It shocked me to hear that Joan Twizere Uwimana lost her footing at Itanda Falls, fell into water and disappeared. I at first refused to say she died or drowned, simply because I hoped she tricked death somehow and there is no evidence anyway.
I first met Joan when she applied for internship with Sports TV. I’m bad with dates but I remember people and their character well. She was a jolly, easy and positively charged girl. Even when there is reason to be gloomy, she would find a way out of it – she had some special, light and engaging optimism up her sleeve.
She once turned up in Red Pepper, photographed on a Sports TV assignment behind the camera, typical Red Pepper stupid and misleading headline and a lot of upset around the office. I took her under my protection by promptly writing a complaint to Media Council, who promptly ignored it so my justice for Joan was shelved. If only I knew.
Later on we did fall out because of a few things. First, Joan had started doing client service work for Star: Leo and she was not even trying. I’m sure she had her reasons but the time was for results. Another reason was her immediate supervisor and manager, a petite and insecure bitch who used every opportunity to augment herself over the dead bodies of her colleagues and she really could not stand Joan and missed no opportunity to underline so. So we cut ties by giving Joan notice.
She took it in her stride and moved on, flirting with life and trying to make a path for herself. We did not talk since.
And this is what I want to tell you all: she fell into the water. She was trying to save someone from drowning and she vanished instead. She had a good deed on her mind.
As I believe that she did most things with a good deed on her mind. She never struck me as evil or deliberate in her wrongdoing. There were always other people and their influences, people who engaged her the wrong way, mislead her and confused her, albeit temporarily – she was good at seeing through their conniving plans.
I am happy for one thing though: Joan had proven she can be serious, focused, organized and dedicated. I am so glad that the values I once recognized in her are real, tangible, and beginning to bear fruit for Joan. She had grown up, matured and added value to herself as a young professional, capable of doing a good job and contributing positively to her workplace.
I can not miss her as much as her close friends do, as she was gone from my life a while ago and I usually don’t miss people I was not emotionally involved with. But I believe the world has fallen short of one good opportunity to produce another interesting, strong, professional and respected woman as Joan had done a lot in her young age, she made her blunders and she got hold of herself, focused and moved forward.
This is why I sat to pray for Joan when I heard she is missing. She started living on a path of hope and self-actualisation and it is unfair to remove her now when the game had just begun.
I hoped they find her alive. I wanted her to read this and come and hug me. I wanted her to know that no mater what, I always thought she had the qualities she showed the first time we met for her internship at Sports TV. I believed in her then and she earned that by being a spirited fighter.
Now that she is laid to rest, sadness covers us all. But a new spark shines from the dark: a memory of this young woman will certainly inspire many of her friends to do good stuff in her name. Even if it’s just to be better people, that’s good enough.
Till we meet again.