Could Love Have Survived In Rwanda? A Short Story By A. Happy Umwagarwa

Published August 29, 2019

Disclaimer: Inspired by historical events, this is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.

© 2019 A. Happy Umwagarwa
All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the author.

Life hasn’t been unfair to me, but Rwanda has. I grew up in a rich family, went to good schools, gave and received love, but Rwanda has always found a way to make me cry. I don’t know if I should be angry with Rwanda, Papa or Mama, or all the people of this country I call mine.

One day, I had a very bitter conversation with my daughter Umutoni. Poor girl! She was confused. She did not approve my courtship with Ngabonziza. She saw it as a betrayal to the memory of her father who was killed during the genocide against the Tutsi, only three weeks to the date I was supposed to officially get married to him.

The conversation with my daughter took a turn I never expected, when she said, “Mama, don’t tell me you’re already pregnant. I cannot bear having a Hutu as a sibling.”

“What?” I asked. “Why do you think I could be pregnant?”

“It’s just because…. Because you were pregnant with me before you could get married to my dad. Maybe, the only reason you want to marry Ngabonziza is because he made you pregnant again.”

“No, I’m not pregnant. But, when I will, I won’t care whether the father shall be a Hutu or a Tutsi because to me those so-called ethnicities do not exist. My baby shall just be a child, a human being like any other person on the planet.”

“Mom, Hutus killed your father. They killed my father. Please, don’t marry a Hutu. I beg you.”

“Who told you my father was killed by Hutus?” I asked.

It was true that my fiancé, the father to Umutoni, was killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi by Hutu militants. But, what my daughter did not know is that my father was not killed during the genocide. He was killed in 1995 by unidentified people, few days after we returned to Kigali from Zaire. I had never talked to my daughter about the death of my father. In fact, nobody talked about it in the family. It was some kind of a taboo topic.

“Grandma told me he was killed during the genocide,” Umutoni responded. “Isn’t it true?”

“Did she say that to you?” I asked. “No, it’s not true. My father was… No. This conversation has to end. It’s not about him again. It should be about me. My dear, I loved your father Rugengamanzi. He was my first love. Life without him has been hell to me. But, now he is no more. They killed him. It took me all these years to come to terms with his death. Please, now that I have found another love, don’t try to stop me. I don’t see Ngabonziza as a Hutu or anything else. I see him as a good person with a pure heart, a man who loves and cares for me. Please let me give myself a second chance to love and to be loved.”

“Mama, we will talk about Ngabonziza later. But, tell me about grandpa. How did he die? Who killed him, if not Hutus.”

“My dear, I’ve told you that’s not a conversation I want to have with you. I don’t want to talk about my father. Not now, please. I will ask grandma to tell you the truth about his death.”

“Why grandma? Why not you?”

“Because she’s the one who told you Papa was killed by Hutus. She should have the courage to admit she lied to you, and tell you the truth.”

I immediately walked out of her room and went to my bedroom to soak my pillow with tears. I couldn’t believe my mother was at it again. I did not have anything to say to my daughter. The only person I had to confront was Mama.

On that evening, I went to my mother’s house. I found her in the living room with some visitors. I walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water.

“Hey, Uwineza, how are you?” My sister Giraneza asked.

“What are you doing here?” I asked her. “The last time I checked you always had to be in your house by 6.00pm. Have you decided to break Ngamije’s rules today?”

“Do you really have to be sarcastic about that?” She asked. “When shall you ever behave like a sister to me? Why does it seem like you are happy my marriage is in shambles?”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I did not mean to offend you. I thought you had sorted out whatever issues you had with your husband.”

“No, I haven’t. He’s hit me again. Look here.”

“What? Who did this to you? Oh my! I’m sorry I had not noticed your eye is swollen. This is too much. Giraneza, my sister, please do never go back to that wicked man. He does not love you. Please, acknowledge you are in an abusive relationship. The place of that man is nowhere else but in prison.”

“Which prison?” My sister asked. “You got to be kidding. There are people prisons have not been built for.”

“Is he above the law?” I asked.

“No, the law doesn’t simply apply to him.”

“My dear, the law applies to every Rwandan citizen, and he is not an exception. All you need to do is to call the police and report him. Evidence is written all over your face. He can’t deny he has assaulted you. Why are you so scared of him? I guess you give him more power than he has.”

Giraneza burst into tears.

