Karabo is a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed the life of her father and sisters, and now she is left alone and lonely in the midst of wounded hearts of Rwanda. She does not know the whereabouts of her mother.
When Karabo goes to live with her paternal uncle Kamanzi, a colonel in the new army, she meets Shema, another genocide survivor, one of her uncle’s young escorts. Shema’s charm gives Karabo some jingling. She will surrender her heart to him, but it’s complicated —Shema knows only a part of her story. Shall she reveal the other part of the story to him? She is bamboozled.
A. Happy Umwagarwa is an author with interests in both fiction and non-fiction literature about why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
In 1994, she survived the genocide against the Tutsi, which claimed the life of her father and other members of her family. Despite the thorns of life she had to step on, Happy graduated from the University of Greenwich, London, with a master’s degree in management, and embarked on an international career as a human resources management expert, which she combines with her writing endeavors. She is married and a mother to two wonderful daughters she calls her little angels.
The city reeked like a stinky jungle. Dogs, crows, and black kites had all sucked the blood of our innocent people. There were soldiers everywhere. The Kinyarwanda language had lost its convincing power. If you did speak it perfectly, you could easily be identified as a born-in-Rwanda, if not a Hutu guilty party; you could be a Tutsi survivor of the killings. “Wewe ni mtu wa aina gani?”—which translated as What kind of a person are you?—was the question asked by the soldiers on Kigali streets with guns on their shoulders. I would move my lips and pretend not to understand Swahili. I spoke Biryogo Swahili, or a mixture of different versions of Swahili, despite the fact that my non-Swahili parents never allowed us to speak that language at the dinner table. I couldn’t respond to the soldiers’ question, for I did not know the kind of a person I was. I had no family. I had nobody else but Devota, a woman who used to be just a neighbor and had become the elder sister I had never had.