Genocide survivor recounts her experience in new book
At a tender age of 14, Consolee Nishimwe, who now lives in New York, US, suffered insurmountable physical and emotional torture during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Her newly-released memoir; Tested to the Limit: A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Pain, Resilience and Hope, is a story of hope, love and tolerance.
In 1994, Nishimwe and her family were forced into hiding for three months trying to evade capture and almost certain death by hordes of extremist Interahamwe militia who were intent on eliminating her ethnic group.
Her family encountered a myriad of traumatic experiences during that period like murders of her father, three brothers and other family members.
Nishimwe was personally targeted and subjected to sexual assault and torture and was infected with HIV as a result.
Despite her life-altering experiences, especially those related to the difficult prospect of living with HIV, she made a conscious decision to remain positive and hopeful and to prevent her terrible circumstances from changing her positive outlook on life.
She believes that her ability to maintain hopefulness in the face of such tremendous difficulties is a true testament of hope and faith and would provide lessons that will help others who may be facing difficulties in their own lives.
“As the years slowly went by, I gradually started to replace my feelings of despair with thoughts that I still had life so I should therefore still have hope, and I began to convince myself that God is still there for me so I should focus on his power and pray for his healing and guidance, instead of dwelling on my pain,” she is quoted saying.
Nishimwe is a dedicated speaker on the Genocide, a defender of global women’s rights and an advocate for other Genocide survivors.
Her memoir is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Balboa Press.
Writing on her blog about the new book, Nishimwe says: “This project is very special to me.
“My book is a narrative of my life from childhood, and what I experienced during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. I survived one of the most infamous genocides in history, during which I faced and overcame many extremely difficult circumstances and lost many close relatives and friends and my health was severely compromised.”
“It was so difficult to relive many of the atrocities me and my family experienced, as it brought back emotional pain which caused me to break down in tears over and over again during the writing process. In the end, however, I felt that reliving those events was somewhat therapeutic and help me face my fears about revisiting those bad memories.”