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On the 1st of July 2014, Mashirika launched its new production Bridge of Roses.  The launch took place at Kigali Genocide Memorial amphitheatre.  The launch was in partnership with Aegis White Rose Society.  The play was inspired by the events of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

It aims to explore the meaning of HUMANITY and what it means to respond to turbulent times as a HUMANBEING. It intro-duces the setting aside of labels, if just for the duration of the play, and examines what it means to walk in one another’s shoes. It begs us to leave behind all social labels, political labels, ethnic labels, economic labels, differences in nationality and don the cloak of HU-MANITY.

To further this production, Mashirika teamed up with Aegis White Rose Society

whose work in advocating against the evils of genocide tied in perfectly with the production. White Rose Society stands against evil and brings communities to commemorate together. Additionally the society promotes the bravery of communities young Germans who risked their lives to do what is right in standing against Hitler.

Bridge of roses portrays the stories of hope after the genocide and uses the rose flower and a bridge as symbols through which to effectively pass the desired message. The journey of life post genocide is compared to the search for a rose in a thorny bush. Roses are good symbols of the values of simple humanity; they are a strong means of communication and can be used to communicate to various people in different situations.  Generally speaking, whenever people lose a loved one, they place flowers on the grave side, when people go to see a sick person in hospital, they take them flowers, when one wishes to express love or appreciation to a loved one, and they also give them flowers.

 

 All this is because flowers have the power to invoke a sense of hope, comfort, peace and beauty. What’s more,they serve as a herald of hope reminding us of the spirit of life.

A bridge connects communities, cities, towns etc. It helps to form a union of sorts in providing that connecting link. If every individual could be an ambassador of humanity, a true advocate of values of humanity, then invariably that link or connection sought when building bridges, would be felt by all. And so, a rose for its simple message of hope, comfort, peace, beauty and humanity carried forward to mankind through advocating for humanity gives rise to THE BRIDGE OF ROSES: bridging the past, present and the future.

Bridge of Roses was written by Hope Azeda and is planned to tour different parts of Rwanda before it is taken outside Rwanda to the international audience. 

Prepared by Samuel Kyagambidwa. 

 

Mashirika's mission is to prove that performing arts is not only entertainment but a tool of social transformation and source of employment.