Wyclef Jean – Million Voices

Hopefully Rwanda isn’t repetitively sung  as a refrain only because it rolls of the tongue!

Wyclef Jean cites various passages from the Bible to rap about the importance of a united, and peaceful Africa. Of course, even before colonization, Africa was not one political unit but many, based not just on country but ethnic, tribal and other divisions. The singer is speaking more metaphorically, to be united for peace.

The song is from the soundtrack to the 2004 film, Hotel Rwanda, which was about the violence between the Hutus and Tutsis. A kind of African Schindler’s List, the story is of a hotel owner sheltering people from genocide.

In 1994, something approaching one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu peoples were killed – about one-fifth of the total population – by the Hutu majority.  The conflict is said to have stemmed from failures to find ways for these two ethnic groups to share power and govern together. While causes of genocide are contested and it is a mistake to write too simplistically, it is widely accepted that the Hutus were driven to wipe out the Tutsis, who they felt would wish to do the same to them.

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