Walter a story of resilience and hope.

Author:Naidoo, INdrani
Position:Walter Nsengiyumva - Biography

The name Walter is taken from a Germanic name meaning "ruler of the army" (http:/, yet the Walter I was honoured to meet and connect with, like a mother to a son, is a beautifully made gentle soul, soft spoken, always smiling and showing no outer scars of a person exposed to some of the worst brutalities against humankind. On the contrary, he is poised, warm, friendly and grateful for his portion, for his cup in life, once empty even of basic needs that every child is entitled to and flung to the harsh elements of fate, is brimming with goodness and soon will overflow. This is because a young man realized that if he was so cruelly flung into the valley of death as a child, alone, confused, hungry, thirsty and lost in the crowds of hurting people fleeing for their lives with empty hands and aching hearts, he was alive for a purpose. All they had was the sky above as their roof and each other--strangers by blood but brothers in circumstances. He remains beautifully made and hopeful that there is still goodness to be enjoyed.

Walter Nsengiyumva was born in Karengera, Cyangugu, Rwanda on 22 December 1984 to Leon Mbarushimana and Nukarubana Beatrice. His father is a tailor and his mother a primary school teacher. Walter recalls that in 1990, when he was about 6 years old, conflict started in his country. He was attending primary school. The entwined story of the Rwandan monarchy, Tutsi rule and resistance, the country becoming a republic and the rising of the Hutus all resulted in war. Bombings, butchering, burning of villages, looting, gunshots, and violence against women and children were rife, resulting in the mass exodus of villagers. The working citizens of Rwanda in marketplaces, churches and other places where people congregated were targeted by insurgents and resulted in the senseless killing of the helpless and innocent. Confusion between tribes emerged. Tribal lines were blurred since the government and army were made up of the Hutus and Tutsis. The real reason for the war was no longer known. By July 1994, the RPF (Ugandan trained soldiers party) controlled most of Rwanda. Out of great fear, the people fled to surrounding countries. Most moved into the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including Walter and his family. He continued his primary school education in exile. In 1997, rumblings of conflict in the DRC were heard. Refugee camps were attacked and, once again, the senseless slaughtering of the innocent and helpless occurred.

Once again, the family was uprooted and fled from this battlefield of bombs and bullets. Heartbroken and homeless survivors had to literally walk through pathways of death, through parts of the central African jungles face-to-face with wild animals, hunger and illness. The stench of fear and death filled the air. Dead bodies, with missing body...

To continue reading