Rwanda landscape and memory Bannon -6646.JPG
Jean d’Amour Ngaboniza
Motorcycle Taxi driver
“When I was a boy my nickname was “Ife” or the fish. During the genocide I hid in the valley near Kayenzi. A woman brought me food where I was hiding which was dangerous for her. If she was caught she would be forced to kill me and she could be killed too.
During the genocide this lake served in two ways. It was used to save people and used by others to kill people.
During that time, It was too far to come to town and I didn’t see the lake.
Even today I still love swimming and can’t go more than three days without being in the water.”
My cousin still lives by the lake and I can talk to her because she is my age. What can I say to the younger ones? They don’t know. I tease her- “Remember when we were young and you stole my potato?”
When we were kids we looked after cows on Imbabara Island. The cows swam across and we’d cross too, but in a boat.
When we got home one day I put two potatoes on the fire to cook. After milking the cows I came to eat and only found one potato.
My cousin insisted that there was only one. Today I tease her… “Where is my potato?” and she teases me back. She’s proud now. “Yes, I ate your potato!”
Kibuye, Rwanda Photo by Brendan Bannon March 2, 2014