Members of Gakondo Group visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial on Tuesday 12 April 2016 to pay respects to the victims of Genocide against the Tutsi and learn about the causes, reality and consequences of the Genocide. The group was joined by some of their fans for the visit.
Gakondo Group is made up of artists and musicians who share the goal of promoting Rwanda’s musical heritage and using their talents to build peace and preserve the memory of Genocide. The group provides educational artistic sketches that share a message of unity and nation building.
“In this week, we can’t focus only on entertainment and educating our viewers about our country’s horrific past, it’s also our duty to join other Rwandans in commemoration,” the group members said.
Their visit began with a tour of the memorial’s exhibition and grounds, followed by the burial place where more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide are laid to rest.
During the visit, the group was informed about the horrific role youth played during the Genocide, with many of the killers young people. On learning about the role of youth in the Genocide, Gakondo leader Intore Masamba said:
“I regret that Rwandan youth participated severely in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The youth of today has to use their strengths and unite their forces in developing and constructing the better country that Rwandans deserve.”
The members of the Gakondo artistic group expressed their thoughts and feelings after their tour by leaving personal messages in the memorial’s guestbook, promising to promote peace through arts, not only for Rwandans, but also for the entire world:
“What happened in the Genocide was unbelievable and extra-ordinary, so we have to take extra-ordinary measures and goals so as to eradicate genocide and rebuild our country. We have to learn from history in order to build a better future.” – Raul Gisanura Ngenzi
“It is of utmost importance to remember what happened in Rwanda, in order avoid that it can happen again. In addition, commemoration give us the opportunity to pay respects to genocide victims, and we get lessons from that event.” – Jean Runuya