Dear Burundians (especially living in Burundi)


This is just to ask if you are feeling the way I have been feeling muri ibi bihe. Lately, I have been wondering if I’m going crazy.
I mean, I have been feeling some type of way since April, and it keeps getting worse. I am afraid that I may have a nervous breakdown real soon.  I am also a bit scared of talking about it to anyone because I don’t want people to think ngo ni “gufyina”, given that our society teaches us “kwigumya” canke “kwifata”, and also because I live “dans les quartiers privilégiés”. So I don’t know if I have “the right” to feel the way I feel.

Donc, voici ma situation…

Though I live in those “quartiers privilégiés”, je pense que petit à petit je fais une dépression (sigh). Don’t get me wrong people, I thank the Lord Almighty for living dans ces quartiers, I still eat three times a day, and I still have a place I can call Home. But still… déprimée!

Déprimée à cause des rumeurs – especially the “Alerte! Alerte!” messages! Gosh, ngo “Taha bagomba batere!”, comme si on nous préviendrait si ça aller vraiment dégénérer ! Le pire c’est qu’on se retrouve à paniquer sans même y réfléchir. Mais bon, precaution maybe? I don’t know.
Déprimée aussi à cause de toutes ces images qu’on reçoit TOUS LES JOURS! Qui circulent sur Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp!
Déprimée à passer des jours sans rien faire! I got laid off my job in June.
Déprimée because my dreams are slowly vanishing! En effet, apres les etudes universitaires a l’etranger je suis rentree avec beaucoup de projets dans ma tete, et beaucoup de reves (heuresement que c’est toujours permis de rever d’ailleurs!). Et du coup, with the fact that I am not even working anymore and cannot find a job, it feels like my brain is slowly dying, even though I try to keep “busy”. I also try to socialise, but very often I find myself crying in my room at night for no reason.
Déprimée juste à cause de cette atmosphère négative!
Déprimée parce que je ne parle à personne de mes sentiments, parce que j’ai peur d’être jugée ou incomprise. Am I going crazy here? (A question that i ask myself every day)

I tried to get close to God, and it helps. Ariko le fait que je n’en parle à aucun être-humain commence à me rendre folle!

Aah, il y’a aussi  la peur des fameux Pickup!
I have witnessed with my own eyes, à 2 reprises differentes, des gens en train d’être embarqués dans ces choses-là! Une moto en train d’essayer de dépasser (turazi twese ingene ama taxis moto acoupa ama priorités), et une personne qui traversait tranquillement la rue, mais avec des écouteurs – je ne pense pas que le pauvre jeune homme yari yabonye pickup iriko iraza yiruka, kurya ziruka.
I also have a friend who had a gun pointed at him because he was driving behind one of them Pickups. I guess he was driving “too close”. Mais imaginez que l’arme ait été chargée! Un seul faux pas umupolisi akaca afyonda gachette, kari kuba kabaye! Bref, “Pickupphobia” is real!

I mean, take a minute. Look around. How can we call this a normal life? How have we managed to normalise to this situation, accumulate this much for so long, and still be able to “adjust” to this life? Are we supposed to be immune to the fate of our brothers and sisters being tortured and dying every day? Did we chose this or are we forced to suffer in silence and wait until Jesus comes back to saves us and our country from this madness? I wonder how so many of us manage to keep ignoring the seriousness and degradation of the situation. Tout ça me pèse!

Donko rero akabazo kanje, avant que j’aille consulter un psy, ou dans un centre pour trauma, or something… nagomba mbaze nimba iyi “dépression” yanje iri normale canke nimba ndiko ndifyinisha nikawushe. Est ce qu’il y en a parmi vous qui se sentent comme ça?


By M.B. who currently lives in Bujumbura.

Photo by Chris Schwagga and Nelson Niyakire