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Actors visit a revived Rwanda

By 양승진

Published : July 5, 2011 - 18:44

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Rwanda, a small country in Africa, came into the international spotlight because of a tragic genocide in the mid 1990s.

More than 20 years later, the country is still calling for economic aid.

But according to 30-year-old Jin Gu the country is taking steps for a better future.

“It was impressive that Rwandans forgive each other for tomorrow and live in harmony. ‘Positive energy’ was overflowing anywhere I went,” Jin said.

Jin Gu, an actor in Korea, recently visited Rwanda for the first time with Bae Soo-jin for the program “Road for Hope,” which is to be aired in October on KBS.

“My initial idea of Africa was a place with sick people in need. Therefore, I was originally determined to try to keep their dignity,” Jin said. “However, when I actually came here, people’s eyes were shining wherever I went.

“It was like they were trying to say that they overcame all the pain of genocide, and that they are going to live diligently. I could feel the energy of hope,” he added.
Jin Gu (left) says that he felt “positive energy” from Rwandans.(Yonhap News) Jin Gu (left) says that he felt “positive energy” from Rwandans.(Yonhap News)
Bae Soo-jin (right) visits a village in Rwanda for a TV program. Bae Soo-jin (right) visits a village in Rwanda for a TV program.

The genocide i nvolving the Tutsi and Hutu tribes began in April of 1994 and killed between 800,000 and million people, about 10 percent of the population.

Just last month, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, a politician who was accused of involvement in the genocide, was sentenced to life by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Jin also visited Ntrama church, a breathtaking reminder of the massacre.

“I cried at first because it broke my hearth, and then again because I was so angry.”

He explained how there were blood stains all over the wall, caused by throwing children against it.

“Still, I believe Rwanda rather succeeded. The assailants asked for forgiveness and the victims made reconciliation possible. Not many advanced countries perfectly overcame past wrong doings, you know. In that matter, the people here are amazing.

“The children here are all very handsome. Now I came here to help them, but I hope that one day I can stand in front of cameras with them as colleagues. I hope it is not too big a dream,” Jin added.

By Kang Yoon-seung  (koreacolin@gmail.com)