by Jean-Marie V. Rurangwa
Written to be performed by college students and presented to young audiences, The Whims of Destiny delivers a lot of graphic and authentic information about the Rwanda genocide in a concise short play that turns around a particular group of Hutus and Tutsis both during and shortly following the events of 1994. Sakabaka is a militant Hutu Interahamwe warrior whose first appearance onstage is with his machete soaked in blood. In Act I, he tries to convince his brother-in-law Minega, also Hutu, to take up the machete and murder his own Tutsi (1/4 blood) wife and children. Minega’s sister arrives bloodied, having already done the deed. The arguments put forward are a clear and chilling portrait of the claimed Hutu “logic” for the killing. In Act II, we are with a group of Tutsis, one a survivor of horrific attrocities (described), talking about whether they can or should stay in Rwanda to rebuild their nation after the total decimation of their families. Suddenly, Sakabaka appears with a surprising story – on his father’s deathbed, Sakabaka learned that he was a Tutsi orphan taken and raised as a Hutu. He is now in search of his Tutsi family and in this house he discovers them – in fact he discovers his cousin, who accuses him of being the assassin who raped and murdered her family. The play ends with Sakabaka calling out in tears and anguish.