With a few more theater presentations emerging, Quest to the Cure is one of the pieces, which has steadily been evolving since 2016, yet it returned this year.
“Staging this play is a channel we found could contribute to the Unity and Reconciliation process, since it is youth who spearheaded the fateful event that led to the horrors,” Isaac Basomingera, an administrator of Shekinah Darama Team.
Staging at the Kigali City Tower (KCT) Ground floor in April 22 was its third this year, having been screened at Evangelical Restoration Church and Kimisagara on April 15th, the production is one which evokes reaction among audiences, “I am personally a victim of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and this is my story, and is reflective of what I have experienced,” remarks Ntarukinama (not real names), who has watched it twice.
With a lead cast of Joz acted as Kaliza, Jordan as Rugamba , Jules Acted as Ndahiro, while Lillian acted as Murekatete, the 1 hour and 30 minutes production emerges with depiction of the experience that most youth born after the 1994 Genocide hold. It unveils a mind of curiosity, of one lost amidst the genocide aftermath and post Genocide era.
Kaliza embarks on a quest of uncovering answers as to what might have sparked this fateful disaster by escaping from her parents abroad, and coming to Rwanda to do research.
Meeting Murekatete, who embraces her, she shares her motive. But Kaliza is haunted by comparison between where she grew up, to why a country so beautiful and warm, yet with this dark past of the Genocide.
But with more questions emerging, so does the emotional and psychological torture of being haunted by the burden of unanswered questions of the dark past-How could this have occurred?
Confronted by Murekatete, who rather advises her to relax, and not to force herself into learning of this dark past- which she terms a complicated one, Kaliza seeks more from the library, where she meets Rubamba.
Further visiting Rugamba’s family, where she meets with his mother, a widow too, with bitterness recounts, and still carries the fresh burden of the event that led to the massacre of her husband, that she bursts out in tears, Kalisa realizes how much emptiness fills this family too.
But Kaliza’s quest is one which also bothers some, like Ndahiro, a restaurant owner by the neighborhood, who too is affected by the dark past, but in a different way, that sharing it is one which bothers him too.
One of Kaliza’s shocking discoveries is through a phone call she receives from his father, which reveals how she is born of a Hutu and Tutsi family.
Assembling it all, Kaliza realizes how the Unity and Reconciliation, as one of Rwanda’s building tool prevails, but amidst more anxiety by the youth she is surrounded with, and cultural differences amidst a history they each haven’t made peace with.
More so is a debate, where most ponder on why the 1994 scourge made way into holy places of worship like churches, which would have acted contrary.
Love God, and love your neighbor and yourself is what this presentation molds its public to.
On stage, the uniqueness it holds is how it takes the audience into both the present, but with a live narration of the past, with vivid action of what and how Rwanda was before and into the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis. This is accompanied by live contemporary dance, and acoustic music by a band.
With heart-touching scenes, which evoke emotions and real meditation, the production is one which impacts many into visualizing actuality of what happened, while it reflects situations which leave the audience in excitement and wonder.
To Duke, a visiting American scholar, this presentation seems a rich one, though fully in Ikinyawanda, which limits it to the local audience.
“We have majorly directed it to Rwandans’ since they are at the core centre of it all, but we realize how there are some, who are in the Diaspora and would benefit more if it is translated, which we are working on too,” explains Basomingera.
“Though not many have had a chance to watch it, is a quite better way to tell our story to many out there,” urges Ntarukimana.
Concluding Kigali screenings with one taking place on April 29th at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Amphitheater, the presentation is to be taken onto a country tour through various schools according to Basomingera.
Having attracted partners like AEGIS Trust, The Journal, Fidelli Rwanda, and the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), the production is hoped to impact many.