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CONGO: FREE AT LAST

Joined Hearts

My vision used to be something far out in the future, especially when considering how far I was from the reality I pictured. I was always looking ahead, as at a horizon that stays off in the distance no matter how much I pick up the pace. But I have begun to realize something, and that is: my future is available to me now. In fact, OUR future is available to all of us now. Congo’s future is now.

My vision has been to realize a New Congo, one in which its people live in all the richness that is inherent in this vast landscape. I was born in a very remote village of South Kivu Province in Eastern Congo. And I remember those early years of community, when each family in their heart, was part of every family around them. We lived and worked together and in support of one another, as if we were all close relatives. Due to the richness of the land and our relationship to one another, we wanted for nothing. And as the virus of racial separation injected by our colonizers began to infect even our remote setting, as a community we still lived above that ideology.

And as well, when I was later moved to the cities of the province, none of those racial separations were our experience as sisters at the boarding school. And being from a very remote village and as well, a youth, I lived far from the corrupt inculcations that our dictator president had been seeding in the minds of the authorities of our population.

But after the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide fled to my province in ‘94, bringing their utter hatred of my ethnicity and demand of our annihilation, a very different world was presented. I was immediately whisked off to university in another country for safety. And when I was able to return a few years later, it seemed that with such vehement racial hatred having crossed our border, every tribe now saw itself as separate from another. Division had arisen and the family tie of our nation was broken.

I love and have always loved my country so much, and experiencing this breakdown was tragic. I had always been outspoken, even always in front of a microphone. Since the 11th grade I had been doing a weekly radio program to sensitize our community to the plight of the handicapped. As a young college student and as only the second female of my tribe to ever go to college, I was sought out to participate in conferences all over the Great Lakes Region in support of women’s rights. And it would grieve me so much, that even there I continually had to stand for the right of the women of my tribe to be included in the whole.

I was always fighting; fighting for women to be included, for the handicapped to be included, for my tribe to be included, for my country to come together as one. And I really had no idea how desperate I had become inside. It was my daily grind. I would lace every interaction with a message of inclusion, equality, and togetherness. But really, I had no platform. I was not a politician; I was not a Personality; my NGO was never supported; I was always in motion among the fabric of our society, but didn’t have a base, and really, didn’t have a solid message. But over the course of the last year, a change has come over me.

I joined the World Pulse online community in May of last year and began contributing. And as I contributed, things began bubbling up out of me that were defining my come-from, and my destiny. I would write about women, our sisterhood, about the handicapped, about our country, its indigenous people, and as I entered into each of these articles, new vistas would open to me. My community was forming again, but now it was greatly enlarged. I saw myself, my sisters, my handicapped community, my country and all of its people as part of one great big global family. And this family was a loving, embracing, inclusive and supportive family.

One article would lead to another, and the mind which was developing would lead me through one experience to another, until a crisis moment on June 26th. Dealing with the crisis in that moment, the demand of that moment, suddenly everything became clear.

My adult daughter had been indiscriminately beaten by some soldiers. I wrestled with my reaction as vengeance was endeavoring to take control. But in the midst of the struggle, as I was attempting to see through the fog of emotion, a new mind opened to me, and I began seeing things from an entirely new vantage point; from a perspective that held all the answers; a consciousness that was the answer. Love flooded my being as forgiveness filled my heart.

Over the coming days, I suddenly realized I was living in the good of that land I had always been fighting for. My suffering, my striving, my anxiety was finished. I’d been liberated from that delusional prison-mind that had kept us separate from one another, competing with one another, stepping on one another to get over the wall. I now had a new song to sing; actually, I’ve joined a Hallelujah chorus, and in harmony we’re raising our voices with all our might, and as One singing that New-World anthem: “free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!”

Breaking free of that old mind, I found I had entered a new mind. In fact, I had entered the new Congo I had always envisioned. I discovered it had been inside me all along, and all I had to do was release it and it would manifest all around me.

And it has begun. In July, we initiated a World Pulse funded project in Bukavu, where we were inviting our sisters together every day to discuss the future that we held within us; this future that was desperately seeking release. Within two months we had 120 women activists, and we began activating our future. We began speaking into and Announcing the world that we had already entered, in mind; putting a demand on the Congo we hold in our hearts to manifest all around us.

