When the date April 25 is approaching, and on this exact date, “I feel rage against all men and women” – is how renowned Rwandan designer Dady de Maximo Mwicira Mitali – fondly known as ‘Dady de Maximo’, describes this period since 1994.
A familiar face in Rwanda from the time he worked on Contact FM radio in the late 2000s, many remember him for his voice. He was simply: Dady de Maximo.
Together with other equally very popular presenters, their daily evening program was the ‘must-listen’. It covered a variety of social issues. And there was a segment where they could get you a bride or groom.
Some years later, Dady de Maximo moved to fashion completely. It is what he has been doing ever since – and has won a niche for himself.
He is also very opinionated – and is never shy to engage in social media wars with other local celebrities – often to the amusement of local tabloids.
Dady de Maximo has very strong opinions when it comes to responding to anyone trying to negate the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. His Facebook page is the media he uses, angrily dismissing revisionists.
Two weeks ago when the Catholic Church of Rwanda wrote an “episcopal letter” asking for review of sentences of sick and elderly genocide convicts, Dady de Maximo was visibly in rage. The comments he made about the subject are there for all to read.
But until now, little has been known about what has been the source of his rage and mysterious nature. Dady de Maximo has chosen Facebook to tell the journey to hell he traveled from April 13-25, 1994. It is painful, horrific and inhuman – to say the least. We cannot find the appropriate words to describe the things he reveals in his testimony.
“The men and women, soldiers and interahamwe militia who raped me may have the right to forget; For me, I remember everything as if it were yesterday. 25/04/1994,” he writes.
“On April 25, 1994, I was cruelly abused by several people, women and men interahamwe militia and soldiers.”
“On arrival in the valley between Kinyinya and Kami, there is a water point (Akazu k’amazi). It is in this precise place that they began to torture us. They undressed us, and savagely, they begin to rape us. We cried, we screamed. I was just a kid, but they were ruthless.”
“After the torture that seemed endless, I lost consciousness. They had tried to cut my penis. They peeled the skin off like a potato. When I regained consciousness, it was dark. It was almost dawn the next day, only the songs of the frogs disturbed the silence of the night. I did not feel my body anymore. Against all odds, I went back to school, I do not know how. Am not sure whether to continue. But…”
“I would like to testify one day, maybe write a book, talk about this date to the world, word by words, often I do not find the words to describe the “worst date of my life”. I try to describe but the horror makes my blood freeze, and I hate to vomit when I think about the details, the insults, the mockery, the torture, icyuya (the sweating), their rejoicing and especially the injections of things that until now I do not know what they were.”
He goes on to say: “How can you forget 1994? Who would forget things so terrible unless you are crazy.”
EDITOR: The Chronicles WILL PUBLISH A TRANSLATION OF THE FULL POST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE