Frederick Nietzsche is not usually my favorite philosopher, but he was right when he said ‘’ What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’’. These survivors are different in many ways but they all share two things in common:
- They miraculously defied death by Hutu’s machete in 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
- They not only survived but they went on to thrive by turning their dark past into a brighter future. Now, top 5 genocide Survivors on the move:
- Abdul Salam Nizeyimana
A toddler back in 1994, Nizeyimana was left for dead after getting a nearly fatal machete blow on his head. Although he carries both visible and invisible scars of genocide, the 27-year old survivor rose above his injuries. Today Nizeyimana is giving back to his community including to those who slaughtered his family. His job is quite unique; Nizeyimana is a Drone Operator, working for Zipline International, one of the world’s first drone delivery services. He heads up a team of professionals in Rwanda who launch and retrieve autonomous drones that deliver blood to remote hospitals. Click here to watch his video operating drones in Rwanda and learn more about his story.
- Nadja Giramata
Nadja Giramata (born Nadia Giramata) is a Genocide survivor who rose out of ashes to become one of the most successful international Models of African descent. Born in Gisenyi, she was three years old when the 1994 genocide of Tutsi broke out in Rwanda. She survived. But her mother, her brother and many of her relatives did not. Today, Giramata is a big name in the modeling industry working with the world’s leading model agencies in Europe and United States. Recently, Giramata appeared on the front covers of prestigious fashion magazines including Forbes, Impression and many more. Click here to learn more about the Nadja Giramata.
3. Hervé Berville
Hervé Berville, 27, is a naturalized French politician who survived the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi when he was only three years old. He was adopted by a French couple in the immediate aftermath of Genocide. His name dominated the media worldwide last year, when he was elected French Member of Parliament, National Assembly June 18, 2017. Berville is no doubt a rising star in French politics and a great inspiration to other survivorsof Rwandan Genocide. He won 64 percent of the vote, crushing his conservative rival by a big margin. Click here to learn more about Hervé Berville
4. Dydine Umunyana
Dydine Umunyana is another most promising genocide survivor on the move. Umunyana is perhaps the youngest Rwandan genocide survivor to publish a memoir. She is the author of the book ‘’Embracing survival’’ published at Umbrella Press, LLC, in 2016. Today, Umunyana is a motivational speaker based in the US State of California. Umunyana has recently spoken at Google and several universities in the United States. At age four, Umunyana survived the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Click here to learn more about Umunyana’s work
5. Eric Murangwa Eugene
Eugene Murangwa is not a new name in Rwandans’ subconscious. He was a famous soccer player in Rwanda in the 90s. Murangwa came to the spotlight in March this year when the Prince of Wales awarded him the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). This is the highest civilian medal awarded to people for outstanding service to the community in the United Kingdom. Following his miraculous survival in 1994, Murangwa founded Football for Hope Peace and Unity (FHPU Enterprise), an organization that is dedicated to Peace and Unity using soccer. The story of how Murangwa survived the genocide against the Tutsi was featured in the Guardian and other major outlets in the UK. Click here to learn more about Eric Murangwa Eugene and his work.
By Albert Gasake