The new Congo is emerging. A new world is emerging, as each of us give it release. And how loudly the living words spoken by our late brother, Martin Luther King, are ringing in our ears: “Free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty, we’re free at last!”

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

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Comments

Sharontina's picture

Congrats

Dear Neema,

Hearty congratulations for realizing your vision and being at the verge of fulfilling your dreams for a beautiful Congo. A land where you are breathing the air of freedom, peace and love.

Yes dear, you are it now. You have made the "now" of every woman in your land a possible one, a dream come true. After all the pain and pressure you have reached the horizon, now the entire sky is yours, you are on top of the world.

Wish many more success in all your ventures and there you are, a true winner !

Cheers.

Merlin Sharontina

Neema's picture

Congrats

Thank you Sharontina. It is such great joy to be living in the experience of this enlightened mind, and being joined by so many others in this place of peace and destiny in the midst of such hopelessness and helplessness. But the light illuminating our countenance is shining into the hearts and minds of those we have opportunity to engage, and by that we continually experience the manifestation outwardly what has manifest inwardly. I know you know what I mean sister.

Together,

Neema

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Sharontina-

I love what you just wrote in response to Neema..... Good to see your voice!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Sharontina's picture

Thanks!

Thanks dear.

Love.

Merlin Sharontina

Celine's picture

Thanks dear Sister. I love

Thanks dear Sister.

I love you for your concern.

Peace and Hope to you too.
Celine

Jensine's picture

Your Freedom is our Freedom

Dear Neema -

Your writing grows stronger with every breath. Your vision is crystal clear. Your vision is a blessing to all of us - and it is already set into motion - working at night while you are sleeping. I know the achievement of your vision will mean freedom for us all as well, and enrich our hearts and the oxygen of our air.

You set the pace dear Neema, and we support you! Anyone would have a great gift to join your vision and take up hands with you.

Love,

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

Neema's picture

Your Freedom is our Freedom

I know you know that we are prophesying without words Jensine. We are pointing to everyone's future by living out of it now in heart and mind. And others are drawn there with us as they begin to see that this state we've entered is the destination in Mind for us all. Somehow we know this, and its being unlocked in each heart, and our dream is emerging; our hope is being realized. And oh the love that washes over all of us there!

Love YOU,

Neema

Celine's picture

Hi Neema - So happy for you

Hi Neema -

So happy for you my sister that you are realizing your vision and witnessing a new Congo!

Keep the fire burning.

Celine

Neema's picture

Hi Neema - So happy for you

So good to hear from you my dear sister. As you know since we are One in the same flame of Love, how wonderful is the light it gives, and even better, how beautiful is what is revealed in its clarity.

So happy to be there with you, Celine.

Neema

ngalula's picture

Dear Neema, This is really

Dear Neema,

This is really powerful!
Thanks for sharing your experience and for doing so much

A big hug
Beatrice

:: Beatrice Ngalula Kabutakapua
:: Foreign Correspondent || Researcher
:: Blog: www.balobeshayi.com
:: Skype: beka.trixie
:: Twitter: @Kabutakapua

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Neema...

Dear Sister-

You know my heart... it is one with yours. We DO all have what we need inside of us. We are tempted to hold on to it for dear life, or may be blind to it. Either way, we are held down by the weight. Let it become un-attached, and we fly free from the lightness we feel.

Love you!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

viochan's picture

Divide and Conquer

Dearest Neema,
Thank you for posting this! I don't know why but I had never fully realized what colonization had done to our native populations (in Africa as well as in America): it divided us and set us against ourselves, against our brothers and sisters, and instituted regimes through which the oppressed longed to be like the oppressor.

I always enjoy your posts and once again, with this one, you've touched my heart. Please continue speaking out and working to give voice to our sisters and brothers of the DRC.

In partnership,

Violeta

Katalina's picture

Inspiring!

I really admire your attitude. I remember the old Congo. I was born near Bukuvu (Kamalia) and grew up in Dungu and Niangara. Wonderful people, beautiful land! My heart goes out to all of you who have to go through this awful time. Your attitude of forgiveness and reconciliation is key to healing for everyone. Congratulations!

All the Best,

Katalina
(my Congolese name, no one could pronounce th in Kathy)

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