In 2018 and 2019, HRMC attended the UCT / UNHCR World Refugee Day programme at UCT.
However, on 20 June 2020 our programme was different. HRMC in association with drama group IJABO planned to create a play titled Hambura Ipfundo (Untying the Knot) directed by Silvérien Hagenimana for presentation in April, and adapted for World Refugee Day. HRMC’s residential ‘sensitization’ programme in 2018 and 2019 provided the inspiration for this creative initiative.
The Corona-19 pandemic and Level 5 lock down disrupted this plan but thanks to the determination of the performers and flexibility of RLS, HRMC was able to produce a short video for dissemination on World Refugee Day. In line with UN’s theme in 2020: ‘Every Action Counts’, the 11-min video combines poetry and acting to arouse empathy towards refugees and ultimately calls for greater commitment to peace worldwide.
Joel Hakizimana of Reba Image was responsible for camera work, sound, lighting and editing. The shoot in Philippi, Retreat and Tokai Forrest took place on Saturday 13 June. The final draft of the 11-minute video, The Thorny Way, was shared five days later, on 18 June, for HRMC’s input and RLS approval. It was released on Friday 19 June. It received positive feedback from viewers.
Rehearsals of Hambura Ipfundo with 12 IJABO performers under Silverien’s directorship picked up momentum in August 2020. On a tight budget, Hambura Ipfundo (Untying the Knot) was performed at St Mary’s Church Hall on 31 October 2020. While it was not well attended, the performance served as a dress rehearsal followed by a deep conversation with those present. The play is in Kinyarwanda, the first language of Rwandans. In February 2021, Epiphanie translated the narration in English, which Joel Hakizimana is adding as subtitles to the 61-min video to reach wider audiences.