Genocide survivors open up in books, movies


The 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi not only shattered the lives of those who survived it, but 28 years later it still has a lingering effect on them and how they deal with it.

Some fled overseas, to be as far away from the horror as possible and locked away the memories refusing to share what they witnessed as a coping mechanism and a way to start afresh.

These children are now adults, with passionate families, some are successful professionals and businessmen.

Some are opening up and sharing their personal stories and testimonies on different platforms.

The books, in English, French and Kinyarwandacan be found in bookstores in Kigali and at the Kigali Genocide Museum.

Although they have a central theme, each is different as no two stories are the same and expose the particularities of the genocide, peeling back the different layers.


A recent book is My mother killed me (My mother killed me), by Albert Nsengiyunva, then aged seven.

In Untamed beyond freedomCeline Uwineza, recounts her life as a 10-year-old child during the genocide, seeing her mother injured in the leg, and with her family took refuge in a convent in Kicukiro.

A few days later, the militia returned and killed his mother and three siblings. She recounts her struggles and her battle with post-traumatic stress disorder later in life.

Judence Kayitesi A broken life, begins with how she suffered deep cuts to her head while hiding in a mosque. The injuries affected her memory and left her with speech impediments. She moved to Germany where she later regained her memory and speech.

Imaculee Ilibagiza one of the first genocide survivors to write about her ordeal in It remains to sayhas become an author in her own right with a number of titles published to her name now.

About Marcia G. Hussain

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