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I am a SURVIVOR

By on April 8, 2016
I was born in November 1992 about 2 years before the 94 Tutsi genocide here in Rwanda. I was born in a small family; it was just me and my older brother Kevin who was born a year before me. My parents were entrepreneurs, working for themselves in town. They met and fell in love and by October 1990, they were married here in Kigali- Rwanda. My father grew up and spent most of his life in Uganda, where he also did achieve his education. Afterwards he had to move to Rwanda- Kigali, where he had found a bride and so he settled in Kigali. And as for my mother, she was raised and grew up right here in her motherland all her life. After 2 years happily married with 2 kids, a tragedy occurred. They had been insecurity threats in the country for a longtime and for that my parents were never comfortable leaving me and Kevin alone at home with our nanny while they went off to work every morning, so instead they’d always drop us off at my grandmother’s in Kiyovu with our nanny who took care of us and they’d go on with their day and later in the evening on their way back from work, they’d pick us up and we would all head to our home in Nyamirambo. This routine went on for a longtime until one day, it was done differently which is how me and my brother Kevin survived the 94 genocide.
It was on the 5th of April, when they dropped us off on their way to work and at that time it was intense in the country and everyone was living in fear even though they’d wake up and try to live a normal life which my parents also tried to maintain. So, that morning they dropped us off at my grandmother and on their way back that evening something held them up at work and they left work a little bit later than usual and so since it was late and we were already asleep, they called my grandmother and told her to keep us for the night and that they would be coming back to pick us the next day. On the 6thof April (the following day) my mother went to work as usual but my father remained at home (nobody really remembers what exactly happened) but they didn’t go to together at work that day and so that evening when my mother called my grandmother to have us dressed and ready, that she was coming by to pick us up and take us back home. When she reached my grandmother’s house, grandma tried to convince her that it was not safe for her and that she should just remain here as well at least until the morning and maybe then she could go. But my mother became hard to convince to stay and so she told my grandmother that, she couldn’t stay and leave her husband- my father- to stay home alone that night so she instead allowed to leave Kevin and I with my grandmother since she had insisted and so she went back home in Nyamirambo and we stayed in Kiyovu with my grandmother. On that night, the night of the 6th is when President Habyarimana’s plane crushed and the madness begun and on the following day, is when the official day of the killing begun and so nobody was allowed to leave their homes especially those who were targeted and so my father and mother stayed at home that day in fear while we also remained at my grandmother’s in kiyovu.
The interahamwe invaded Nyamirambo on the 8th of April, brutally killing everyone and leaving no one behind. It’s said that on that day in Nyamirambo is where there was massive killing in the beginning days of the 94 genocide. My father was apparently on “the list” and so on that day, a large group of interhamwe barged into our home in Nyamirambo and started shooting non-stop and running around the house, threw all the rooms in searched of anyone  who could be there hiding from them and so my Father and mother were killed in that way. My aunt who survived hid outside in the dog house and the house girl covered her and didn’t tell the men about her. The house girl who had “Hutu” stamped on her National ID was safe and so the men left the house, leaving my father and mother dead. My grandmother heard the news and so she kept us threw out and the whole journey of trying to survive. It was not easy running and escaping from machetes and gun fires  for about 3 months with a 1yr(almost2) old baby and a 2(almost 3) yrs old baby, but my grandmother managed with the help of the other members of my family. My Grandmother raised us and onto this day she is still fighting and taking care of us. And this is my story of how I survived. 

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20 Comments
  1. Reply

    Unknown

    April 8, 2016

    My heart goes out to you and Kevin. You've been through alot and still you are the strongest people i know. #LNB

  2. Reply

    Miriam Hull

    April 8, 2016

    Another brave, determined survivor – and more than a survivor – a victor. God bless you!

  3. Reply

    Titi le magicien

    April 8, 2016

    wow what an inyeresting story. Thank you for sharing. woww still can't imagine how it has happened. I myself was 4 at the time. And I was rescued by our nanny as my daddu and mamy was not available for the time. The nanny took me from home (Rwampara) up to congo (Kisangani). That nanny till now she is my Nest and ever friend. Thank you so much for sharing I remember too. Dufatane mu mugongo twese hamweariya mateka ntazongere bibaho.

  4. Reply

    Titi le magicien

    April 8, 2016

    wow what an inyeresting story. Thank you for sharing. woww still can't imagine how it has happened. I myself was 4 at the time. And I was rescued by our nanny as my daddu and mamy was not available for the time. The nanny took me from home (Rwampara) up to congo (Kisangani). That nanny till now she is my Nest and ever friend. Thank you so much for sharing I remember too. Dufatane mu mugongo twese hamweariya mateka ntazongere bibaho.

  5. Reply

    Tia Sarah

    April 8, 2016

    Stay strong Karen may the spirit of God be with you and your family 🙏🏽

  6. Reply

    Elvis Kamana

    April 8, 2016

    May their soul Rest in Peace God be with you Karen and Kevin

  7. Reply

    Sheilla Rukundo

    April 8, 2016

    May their swt souls RIP. Stay strong dear.

  8. Reply

    Yves Rukangira

    April 8, 2016

    May their soul rest in eternal peace, May God always protect you guys and guide you. Wish to you guys nothing but success and i believe your parents are proud of you

  9. Reply

    Jonathan KANANGIRE

    April 9, 2016

    May their souls rest in peace. Your grandmother is a strong woman.I am very glad you have the heart and strength to share your story. Such people should never be fogotten. Am sure they are proud. Stay strong!

  10. Reply

    Nkurunziza Egide

    April 9, 2016

    Sorry for this tragic journey you went through, be strong God has a good plan for you.

  11. Reply

    Nkurunziza Egide

    April 9, 2016

    You have life as your name states, no one can still it, even Satan cannot.

  12. Reply

    Tukahirwa Hillary

    April 9, 2016

    Didn't know this about you so glad you shared this may your parents rest in eternal peace and now I believe I see why you are as strong willed as you are. You are a victor Karen ✊��

  13. Reply

    Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa

    April 10, 2016

    Karen, thank God for your grandmother. God used her to protect you, love and raise you with a grandmother's love after losing your precious parents! Thank you for sharing your story and may your parents RIP

  14. Reply

    Jacques KARAMUTSA

    April 10, 2016

    Be strong Karen… you survived for a reason. May you parents rest in eternal peace

  15. Reply

    Unknown

    April 11, 2016

    Take heart beautiful,May their Souls Rest in Eternal Peace.

  16. Reply

    Unknown

    April 11, 2016

    Such a strong and beautiful woman of God!

  17. Reply

    Cynthia Umurerwa

    April 12, 2016

    May God keep protecting your family Karen n may their souls rest in eternal peace. Glory to our might God.

  18. Reply

    Unknown

    April 13, 2016

    Thanks much Karen for sharing. God has a bigger plan to you and your brother. I know u are such a brave, keep it up. more blessings.

  19. Reply

    Valentine Ingabire

    April 15, 2016

    Be strong my dear. May God continue to be with you

  20. Reply

    Kalinda Nadine

    April 19, 2016

    I didn't know all of this! Thank you for sharing your story! You have been through a lot but still your faith is strong.. God is awesome! My thee stay by your side always strengthening you and your family. May you become the woman God wants you to be and shine in his name! Be blessed

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