This week I got a chance to see a one woman play, Miracle in Rwanda, in NYC. It’s another very powerful story of a genocide but from a more recent time than Vilna and I think further proof that history does indeed repeat itself if we aren’t careful. This show was written by Leslie Malaika Lewis and Edward Vilga and stars Malaika Uwamahoro.
In April 1994 in Rwanda, an extremist militia of Hutu tribesmen began a brutal, widespread effort to exterminate all members of the Tutsi minority tribe. A Catholic young woman named Immaculee went into hiding, armed only with the rosary her father gave her. Imagine spending three months hiding in a small bathroom with five other people with only your prayers to keep your hope alive.
At its core, the story is one of survival and forgiveness. Immaculee learns that hating the extremist murderers the way they hate the Tutsis makes her no better than they are. She learns the only way for her to be truly free is to forgive, which is such a difficult thing to imagine her being able to do after witnessing her whole story.