I laid my hand on her shoulder and said, “It’s okay sis. It’s alright. You are a strong woman who has just given her heart to the wrong man.”

“Yes, I love Ngamije and he probably loves me. But, our marriage started on a wrong note. Mama pushed me into that marriage. She wanted me to be married to a Tutsi, and I had to go with the first who showed some interest without even taking time to get to know him better.”

“What do you mean?”

“Uwineza, Ngamije started hitting me the day he learnt that Mama and I had told him lies about our family.  We told him Papa was killed during the genocide against the Tutsi. Now, Ngamije calls me an imposter. He hates me. He hits me day and night.”

“Oh, no, don’t tell me it’s about Hutus and Tutsis again? When shall Rwandans stop this nonsense?”

“No, Ngamije tells me he doesn’t mind the fact I could be Hutu. He states that when he fell in love with me, he did not bother to ask whether I was Hutu or Tutsi. To him, what matters is a person’s character and values. He is angry with me simply because I told him lies about my family. He states that he can no longer trust me.”

“Why? My sister, why? Why did you allow Mama to pull you into her dirty games? Don’t you remember what I went through in 1993, when Mama did not want me to be married to a Tutsi?”

“Yes, I remember. She sided with Papa and discouraged you to marry a Tutsi. I recall the day you asked her why she did not approve your marriage to a Tutsi despite the fact herself was a Tutsi. She said to you that women do not have any ethnicity, and added that marrying a Tutsi in 1993 would put you in danger, and that as your mother, she needed to protect you.”

“Yes, that’s what she said to me. Can you imagine she’s doing the same thing today?”


“She disapproves my marriage with Ngabonziza because he’s Hutu. She says that marrying a Hutu is not a risk I should take today.”

“Sister, I’m very sorry, I always take Mama’s side even when I don’t completely agree with her. I don’t know how she manages to manipulate my actions. I wished I had not listened to her. I wished I had taken enough time to feel my love for Ngamije before I decided to rush into the marriage, as if it was the only chance I had to be married to a Tutsi. Uwineza, if you’re really in love with Ngabonziza and you’re sure he loves you, please go for it. This time around I will be on your side.”

“Thanks sis. But, now the problem is not only Mama. She has managed to manipulate my daughter Umutoni. She is angry with me. She does not talk to me. She says that marrying a Hutu would be a betrayal to her father, who was killed by Hutus. Mama told her that even our father was killed during the genocide against the Tutsi. Tell me how I will tell my daughter that her mother is one of those Hutus she hates. Shall I also tell her that her grandfather could have had a hand in her father’s death? This is more than I can chew now. I was never prepared for this.”

“No, Uwineza, Mama told me that Papa did not kill your fiancé. Interahamwe came to fetch him. I was in my bedroom when it happened.”

“Please stop it. Who was the leader of MRND in our neighborhood? Was it not Papa? Were Interahamwe more influential than him? How did they know Rugengamanzi was hiding in our house? If they were looking for Tutsis, why did they not take Mama together with my fiancé?”

“What are you talking about? Would you have liked it if they had killed Mama as well? She was saved by the fact that she was married to a Hutu and a mother to Hutu children. Rugengamanzi was simply a Tutsi like any other.”

“If Mama was saved for being a wife to a Hutu, why wasn’t my fiancé spared as well because he was a son-in-law to a Hutu?”

“A son-in-law, that’s different. Rugengamanzi was a Tutsi who would later make Tutsi children.”

“What? Are you possibly saying the same thing Mama said to me when I wanted to marry Rugengamanzi? Do you agree with her that children have to identify only with the ethnicity of their father? If so, why did you then lie to Ngamije about your ethnicity? You should have told him you were a Hutu.”

“Uwineza, let’s stop this conversation here. I have a headache. I don’t know anything anymore. I guess I’m confused. Everybody knows me as a Tutsi. I told all my new friends that my Papa was a Tutsi who was killed during the genocide. My husband, Ngamije, tells me that I should stop being an imposter. In fact, he encourages me to speak out.”

“He does what? Do you mean he wants everybody to know you are a Hutu?”

“Yes, he says I have to tell my story if I want to reconcile with him. I guess he has other reasons.”

“What reasons?”

“I don’t know. He accuses me of cheating on him with other men, and says that the only reason I can’t say no to them is because I constantly seek for their approval.”

