Mutaba, see how he comes like a wolf See how he trans forms himself into a farmer, But with the sheath of a sword like the handle of a hoe. Dear Mutaba, this return ing one is on the move (18) See how he blen d s i n among the greedy. See how he becomes Ntibibuka's brother in law ["the one with a short memory"]. See how he becomes a son in law. See how he insidiously offers a cow to one of the descendants of Sebahinzi. Mutaba, even if this returning one is full of trickery, what makes me rejoice greatly is that my grains [for divination] h ave completely revealed him, we will defeat him and render him harmless. (19) There is the antidote: take a container and place it under the drainpipe, and call all the descendants of Sebahinzi to come then I shall give them the antidote, call them. (music: song accompanying the cithara) Yeeh! Y e! "A word to the wise", "A word to the wise" [ Mbwirabumva] We are awakened, we are listening to you, we are listenin g to you!
85 (20) Portage, slavery, the whip, forced labor, the palanquin had overwhelmed the people, and that disappeared for good long ago You people in the majority, be vigilant and you descendants of Sebahinzi, remember this evil let him stay abroad, far from us so that he will never return to Rwanda (declaime d Dial ogue) (21) Let them co me, Sebahinzi's descendants! Let them k now that this Rwanda comprises several regions which make it the great coun try inhabited by Rwandans! (22) Let Sebahinzi's descendants know that these Rwandans are divided into three categories [ amoko ], Gahutu, Gatwa and Gatutsi. This reality does not change. We must all recognize that no one asked to be born Hutu, Twa or Tutsi. And so? So, we recognize that no one is superior to the other, that no one must have more rights than the other and that priority must be given to the interests of the people in the majority. Exact ly. Ayyyyiiii! So cal l the descendants of Sebahinzi, let them come and take the antidote. (23) Let them come! All the descendants of Sebahinzi, irrespective of political affiliation, must recognize the usefulness and benefits resulting from the heritage
86 the majority of the people acq uired through the 1959 Revolution. This heritage must be maintained without being eroded; on the contrary, we who have benefited from its usefulness must maintain its memory and praise it forever, so that we will pass it on to posterity. Ayyy yii i! So call th e descendants of Sebahinzi! Let them come and take the antidote that I will give them. (24) Let them c ome, Sebahinzi's descendants! We must know that if the Inkotanyi gain victory by the bullets from guns, which by the way is impossible, their various parties wi ll be wiped out and their members would be exterminated just as the Hutu king s were, before, the following morning, the victorious Tutsi open the vigil of the feats of arms with these words : "Once up a time, may it no longer happen! The dogs and the rats are dead, Only the cow and the drum have survived" We really do not remember that episode: Shame on us that we do not remember it! (25) Let them come, the descendants of Sebahinzi! They must understand that the
87 people in the majority must unite and be truly Impuzamugambi [those who have the same objectives] so that their interests are not attacked (26) The desce ndants of Sebahinzi must firmly and selflessly support the Rwandan Armed Fo rces and if need be join them to protect the homeland and the integrity of the Republic Ayyiii (27) Let them c ome, the descendants of Sebahinzi! Be he Hu tu, Twa or Tutsi, let no one make a mistake or dream of taking power through arms. (28) So, descen dants of Sebahinzi, call for the preparation and conduct of the elections as early as possible, because the courageous and the patriots have come forward, while you know who are the enemies of peace, the grabbers and opportunists. So, call for elec tions and if someone offers you a drink, you should drink it while keeping th e secret in your h eart, you know your favorites (29) We are true democracy, transparent and free of arms, a democracy without fraud, and then we, who represent the majority of the people, will have a space that will enable us to choose our leaders, and whatever happens, we shall overcome.
88 (Repeat o f declamation) Let them come, the descendants of Sebahinzi! They must know that at this decisive turning point for strengthening the Republic and true democracy, it is the majority of the people who give power through transparent elections. Arms and intrigues are hardly sign of true democracy. The citizens want leaders to appear through fair unrigged elections. So, call for elections! If a Hutu is elected, let us accept that he should rule us, if a Tutsi is elected, let us accept that he should rule us, Twa is elected, let us accept that he should rule us. Rwanda belongs to the three of us, no one is superior to the other. Heeee. (30) Mutabazi! I merely perform divination, I do not change destiny. You are very competent as a soothsayer I do not even ask you for fees, Simply f o llow my prescriptions. For God's sake, call the descendants of Sebahinzi, So that they come and present a common front. (alternately sun and spoken) (Sung)
89 (31) A word to the wise, child of my mother! A word to the wise, child of my father! Tell me, I b eg you ( ter ) If you have understood what I have told you (spoken) But what do you want? Be calm, I have understood it all. (sung) A word to the wise, child of my father! Have you h eard the call for help? Have you h eard the call for help? Have you h ea r d the alarm? Tell me, I beg you (t wice) If you have understood what I have told you. But what do you want? Be calm, I have understood it all. (spoken) Yes, I h a ve understood you I heartily congratulate you (twice) ( Sung) If you have understood what I have told you (twice) Ponder w ell upon these words Whether i n the morning, during the day, in the evening, Ponder at length upon what I have told you, A word to the wise, child of my father
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