Art is not just about entertainment. It is also a way to give a message that affects people’s hearts and intellect. Art is a tool for education especially among the youth. The way all people can laugh and cry as an expression of their emotions, is the same way that art (music, plays, poems and others) liked by many, affects people who benefit from it even long afterwards, as they will always remember one artistic work or another because of how it made them feel. The message in artistic works impacts on people’s lives (positively or negatively).
During the years that preceded the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, some musicians used their artistic skills in songs and poems that encouraged people to hate fellow Rwandans. Some of these songs openly called to killing. Words in some of these songs used during meetings and elsewhere denoted extreme, bloody violence. For example:
- "Ishyaka ni CDR ndagatora mama, umwanzi wacu ni umwe ni umututsi" It means:"I swear CDR is the only party, we have a common enemy, the Tutsi". Another song that was an important tool for genocide perpetrators was “yee tubatsembatsembe”, literally, "let’s kill them all."
- The official song of CDR party, was played on the national radio every Friday before that party’s program on radio Rwanda. This song contained words like "...abahutu turi maso, CDR kaze neza’’ meaning "we the Hutu are ready, welcome CDR’’
Music definitely played an important role in encouraging Rwandans to the division, and sensitizing Hutu to kill Tutsi.
So if music was a tool to exterminate human beings and destroy the society in general, it is only just today to use that same tool in rebuilding our country and restoring morals that were shaken by the genocide against the Tutsi.
That is the objective of KMP foundation; using art (music, poems, drama and others) in every possible way, in spreading a message that restores peace among Rwandans, unity and reconciliation, non-violence and the really love of the country.