“I’m not sure I understand that. But, I guess he is right about the fact that you have to liberate yourself from those chains you’re tangled with. Giraneza, you need to be free. You are neither a Hutu nor a Tutsi. You are just Giraneza, a daughter to Muterambabazi and Habiyambere. That’s all. Whoever wants to know who you really are, tell him, or her, your story, and not the so-called ethnicity you want to attach to your story.”

“It’s not that easy.”

“No, it’s not. You need to do it neither for Ngamije nor anybody else, but for yourself. One more thing: Ngamije does not hit you because of what you did or said, but because he is a violent man. You deserve better. There shouldn’t be any justification for violence.”

“I’m done with him,” Giraneza said. “It’s over.”

“If he loves you, he will have to also go through some therapy for his violent behaviour. He needs as much psychological help as you do.”

“Now you’re starting,” Giraneza said with a smile. “Ms. Psychologist!”

“You know what?,” I said. “Apparently, these visitors Mama is having have no plan of saying goodbye any soon. I will have to go. I’ll talk to her any other time.”

“Sister,” Giraneza said. “I guess the person you need to have a conversation with now is your daughter. She is already 16 years old. Tell her the truth about her family, her mixed ethnicity, her father’s death, and the death of her grandfather. Pour everything to her. Don’t worry, she’s old enough to figure out how to digest it.”

“Thanks,” I said. “I will talk to her.

Before leaving, I persuaded Giraneza to eat, go to bed and try to catch some sleep. Her head needed some rest. All she needed was to stretch her body, breathe in and breathe out, and command her brain not to worry about anything. I wanted her to take time to love herself, to care for herself, and chill out.

When I arrived at my house, Umutoni was already in her bedroom.

“Hey, dear,” I said after entering her room. “I hope I’m not disturbing. May I?”

“Mama, are you okay?” She asked. “Since when you ask for permission to seat on my bed?”

“It’s just that… I mean, it’s late, and I thought you wanted to sleep.”

“As you can see, I’m watching my favorite series. You look bothered. Mama, I’m sorry for what I said to you. I shouldn’t have reminded you about the death of your father. I could see you were not comfortable to talk about how he died. Mama, it’s okay. I get it. It sometimes happens to me as well when people ask me how my father was killed. The story grandma told me about his death is not so clear, and I can’t tell it to anybody. It’s so confusing. Oops, I’m talking about it again. Mama, let’s pack this conversation for another day. Right?”

“Yes, my dear. But, I have a suggestion.”

“What suggestion?” Umutoni asked.

“A weekend at the lake in Kibuye! How about that? Just two of us.”

“Hooray! That’s my mom.”

“I love you my darling. I miss having our mother-daughter special time.”

The following Saturday, I went to Kibuye with my daughter and we discussed everything. We wept together. She wiped my tears and I wiped hers.

“Mama, do you know that at school, some classmates used to say I was a child of Interahamwe?” Umutoni asked me. “At some point, I thought you had lied to me about my father. I thought you were raped by Hutu militants, and that I was a fruit of what you endured during the genocide.”

“No, my dear. That’s not true. Nobody raped me. Your father and I were madly in love. We had vowed to wait until our wedding. But when my parents disapproved our marriage, we decided to live together before the wedding as a way to force them to accept our union. Our wedding was scheduled on May 7, 1994. The genocide started when I had gone to invite our family members in Butare. Your father escaped the killers that attacked his house on 7 April 1994, and with the help of his houseboy, he managed to get to my parents’ house. I also don’t know much about how he was killed. Mama told me that Interahamwe took him out of our house, but some other people said my own father killed him.”

“Please, don’t cry again,” Umutoni said. “You’ve already told me the whole story. Mama, as much as I hate Hutus for what I thought they did to you, I don’t really hate Ngabonziza. Everything I said to you was because grandma had asked me to convince you not to marry a Hutu. I did not want anything that could hurt grandma. But, I still have so many questions dancing in my mind…”

“Tell me dear. What questions?”

“Not to you. I’ll have to talk to grandma. If you don’t mind, you and auntie Giraneza may as well be there. I still don’t understand grandma’s attitude. Grandma is a Tutsi, right?


“Then, why didn’t she want you to get married to a Tutsi?”

“She said she wanted to protect me.”

“And today, why doesn’t she want you to marry a Hutu?”

“For the same reasons.”

