Date: 13th September 2006 at 3:48pm
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Tragic events, famine, war, the list is endless are all common events reported in the news daily. Blackburn Rovers new signing Shabani Nonda has revealed the tragic circumstances of his own upbringing in Burundi.

The 29-year-old DR Congo International, who was actually born and raised in Burundi, would witness horrific scenes as Civil war between the Tutsis and Hutus broke out in the early 1990`s.

As carnage raged around him his family would decide that they and Nonda, 15 at the time should flee the country, this however would not come before he would witness first hand some horrific and tragic scenes, he would say:

I used to play football with my friends and we had to stop because we’d go to the pitch and there would be people’s heads there.”

Other times there were bodies where we played. You used to see bodies in the streets when you went out.”

It was a real tragedy. I lost friends and neighbours. My family decided we had to leave.”

We crossed the border to Tanzania as there was so much violence. If that hadn’t happened I’d never have been a footballer.”

Following such a tragic upbringing in which Nonda (who has signed on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move) would be lucky to escape with his life deserves all good fortune he, his family and indeed fellow Burundi nationals can get.

Although what he has witnessed and had to go through will never be forgotten, and can never fully be rectified in some small part hopefully his achievements on the football pitch have eased his, and the fellow people of Burundi’s suffering, if only in the slightest.

Stories such as this make us realise just how lucky we really are, how many of us can honestly say that we have been through things anywhere near as bad as this? I for one certainly am even more grateful for what I have after hearing of this.

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