Raïs Neza Boneza (Democratic Republic of Congo (Ex-Zaire) in Africa, 1979). Currently lives in Norway where he works as a peace researcher and practitioner. He is also a poet who besides writing his own poetry work to promote artistic expressions as a means to deal with conflicts and maintaining mental well-being and spiritual growth after surviving war. Although Boneza may sometimes at least have wished to forget his experiences of war in the conflict ridden Great Lake region, he has never forgotten about both the richness and misery of Africa. He has lived in the east and in the west of the D. R. Congo, in Rwanda, in Burundi, and Uganda. He has learned seven African languages as well as the European imperialistic languages and has got first-hand knowledge of the cultures of various ethnic groups in the region. This background, combined with his sensitive artistic mind and his scholarly background including his collaboration with one of the founders of peace research Johan Galtung, has equipped his analytical faculties with unique instruments to extend the project that Galtung has developed since the mid 90', to the African continent. Beside , his work as consultant and lecturer for different NGOs and institution around world; He is the a co-convener for the Transcend Global; a network of specialist working for peace, development and The environment. His work is a premise pf peace, solidary and human dignity.
Nomad, a refugee poet (2003): Poetry ISBN : 0-9726996-1-9
Black Emerald (2004): Poetry ISBN:9788182530348
Peace By African’s Peaceful Means (2005):Non-fiction ISBN-13: 978-1593440992
Peace through African’s Peaceful Means (2003) : Non- fictionISBN:9788230000809
Sounds of exile (2006): Poetry ISBN-13: 978-1411609907
His debut novel ”“White Eldorado, Black Fever”(2013)” is the only work which has been originally translated from his French native language “ ”Eldorado blanc, Fievre Noire”(2013)”. In his debut novel, he taps in his artistic background, a peace researcher and practitioner to create a work of fiction and fact to bring in the awareness about the conflict-minerals direct effects to communities and simple individuals in the Great-Lakes region of Africa.
I climb the hill of my feelings
To satisfy my sight.
I seek to find …
My reason is lost.
In my estrangement my soul speaks.
Abandoned as a discarded plant
I look to thee;
All thy greatness is in my sight.
You leave your dwelling
As thy sun seeks its resting place.
I am rooted to your very being;
My branches cover your presence; You move under my shadow.
I understand with the vigor of thought, Thy body but with a glance.
I admire you without weariness
And explore you from discovery to wonder.
I praise thy sculptor,.
Him, the all-wise, the all-bestower
Who, beneath the pounding of my misled heart, Long ago fashioned your existence
For the accomplishment of compassion
And the gift of the essence of love.
I am the spirit who observes you; You do not know me,
Yet you are a reality well known by me.
Source of poetic water from above, Inspirational rain from the sky,
From thee my feelings are nurtured
Even in thy obscurity of me.
My words remain silent,
And for thee my existence still a fable, A dream that I shall never share,
A poem never to be written.
Near his table rests a glass of water;
Through his window he glances at passerby;
He observes and always waits, waits, waits.
Bitterness nourishes his being;
Subjected to misunderstandings
And false airs of 'people'
He is a prisoner.
He sits, hands cupped around his chin
In his dreaming, his spirits escape
The world of hardships
And travel in the expanses of the
Wild blue sky.
He leans on his table, half worried, half-contented.
In this place of his there is no compassion;
Evil prowls around its prey;
Rancor sings its melody of morning.
A stranger to his land,
He melancholically sips from his glass-- A sip of freedom.
Marginalized and needy,
Very far is the wind of liberty blowing for him
He is a clandestine, always without address,
Not a nomad, but a recluse in the midst of humanity.
In his unbroken crystal enclosure
He follows the echoes of his silent screams.
A rock of madness, only solitude answers him.
His heart rapidly beats! He rises from his bed!
Ah! It's only a nightmare!
Following the light of the sky,
The star remains so far in the spaces,
Alone in the garden of flickering lamps,
We talk to thee, my spark.
Thee, black, yet a golden rose;
Esmeralda of delighted lands,
Desiring to kiss your somber skin,
But the thorns around thee prevent me.
In your indifference,
You reach for setting sun.
You wait for Orpheus, the enchanter,
We did not see the approach
Of the current of circumstances
Flowing with you towards the falls of uncertainty.
Oh! White dove, seen yet untouchable.
Our eyes still fixed on one sacred desire;
With thee we want to share our treasure of love,
But our kingdoms are waging war.
We are the deprived prince in exile
On our mount, Pegasus, Riding from galaxy to galaxy. For you, Esmeralda,
I am a breath that silently passes by.
My rose, my fragrant flower,
I am but for you
A memory that has been born dead.
Alone on the border of the great Tanganyika
Stands the kraal of drummers.
Alone on the river of the Ruzizi plains,
Stands the empire of the Inanga poets.
They sing and relate.
Arise the cadence of modern thunder
Stifling these glorious songs and the rich poems!
The children of thunder against the Ubushingatahe wisdom
The ancient replaced by immorality;
Ancestral truths replaced by profanation.
In the paternal enclosure haunts lie;
The words of the wise Bagabo, forgotten: They violate and betray!
Now, raise the sun
On the great summit of the Bugamba.
Hope is piercing the heavens:
The gentle rain of a Kwizera raconteur
Falling once again on a parched earth.
The children of thunder return to the bosom of their ancestors
To revive the song of peace in the Urugo homestead.