“Mama, it’s not that I agree with grandma, but I guess we need to listen to her and get where she’s coming from. I cannot think grandma hated Tutsis, when she is also a Tutsi. I don’t think she hates Hutus when she married a Hutu and gave birth to children that are culturally recognized as Hutus. Maybe grandma sees what we don’t see, or she simply doesn’t see what we see.”

On June 17, 2011, the date on which my parents used to celebrate their wedding anniversary. My sister, my daughter and I decided to organize a surprise party for Mama. There was a small photo of Papa and Mama that I had been given by Papa’s cousin who lived in Belgium. I took it to a studio where they enlarged it and put it in a golden frame. We made it the main wall piece in our mother’s living room. My sister had asked Mama to accompany her to run some errands, while my daughter and I were at our mother’s house, putting everything together. We did not invite anybody else. It was for  Mama, her two daughters and her granddaughter.

“What’s going on here?” Mama asked as soon as she entered the house. “What’s this?”

“Happy wedding anniversary, Mama!” I said. “Even though Papa is no more, we wanted to remind you that he lives on in us. We are the fruits of your union.”

“Please, remove this photo from my living room. Who told you I wanted to celebrate this. My marriage with your father ended the day he died.”

“Mama, don’t get angry, please,” Giraneza said. “We only wanted to celebrate you.”

“Grandma, please,” Umutoni said. “Come and cut the cake.”

“I have said I want this photo out, and that’s final. I’m going to my bedroom. I have a backache.”

Our mother left us there. We did not know what to do. Our plan had failed.

“I have an idea,” Umutoni said. “Let’s give her like ten minutes to breathe. Then, I will go and talk to her.”

“What shall you tell her?” I asked.

“She might not want to talk to you because you know everything about grandpa. But, I can go in just as an innocent granddaughter who wanted to honor a grandpa she lost during the genocide against the Tutsi, as grandma told me. I will tell her the idea to organize the party was mine, and that I don’t understand her attitude towards the photo of grandpa.”

“Do you think she will immediately tell you the truth?” Giraneza asked.

“You’ll have to follow me and eavesdrop our conversation. When she will start telling me lies, that’s the time you will stumble into it, and say to her that she should tell me the truth about my family.”

“It sounds like a good plan.” I said.

When Umutoni asked Mama why she did not want to keep the photo of Papa in her living room, she said, “My dear, he’s gone forever. There’s no reason to continue torturing myself by looking at his photo every day.”

“But grandma, even if you decide not to have his photo in your living room, you can’t forget him. He was your husband and you loved him so much. Didn’t you?”

“Yes, dear. But, he is no more. Now life has to go on without him.”

“Grandma, why do I have a feeling you did not like grandpa. Was he a bad person?”

“He wasn’t the best, but I loved him.”

“What do you mean? Why wasn’t he the best? Did he use to hit you?”

“What are you talking about, Umutoni?” Mama asked my daughter. “If you want to know the truth, yes he did. He abused me verbally and physically. But, that’s not the reason why I don’t want to see his picture.”

“Why then? Is it because it reminds you of how Hutu militants killed him during the genocide against the Tutsi.”

“Probably, yes.”

“Mother, stop telling lies to my daughter,” I said as I burst into Mama’s room, followed by my sister Giraneza. “Our father was not killed during the genocide against the Tutsi. He was killed in 1995 by unidentified people. He was a Hutu and a member of MRND. He wasn’t targeted by the killers.”

“What are you talking about?” Umutoni asked, pretending she did not know before. “Don’t tell me, I have believed your lies all these years. Grandma, tell me what Mama is saying is not true.”

“Mom, we know you’re a good person,” Giraneza said. “But, we don’t understand why you want us to tell people that our father was a Tutsi and that he was killed during the genocide, when you know it’s not true.”

“It’s because I love you my children,” Mama responded. “I simply want to protect you from this world.” She pointed to Giraneza and added, “Look at how your husband hit you after he learnt that you are a Hutu? That’s what I was trying to avoid.”

“No,” Giraneza argued. “Ngamije did not hit me because I’m a Hutu, but because I lied to him about my family.”

“If you think Tutsis could hate us for being Hutu,” I asked. “Why don’t you want me to marry Ngabonziza, who is a Hutu like me?”

“Apparently, you don’t understand anything of what I’m saying. To make the matter worse, you want to marry a Hutu and give birth to Hutu children, and you’re telling me I shouldn’t worry?”

