SMS Panellists from Left to Right: Tom Levin (FHPU Marketing Manager), Kyri Evangelou (Soccer My Saviour Director), Eric Murangwa Eugene (FHPU Founder) and Junior Sabena Mutabazi (FHPU General Secretary & Rwandan Association in London Youth Representative)

‘Soccer My Saviour’ film premieres in London

A movie about the miraculous escape of former Amavubi footballer Eric Murangwa, during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi premiered in central London on April 14.

Soccer My Saviour was screened at Frontline Club as part of the activities to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The documentary film directed by Kyri Evangelou, is a remarkable story of how former Amavubi captain and Rayon Sport goalkeeper, Eric Eugene Murangwa, narrowly survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, thanks to his Rayon Sport teammates who risked their own lives to protect and shelter him from the militias who wanted to kill him alongside his family.

Murangwa lost thirty-five members of his own family during the Genocide.

In February 2016, filmmakers Kyri Evangelou and Laura Authier, set out to tell the world an extraordinary true story of how one man’s life was saved by his teammates and, how he has gone on to inspire many people.

The film takes you to crucial locations in Murangwa’s life story including the town of Nyanza, home of Rayon Sports, Ndera Hospital Memorial, Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre, and also managed to capture a uniquely unifying atmosphere that typified the CHAN football match between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo earlier this year.

The film shows that had it not been for the spirit of sportsmanship, togetherness, and teamwork displayed by Eric’s Rayon Sport teammates, Murangwa would not be alive today to tell this remarkable story.

The Soccer My Saviour premiere attracted a large audience at Frontline Club in London. (Courtesy)

Murangwa set out to share his personal story in order to foster peace, unity, and reconciliation among those affected by conflicts.

“For many years afterwards, I kept asking ‘why me?’ And, recently I came to realise that those who survived had all survived for a purpose; which is to make sure our loved ones weren’t lost in vain. The only way we can do that is to make sure that what happened to them, and to us, never happens to our children,” he observed.

The film shows how in 2010, Murangwa founded an organisation, Football for Hope Peace and Unity (FHPU), to promote peace, unity and reconciliation among young Rwandans including those living in the UK.

It also illustrates how Murangwa has used his life story to nurture young Rwandans into responsible citizens, as well as raise awareness about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and other similar atrocities from around the world within schools.

In Rwanda, FHPU runs a summer football training academy known as Play for Hope. The academy uses sport and football in particular, to encourage young people and their communities to be active in the fight against prejudice and intolerance in Rwanda.

Soccer My Saviour film shows the resilience of a new Rwandan generation and communicates a very important message to global audiences that there is more to Rwanda than genocide. The story behind the film was chosen by the International Olympics Committee this year as the ambassadorial story for the International Day of Sport for Peace and Development.

Additional screenings are expected in Rwanda, Boston, New York City, and Singapore, among other countries.

Originally published at www.newtimes.co.rw on April 19, 2016.

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