Saturday, December 25, 2010


This message is intended only for Banyamulenge readers
En Francais

I just wanted to take a minute and wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and also share what's on my heart right now. Years have come and go, and Mulenge is still in darkness even if many of us may celebrate it in the most lightness places of the world. Some among us, are still busy dividing the community, spreading the divisive messages, breaking the bridges that connect us with our neighbors, brothers and natural allies in the name of self-promotion and ignorance. Truth be told, we have the responsibility to take our future and destiny of our land into our hands, or we risk letting others define it for us. Let us take this blessed time to reflect once again on what we want the next Christmases to be for Mulengeans!

I know personally I have had Christmases in my life that were the happiest, especially when I was still living in Mulenge. Although with over 16 years living in the West some were quite good, but none can be compared KUMUKUTANO WA NOEL, where my favorite part of the ceremony apart from ibitaramo, and choir rehearsals (za repetitions), was MASENGESHO YURUKERERA UMWANA YAVUTSE!!!!! I'm sure many of you know what I mean.
I sincerely never had a single downright awful Christmas that I can think of during my youthful life in Mulenge. Yes, I experienced many Christmases with no money and presents were not an option for us. But, the biggest present was the joy of living in a peaceful and most loving, exciting and secure Mulenge environment!!! This is not being nostalgic, it is stating the fact.

Unfortunately though, the same can not be said for hundreds of Mulenge youth, women and men today who sometimes spend their chirstmas hiding in bushes, freezing in the cold, starving in refugee camps, and living without parents! Many of our people have been having sorrowful Christmas for the last few years that is plain and simple. Many are now depressed around this time of year due to what has been happening not only in Mulenge, but also to Banyamulenge families. I know that sometimes it is tempting to think that we no longer have anything to be grateful for. Boy would we be wrong!!! There is still a better Mulenge waiting to be discovered. But, we must take your responsibility as individual and collectively! I am here to tell you that one thing that we should always have and hope for is a vision that tomorrow or someday soon it would get better in Mulenge. But, it won't come cheap or be handed down to us on a silver plate. It will not happen by being fanatic, selfish or indifferent to one another. It will take a conscious effort to change, plan, and strategize.
Furthermore, for the pessimists among us, the handful of "not so great" Christmases don't even hold a candle or compare to the exciting ones we have experienced in Mulenge. Guess what? - it really will happen again!!! But it takes work. What will be your contribution? to sit, watch, blame or district? Or to wake up, with a resolve to do something about it?

For the last few years, I've seen Mulenge and its people go through the entire spectrum of up and down moment since 1996 and here is what I know:
If in your inner hearts you know that tomorrow, next month, next year and even next Christmas can be better than today, then you are on the track for many, many future joyous and exciting memories of Mulenge. But do notjust dream, do something.

Don't ever think, no matter how hard things are or appear to be that the best is behind us. Each of YOU not only deserve a better land, but can achieve a bigger future for you and your people. And I promise to continue to do my part ( however small) in helping Banyamulenge see the path and plan that can take us there. Mulenge will be once again a peaceful, joyful and fun place, only bigger and richer! The bucks start with you. It starts by NOT taking for granted what you have and where you live and who made that possible no matter the circumstances! Remember where you came from, how you were and how it was and what you would be to day if it wasn't for those who empowered you to be who you are today. Forgeting, ignoring or taking itfor granted IS THE BIGGEST OF THE SIN, AND THEMOSTDEADLY MISTAKE YOU CAN EVER MAKEON BEHALF OF YOUR PEOPLE! So, lighten up, and get a grip!

And one thing I know I want to remind everyone is to never ever forget all the things we need to be grateful for. Even in the toughest times. Finally, we should also be reminded that it is or was our UNITY, the love for each other, honesty, integrity and self sacrifice that made us great as a people, and realize that the opposite makes us weak, desoriented, hateful, miserable and hopeless.
So to my friends, my brothers and sisters, my readers and fellow Banyamulenge, let us be resolved to promote our unity, better integration and our dream for a better Mulenge land, and together we can!!!


From my family to yours

Editor in Chief
Journal Minembwe

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