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My Mother Killed me: Surviving Rwanda’s Tutsi genocide (Ma Mère m’a Tué: Survivre au Génocide Rwandais?)

Author: ,


Original Language: French | 160 pp. | April 2019

2 Seas represents: Dutch, Nordic and English (US & Canada) rights


This testimony is the story of Albert, 7 years old, during the Tutsi genocide, in April 1994.

Albert is only 7 years old when the genocide of the Tutsis takes place, in April of 1994. The seventh child of a brotherhood of nine, with a Tutsi father and a Hutu mother, he is considered Tutsi just like his brothers since ethnicity is passed on by the father.

As a boy, Albert lives through and witnesses inconceivable hate. In the beginning of this terrible tragedy, he miraculously cheats death and succeeds in escaping while his mother orchestrates and plans her husband’s and her nine children’s deaths by denouncing them to a squadron of the Hutu militia that commits the massacres. He is the only one of his siblings to survive, and becomes an orphan. And despite everything, Albert has forgiven his mother…

Many aspects of the genocide in Rwanda are particularly disturbing: the cruelty with which it was carried out, but also the fact that many parents killed their own children, if one of the children’s parents was a Tutsi.

Having faced events of such dramatic scope, and of such violence, is it possible to take the route of resilience? Is forgiving your persecutors a part of the psychological reconstruction?

This testimony once again reminds us of the young Rwandans’ courage and unimaginable capacity to get back up and to forgive.

Today 31 years old, Albert Nsengimana is a member of REFTA, an association of Tutsi genocide survivors. He speaks for the first time in this exceptional document.

Hélène Cyr is a Quebec engineer who lived in Rwanda for 10 years and had an Art and Craft school built over there. Her meeting with Albert in 2011, will be decisive and from then she will take him under her wing.