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Forgiveness – The unpopular weapon: Jean Paul Samputu at TEDxHagueAcademy


Translator: Mohand Habchi
Reviewer: Denise RQ (“No More Genocide” by Jean Paul Samputu)
(Sings in Kinyarwanda) ♪ 19 years of suffering ♪ ♪ 19 years of wondering ♪ ♪ 19 years of remembering ♪ (Sings in Kinyarwanda) ♪ 19 years of suffering ♪ ♪ 19 years of wondering ♪ ♪ 19 years of remembering ♪ ♪ No more genocide in Rwanda ♪ ♪ No more genocide in the world ♪ ♪ No more ♪ ♪ No more, no more, no more ♪ ♪ No more, no more ♪ ♪ No more, no more, no more ♪ (Applause) Thank you. In 1994, a genocide happened in Rwanda, and one million people
were murdered in 90 days. During that genocide, I lost my parents,
three brothers, and my sister. When after the genocide
I went back to my village, I asked some genocide
survivors what happened – I wanted to know – and I learnt that my parents were killed by one of my best friend
from my childhood. I lost my mind. It destroyed my life. I could not understand why a such a good friend did that to me. It took me nine years dealing with anger, resentment and bitterness. At a certain point, I could not sing, I could not show up on the stage, I could not honor my contracts
as a musician and a singer. Some of my friends tried to help me. They brought me to see
witch doctors who tried to heal me. I met some doctors. And one day, – I went to Uganda
because I could not stay in Rwanda – some friends took a decision and said: “Jean Paul is going to die. What can we do? Let us try and see if we can pray for him as we are waiting him to die.” I went to Prayer Mountain, and I spent time there learning
the Word of God, praying. One day, I decided to take a decision. I had bad memories
about what happened in the genocide: how Christians were the ones
who made the genocide possible, how church leaders killed
their own Christians; but I decided, to accept and to try
because I’ve tried everything. I have tried doctors, I have tried witch doctors. Then, I didn’t have any choice left, so I said, ” Let me try this.
I don’t have a choice.” Then, I started to pray, I started
to live the Word of God, and it helped me stop drinking
and taking alcohol because before that,
I was addicted to alcohol. One day while I was praying, I heard this voice telling me that I would only be healed if I decided to forgive
the man who killed my parents. And I had many thoughts. And because I wanted to please God, I wanted to make a difference, [I wanted] to be a Christian who can just do what he has learned, practice what Christians preach. Then I said, “Let me try again.
Let me try to obey God.” And I decided to accept
and to obey that voice. And that day, that’s the day I said, “I got a great peace in my heart.” I was ready to go and tell others that I feel that I can go in front of the man who killed my parents and tell him that I’ve forgiven him. Then I went to my village, or one of the gatherings
in my home village. I asked to speak, they gave me a microphone, and I told the audience that, “The power of forgiveness helped me overcome
the anger and the bitterness, and that’s why I’m here,
to tell you I didn’t come to accuse, but I came to forgive, in front of you, Vincent and Eugene
who are there present.” And we met for the first, we shared a meal, and we started to talk
on radios, television, sharing the Word with this message
of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. We work together since then, we organize conferences about forgiveness; and I remember the big one
we organized in 2009 “Forgiveness, a step to reconciliation” where we stood up together
talking and sharing, Vincent speaking about repentance,
and I speaking about forgiveness. For me, forgiveness means
to liberate ourselves from our bondage. Forgiveness means to release ourselves
from our prison of hatred, bitterness, and desire for revenge. Forgiveness is for you
not for the offender. When you look at this world, you see that the culture
of revenge reigns. [A generation who carries unhealed wounds
from previous generations] [in the generation] we organize, we see a lot of violence in the world, we see how a a genocide
brings another genocide, a war brings another war. We live in a world
where the culture of revenge reigns. The only way people will survive, the only way we can break
these cycles of violence, is that people would forgive. We need to promote
this culture of forgiveness, if we want to avoid any future genocide. So in life, we must find creative or constructive ways to negotiate conflicts. We cannot change the past, but we can change how we approach it, or how we carry our feelings
about it into the future. And forgiveness is the key. Let the history inform you
not control you. Let me repeat this: forgiveness is for you
not for the offender. Thank you. (Applause)

8 thoughts on “Forgiveness – The unpopular weapon: Jean Paul Samputu at TEDxHagueAcademy

  1. In every fear hides a wish, life is more deeper than the five senses. forgiveness can be a tool for spiritual growth but it all depends on a strength of a man for darkness is the absence of light..

  2. Ok then, forgive the Nazis……no? You can't? Because they were too monstrous? Then don't forgive ANY groups responsible for genocide!

  3. I think this man was among the first victim to forgive their oppressors in Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. It's very critical decision to take but at the end of day became the Kagame policy and has helped the society to live in harmony

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