Football and Redemption

Sport, and in particular, team sport has always been billed as a great connector for the way it breaks down walls among warring people and defuses tensions between them. And one heart touching example of such an occurrence is Rwanda. Redemption, the first of six stories in the mini-series, "This Is Football", tells the tale of how a ravaged Rwanda has recovered from a genocide and is looking forward with hope, all because of their tenacity and their love for Liverpool and football. Yeah, Liverpool fans, you should definitely watch this.

Redemption tells the story of how Rwanda has been rebuilding itself through few narrators who are from the Tutsi and the Hutu communities. The Hutu community is the majority whereas the Tutsis are the minority. In 1994, Rwanda went through its darkest phase – a genocide that took a staggering one million Tutsi lives in a single week. The genocide was then stopped, but the wounds were very raw. In came football and it became the medicine that healed the hearts of the people. Each of the story narrated is tear inducing – with horror at the beginning of it, and happiness at the end of it. And in some way or the other, football has played a part in bringing happiness to all these homes.

I was never one for documentaries, but I wanted to watch this one because it had something to do with football. I ended up getting more than that. I got a heart-warming lesson in hope for the future, in the innate goodness of humankind and a reinforcement that sport builds the strongest bridges. Watch it if you love Liverpool and watch it if you love football. But most importantly, watch it to celebrate Rwanda. For, Rwanda stands for Redemption.

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