Gusinzira (To Sleep)

In Kinyarwanda, the word “itkibazo” means both “problem(s)” and “question(s).”

Sabyinyo Rwaza

Dufite itkibazo

We have problems

We have questions

One word with

Two meanings

Questions become problems

Only when they go unasked


And we live in contradictions

And we move in contradictions

And we breathe in contradictions

A state of being, contradiction

And we find coherence

Only when we sleep


Privilege, mutual exclusion

Offer you a seat at the table

But I’d have to relinquish


Living contradictions


Moving contradictions

Love my country, like a brother

Criticize him ruthlessly

Though he makes me angry

We’ll both take each other back


We’re the first we had

Breathing contradictions


State of being, contradiction

Faith in contradictions

Love manifest in contradiction

How the author of perfection

Curator of cohesion

Died for our contradictions


State of being, contradiction

I protest war

I pray for peace

Citizenship, bathed in blood

And we export our contradictions

Manufacture cohesion at home

Outsourced contradictions

Reflected in explosive tension

Contradictory humanity


Live, move, breathe


Live, move breathe

State of being, contradiction

Blessed cohesion

Elusive but for sleep.

Tell me that I’m beautiful

Afford me disbelief.

Living, moving, breathing

Hold my door not because

I’m a woman but because I’m a


Valuable in contradictions

Living, moving, breathing


Dufite itkibazo

We’ll find the answers in our sleep.


“’For in Him we live and move and have our being.’” (Acts 17:28a NIV)



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