La Benevolencija’s Burundian radio soap Murikira Ukuri, Kirundi for “shedding light on the truth” focuses on the different elements that lead to group violence. It therefore talks about the fifty years of conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in the country. Murikira Ukuri uses fiction and a fictional history to tell the audience a story about their own society and culture in a balanced and impartial way.
The drama focuses on two different main groups that coexist in two common locations. Baseruko is a group from the east of the country. They live in the hills and have their own distinct origins, culture, food and customs. Their livelihood consists of traditional farming and they are regarded as intellectuals, because a majority attends school. They are overrepresented in administration. They have left the barren hills in the East to seek fertile farming land in the West. This situation caused land shortage and Baseruko were treated as intruders/invaders by the people who originally lived there.
The group originally living in the West is called Barengero. They in the plain: the flat fertile areas. Consequently they have bigger harvests and make more money when selling their produce. Since they have access to a lake many also have additional income from fishing, and the group as a whole is relatively rich. They also tend to take on small jobs from a fairly young age, instead of going to school. However, the people from the West feel marginalized.
This setting is used to orient the basic storyline as it gives an ideal fictional base for all Burundians to recognize themselves and one another, without falling back into the traditional and existing ethnic stereotypes (Hutu versus Tutsi).
To put these different conflict cycles in perspective and to offer solutions to escape the vicious circle and to counteract the currently still existing reality of impunity, the serial radio drama “Murikira Ukuri” proposes to work on communication messages, derived from the three main goals (sharing different versions of history, understanding impunity and dealing with traumatic feelings). During two consecutive years, the drama will develop storylines that focus on these angles in a Burundian context.