I wish to begin this piece with another piece; a poem I wrote and dedicated to the actor, Mr. Tefo Paya, after watching his play titled ‘Morwa’. The poem itself is called, ‘Tefo Paya’:

SeTswana dances ‘round the male;
His symbol, made from a tale of infancy to puberty –
to a moment in Joburg city.
The son goes insane.
The son goes insane.
SeTswana goes modern man.
His audience gives a round of applause.
Bravo to the cause.

-2014, Wits Theatre

After watching Hate Radio, a play made possible by conceptual manager, Jens Dietrich, I caught Mr Diogene Ntarindwa standing by the Wits Theatre bar. He bought me a glass of juice and we sat with two Caucasians, a young man and an elderly woman. They spoke to Diogene who anticipated the interview, as he put his cold beer on a round table.

“[Hate Radio] was staged at WITS Theatre on four nights from Thursday, 13 to Sunday, 16 February [2014]. The play engage[d] with the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.” – 2014, Media Update

The old lady’s face cringed as she imposed her idea of the universal truth on the comedian, but Diogene spoke to her like an expert who knew of all truths. She shifted in her seat, rattling her car-keys, as if to make for the exit, when suddenly, Diogene stood up shouting,
“No one should ever preach to me about forgiveness!”

In the comedian’s eyes, I could see Rwanda 1994, the mass murder, and the culprits standing on a mound, laughing at Diogene.

“They wouldn’t kill me,” he said.

“And why was that?” asked the young man.

“Because they wanted to give me something worse than death,” replied Diogene.

“What could be worse than dying?” provoked the young man.

“Waking up to the memory of what happened,” he said.

He sat back down and we all remained silent.


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