“Mama, please,” I shouted as anger pushed me to move back and forth in the room. “Do you think I have forgotten what you told me when I wanted to get married to Rugengamanzi in 1993? Didn’t you disapprove my marriage because I was going to marry a Tutsi during the period in which Hutus were in power? You’re so miserable and despicable. I hate the day you gave birth to me. This is too much. I can’t take it. Somebody tell her to stop this nonsense. Are you suggesting you married Papa simply because he was a Hutu and you needed his protection, and now, you can’t even stand looking at his picture? A man you slept in the same room with for 23 years? How wicked!”

“No, stop it!” Mama shouted. “Listen to me now. All of you, sit down, keep quiet and just listen. I’m going to tell you the whole truth.”

It was my first time to hear Mama speaking on that tone. She breathed faster than usual. Her muscles looked tense, and with a clenched jaw, her voice could not come clearly, but she tried as possible as she could to tell us her story. A story she had never shared with us before.

“When I met your father, I was a student at Karubanda girls’ school. Habiyambere was in Ruhande University. Every girl of our generation wanted to be noticed by one of those well groomed guys, who wore ties and smoked cigarettes. The day Habiyambere told me he was in love with me, and wanted me to be the mother of his children, I did not hesitate even for a second to say yes. My father had been killed in 1963, and the only person who could bless my marriage with Habiyambere was my paternal uncle, Rugwizangoga. When I said that Habiyambere’s family was planning to come to ask for my hand in marriage, both my uncle and my mother told me that there was no way they could give me to a Hutu family after how Hutus had massacred my father and many of our other relatives in Nyaruguru area.”

“Was grandpa’s family among those who killed your father in 1963?” Umutoni asked.

“No. Habiyambere was from Ruhengeri. I could not understand how his poor family could be blamed for massacres that had taken place in the south of Rwanda. His father was a disabled person with difficulty to move. His mother was a poor woman who had managed to beg priests to send her children to school. That poor family could not be blamed for anything. Besides, I loved Habiyambere so much that I did neither saw him as a Hutu nor anything else, but a man I had fallen for. I decided my uncle and mother were just ignorant, and that as an educated girl, there is no way I could listen to their nonsense. I moved in to live with Habiyambere without my parents’ blessings. They called it “Kugenda ninjoro” or “kwishyingira.” I thought our love was all we needed to live a happy life. I was wrong.”

“No Mama,” I said. “You weren’t wrong at all.”

“My daughter, yes, I was wrong. Few days after I left my home, Habiyambere’s family approached my family in what is known as ‘Kwirega”, then the official wedding was organized. It’s after that wedding that my misery started.”

“What misery?” Giraneza asked.

“Habiyambere kept grudges against my family because he thought they despised Hutus, and I had to be the one to pay the price.”

“How?,” Umutoni asked.

“My dear, Habiyambere wanted me to hate my own family. He wanted me to choose him over my mother, a poor widow who needed my love and support as her first daughter. Habiyambere did not allow me to pay visits to my mother. I was never able to buy clothes for my mother. She lived in misery till the day she was killed in 1994. Despite the fact I was married to an influential Hutu, I was not able to save at least my own mother…”

Mama burst into tears. It was my first time to see her crying. My hands shook as I tried to wipe her tears. I had no more questions. How could I ask Mama why she did not save my fiancé Rugengamanzi, when she could not even save her own family.

“Grandma, you’ve told me that grandpa used to hit you,” Umutoni said. “Right?”

“Before 1990, apart from his bitterness towards my family, Habiyambere treated me like his queen. I had everything I wished for, and other women of Kigali thought of me as the blessed one. We lived a life of darlings.

“Really?” Uwineza asked.

“The worst started when the war broke out in 1990. Habiyambere became more engaged in politics. Day and night he expressed his hatred for Tutsis he called my people. Whenever I tried to express my own opinions, the conversation became very hot and he accused me of being an ally, icyitso, to the Tutsi rebels. That’s the time he started hitting me. During that period, all Tutsis became Habiyambere’s enemies. Even my siblings cousins, and a few Tutsi friends we had were no longer welcome in our house. So, when Uwineza told us she wanted to get married to a Tutsi, I knew Habiyambere would think that I wanted to marry our daughter to a Tutsi. I decided to side with my husband and told Uwineza there was no way she could get married to Rugengamanzi.”

