Patricia Bamurangirwa was born in Rwanda in 1949. The outbreak of the civil war in the 1960s ended her education, and her family fled from Rwanda, first as refugees to the Congo and Uganda and later to Tanzania and Kenya. Deprived of an education and stable upbringing, Patricia has become interested in the reason behind the wars and violence Rwanda and its people suffered. She decided to write this book to set the record straight regarding the common myths about the history of Rwanda and its people.
This book is divided into three parts. Starting with the formation of Rwanda, it shows how the tribes, Banyarwanda Tutsi, Twa and Hutu lived in harmony under the rule of a king. It then examine Rwanda under colonialism, when the Belgiums devised an ethnic system that raised the Hutus above the Tutsis and laid the groundwork of the future tensions in the country. Finally, the last part examines Rwanda as it entered the period of the 1994 genocide when over 20% of the population was killed and the world stood by.
The book does not simply narrate events in Rwanda’s history, but seeks to provide some clarity on the cause rather than the effects of the current state of affairs. It is not a book simply about the genocide, but a look at how the country’s history has shaped the events of modern times. It is important to understand Rwanda’s successive periods of history, in order to understand today’s Rwanda, and this book presents a fresh perspective on the country and its people.