Rwanda: Genocide Survivor Seeks to Expose Deniers in New Book

In a bid to counter deniers of the Genocide against the Tutsi, Judence Kayitesi, a Genocide survivor residing in Germany since 2010, is set to release an English translation of her book 'A Broken Life'.

The English version will be released at the end of April, according to the author, whose book was originally published in Germany in 2018.

During the Genocide, Kayitesi, now 39, was 11 years old. The Genocide claimed the lives of most of her family members including both of her parents and two siblings.

Copies of her book 'A Broken Life'

In her testimony, Kayitesi said that when the massive slaughter of Tutsi began in 1994, she went to seek refuge at the Gaddafi Mosque in Nyamirambo, currently in Nyarugenge District.

However, Interahamwe militia found her and other Tutsi and took them to a nearby home from where many of them were killed by the mob using machetes and guns.

Though she survived, she was cut on the head and was left with a gushing would. She still has a deep scar on the head.

As a result, she lost her memory and developed speaking disability for a year. Luckily, with time, she gained her memory back and was also able to speak again.

In an exclusive interview with The New Times, Kayitesi said that it will repudiate claims by genocide deniers.

"The Genocide against the Tutsi took most of my family members and left me with a broken life. I have physical wounds and those of the heart. My life before, during, and post the genocide can be found in this book.

All these tangible facts from my personal experience will further prove to the world that there was no double genocide in Rwanda, and prove wrong genocide deniers who have unfounded claims," she explained.

She added that before the Genocide, while in primary school, teachers would ask Tutsi pupils to stand up so that the class can see them, which according to her was a sign of the plan by the genocidal regime to disenfranchised Tutsi and later exterminate them.

"Whenever we (the Tutsi) would ask for permission to go for a short call, the teacher would deny us that right and I, personally, at one time, ended up wetting uniforms and my colleagues mocked me," she said.

Kayitesi emphasized that the book will be a learning tool for the post-Genocide generation including her three children, and siblings who were still young during the time.

She said that those born after the Genocide are most gullible and are always the target for the toxic narratives revising the country's history, which she said calls for the need for more literature documenting what exactly happened.

Once released, she said, the English version will be accessible on Amazon. I am also in negotiations with three other online book stores where people can find it, they (the public) will be informed as soon as the agreement is finalized, she added.

She said she plans to release more translated versions including one in Kinyarwanda in the near future.

Meanwhile, Kayitesi noted that after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, despite the endless hardships, she managed to build herself up from scratch, and is now living a life that she is proud of.

"For genocide survivors, they should live their lives as drivers; look at their past, but focus more on what is ahead. There are good things ahead, let us look at life from a positive angle and not feel pity for ourselves," she underscored.

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