November 28th 1981
Kibeho is a small village in Southwestern Rwanda. I and a number of other girls have spent a month or so in school and we study from Kibeho High School.
It’s lunch time, every one is struggling for food that they can’t see what is going on in the dining hall.
Alphonsine Mumureke is standing at the front of the dining hall, head lifted high and she seems to be talking to herself. Suddenly silence fills the hall people are starting to notice and some girls are making fun of her.One of the teachers on duty is called to act on what is happening. Some girls are scared, they are whispering about the new girl who seems to be possessed. A few minutes later she falls to the ground and is rushed to the school dispensary.
We are fresh from the Christmas holiday and everyone is excited to be back. We are outside waiting for an address from our teacher and one of the girls move forward.
It’s Anathalie Mukamazimpaka just like Alphonsine she’s tilted her head up and she’s responding to a person we all can’t see.
She later told us the Virgin Mary appeared to her identifying herself as Nyina wa Jambo (Kinyarwanda for “Mother of the Word”). I remember Alphonsine said the same thing but no one believed her. They all thought it impossible and even accused them of being possessed by the devil.
I come from a devout Catholic family, yes I have my doubts as would any other human being. But how can two different people make up a story of something so special and divine. Anathalie’s apparitions emphasized endless prayer and expiation. Simply asking us to make amends for guilt or wrong doing.
I did not stay long enough in Kibeho High to witness Marie Claire Mukangango, who had initially bullied Alphonsine at school because of the visions. She also experienced apparitions which lasted from March 2 to September 15, 1982. The Virgin told Mukangango that people should pray the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows to obtain the favor of repentance.
Many people interpreted these apparitions as visions foretelling the Rwandan genocide and the second Kibeho massacre. The same place the girls had their moment with the Virgin Mary is the same ground on which they slaughtered innocent souls.
Here is a site you can visit to further understand what these girls went through putting aside my story.
Thank you for reading, until next time.