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”Worn a mask for a long time”

No matter how you try as an outsider, you can never understand what it is like to see your loved ones murdered and you survive the genocide yourself. Is it possible to put into words what it has been like to write a book about these difficult experiences?
“Writing the book for me was an attempt at cleaning inside me and emptying what was there, because I didn't want to pretend to feel good. I want to be able to give my children the right love.” 

When did you decide to tell your story?
“I have worn a mask for a long time, which was hard for me and my family. It was always my wish to write about my experiences and then I was given the opportunity by the embassy, which I am grateful for.”  

The incident in Rwanda is a very dark chapter in our modern history and the UN has been harshly criticised for not acting on the ground. Your saw with your own eyes, for example, UN soldiers sunbathing and drinking cocktails at a hotel near where you lived. How much confidence do you have in the UN today?

“I have no confidence at all in the UN, the money used there can be spent on something else or the UN has not understood what objective they have had up to now. When you work or do something you always strive for results. Have they done so? No, and why are they there? I am ANGRYYYY!”  

The book's subtitle, “The country that was reborn”, also wants to highlight how Rwanda has got back on its feet, started over and, not least, united its people. How would you like to describe today's Rwanda?
“If I can describe today's Rwanda with one word, it would be HOPE and wounds that heal.” 

What reactions have you had so far to the book?
Everyone who has read the book, first and foremost, felt sorry about what happened, but at the same time they thought it was a good idea that the truth is revealed and not forgotten and it will help the next generation. It’s positive.”

Of those who have not yet done so, who do you think should definitely read the book?
I would most of all like young people to read it. For me, when you teach young people, you also teach society and this I believe in.”  

PHOTOS: Anna Nordström

Available in english, swedish or as e-book.

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