“Mama, why?” I asked. “Why did you not tell me what you were going through? At least I would have known you were on my side. I was more upset with you than I was with Papa. I wondered how you could disapprove my marriage with a Tutsi despite the fact you were also a Tutsi.”

“My daughter, I liked Rugengamanzi. In fact, disapproving the marriage was my way to protect both of you. I feared Habiyambere could hurt that innocent young man, simply because he was in love with you. I was not wrong. During the genocide against the Tutsi, your father turned into a devil I could not recognize. He killed many people. He killed Rugengamanzi, your fiancé. He hit me day and night whenever I cried for his victims. He did not physically kill me, but I was already dead spiritually and psychologically. That’s the time I cursed the day I married a Hutu, and decided my children are not Hutus and shall never get married to Hutus.”

“Mama, sorry for all what you went through,” I said. “But, please, don’t be like Papa. Because of how your family rejected him or whatever his family had endured, he concluded all Tutsis were bad. And, now, because of what Papa did to you, you want to conclude all Hutus are bad. No, Mama, wickedness has nothing to do with the so-called ethnicity. Look at what Giraneza is enduring in her marriage. Isn’t she married to a Tutsi who hits her day and night? Mama, don’t you know many Hutus who are not as evil as Papa?”

“I know them.”

“Then, what message are you giving to us? Do you want us to start believing that since we are called Hutus, we are bad people? Is that how you see us, your children?”

“No, my darlings.”

“Mama, let me tell you something you did not know about Ngabonziza’s family,” I said. “Did you know his father was killed during the genocide against the Tutsi?”

“What? How? Was he not a Hutu?”

“Yes, he was of course a Hutu. When Tutsis from their village took refuge at the Catholic parish church, Ngabonziza’s father used to take banana fruits to them because he knew they had nothing to eat. One day, when he was distributing the fruits, the church was attacked by Hutu militants mixed with gendarmes. Ngabonziza’s father was hit by a bullet and died on the spot. Now tell me, if we were to hate people because of who their parents are, is it me who should hate Ngabonziza because he is a Hutu or he should rather hate me because I’m a daughter to a genocide perpetrator?”

“Mama,” my sister Giraneza said. “As much as I can’t excuse Ngamije’s abuses, I would like to tell you that I also love him so much, not because he is a Tutsi, but simply because he’s the only man my heart has ever beaten for. I regret the fact that I did not tell him the truth about my family. I built our relationship on a big lie, and that’s very bad. In fact, after listening to this, I want to give our marriage a second chance. I will go to him, apologize for having lied to him, tell him the whole truth, and if he rejects me, I will leave him. But if he accepts me as I’m and agrees to seek for professional help about his violent behaviour, I’ll love and care for him as my husband.”

“Good luck, sis,” I said to Giraneza.

“Grandma,” Umutoni said. “I also wished you had told me the truth about our family. I have always hated Hutus for having killed both my father and my grandpa. I did not know I was a granddaughter to a genocide perpetrator…”

My daughter, Umutoni burst into tears, and I did not know how to stop her apart from holding her tightly in my arms and tell her that she should never be defined by who her parents or grandparents are but her own person.

I said to Mama, “Mother, I’m your eldest daughter and even though you never said anything to me, I sensed it. I knew that you were not happy. I remember seeing you with red eyes and when I asked, you always said it was because you were praying to Virgin Mary. Mama, you’re also a victim of this never ending Hutu-Tutsi conflict. Maybe you loved Papa but did not know how to help him. You forgot yourself because of the love you had for him and for us, your children. It’s for love you did all you did. It’s for love you continue to do what you do. Mama, please, I beg you, from today, start living. Don’t worry, we will just be fine. Let us make our own mistakes and learn from them. The most important thing is that we know you love us and we can always come back to you.”

“Thank you.” Mama said shyly but with a smiling face.

“And as for Papa,” I added. “As much as I don’t justify what he did, I always keep in mind this quote from an author named Chris Colfer: A Villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.


Thanks for reading

My name is Umwagarwa

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Have you ordered a copy of HeartsAmongOurselves, my new novel set in in the post genocide Rwanda? I have posted below its trailer.

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Those who are in Rwanda, I am pleased to inform you that the novel is now on Kigali bookshelves. Please get your copy from Librairie Caritas, in town (Tel. +250(0)788300787), and Arise Bookshop, on Kimironko road (Tel. +250(0)788354020)

Below is the trailer of Hearts Among Ourselves.