Monday, March 16, 2009

Music Monday- Albertine

Another song by Brooke Fraser. I have put the story behind this song, which is the title song of the album Albertine, below. Please read the story and then watch the video, you will be moved.

In 1994, the tiny Central-East African nation of Rwanda was devasted by genocide. Almost one million Rwandans were killed at the hands of their neighbours, friends and community leaders within the short space of 100 days.. the catastrophic outcome of decades of tension and fighting between two ethnic groups- the Hutus and the Tutsis- a confict that did not exist before Belgian colonists moved in during the first part of the 20th century and introduced an alien political divide.
My first visit to Rwanda occurred in June 2005, eleven years on from the atrocities. I visited local authorities, churches, schools, official memorials and living ones: child-headed households and communities living with AIDS, facing life without adequate medical care or basics like clean water. I met a people who are humble, joyous, diligent and in deep pain.
On the day beore I was to fly out and onto Tanzania, my friend and guide Joel Nsengiyumva took me to a village school in a district called Kabuga. He wanted me to see that Rwanda had hope- and no better way to see it than in the next generation. The kids and I exchanged songs and dances, and as things wrapped up and we were about to leave, Joel asked if we could take a few minutes and meet with an orphan whose personal history he was familiar with.
Thoughout my trip Joel had introduced me to people as a musician from the other side of the world who was going to go back to my people, tell them about the people of Rwanda and help. No pressure. That afternoon we walked across the schoolyard into an empty classroom, joined by a tall, beautiful girl wearing the school's cobalt and navy garb, where Joel's introduction was about to become a kind of commission.
Just before he shared her story with me, that of one person laying down their life for another, he uttered these words:
'You must go back to your people and you must write a song, and I will tell you what the name of the song is going to be.'
He motioned toward the girl.
'This is Albertine.'
Albertine is alive today because of the selfless, sacrifical love of another. Funny thing is, so am I. And now I want to know what it's like to love other people like that, so I have decided to spend my whole life on the experiment.
Feel free to join me. We might just change the world. -Brooke

Now that I have seen, I am responsible.... Faith without deeds is dead.....

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