Dear Daystar Community
I'm very sorry that I'm not able to join you today to discuss a country that is as close to my heart as Kenya; that is Rwanda. Twenty-one years ago, I was about your age, looking forward to graduating and getting a job, when news of the slaughter in Rwanda started to reach us in Nairobi. My mother, who worked with an international organization, would tell us that she has been unable to reach her Rwandan friends. Meanwhile, we saw in the press pictures of rivers full of bodies.
But it took me another 10 years to understand what happened in Rwanda. And I consider myself lucky to have understood. Many Africans still don't, because we're not teaching African history as we should. And that's why every year, we must remember the people who were tortured, raped and killed in Rwanda because their government lacked the political knowledge and courage to build a Rwandan nation. We must remember those who lived to tell their story. We must remember and support Rwandans as they rebuild their country.
Of course, we also remember that just like the genocide against the Tutsi, we Kenyans have suffered a shocking event in this season when we remember the death and resurrection of our Lord. As we remember with Rwandans, we also mourn the students and staff of Garissa University College who lost their lives, once again to cowards who make political decisions with guns, rather than with their brains. This year, let as mourn as the East African Community, and vow to build a community where we use love, words and ideas, not hatred and killing, to make political decisions.
As students, in honor of those we mourn and remember today, you must study. Study your history. Study for knowledge, not exams. Study to set your own nations' destiny - not to implement the hateful destiny that the killers in Rwanda imported from colonialism and that the killers in Garissa imported from Syria.
I thank you for attending this forum. I also thank the organizers of this forum, and hope that we can have another one soon which I will be well enough to attend.
Mungu ibariki Afrika.