Dieudonne Gakire is an author, public speaker, peace building activist and a member of an NGO (Women of Will Africa that helps women and children). Gakire, who is a genocide survivor, has written inspiring books such as ‘A Dreaming Child’ with an aim of fighting genocide ideology. The 25 year old talked to Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa about his aspirations and passion for writing.
Your skill in writing, did you attain any training for it?
I did not get any training for it. I studied in a technical school and I’m currently doing electrical engineering at IPRC-Kigali. I have however always loved creative writing and literature and it’s my dream to pursue it. Have being brought up in a village as a genocide survivor, survival was attained through hard work. This encouraged me to motivate others through writing I managed to write and motivate others because I believe that talent opens many doors to your destiny.
Could this be the same reason that you chose the ‘motivational speaking path’?
I have met many people who have inspired me which is why I want to be a motivational speaker. I believe that being successful in life is about the mindset. I wrote my book when I had only four hundred Rwandan francs and I never had guidance from anyone. I started writing in high school in 2010, but I did not get enough support. But with just the idea, I have been able to sell more than 1,000 copies in two years now.
Can you say that you have achieved anything from writing?
I recently represented Rwandan writers in an international book fair called FILBo in Bogota, Columbia in April where I presented my book to over 360 book fair attendees. This month I will also be attending a conference in Uganda called The Writivism Festival. Although I love writing I cannot say I know everything. There is a lot to learn from other writers and do networking.
What are some of the other projects that you are working on?
I want to start an organisation with my book’s name ‘A Dreaming Child’ to help kids from my neighbourhood in Mwendo, Ruhango district who are struggling financially to attain education. I first set my eyes on a computer when I was only 16 years but I do not want it to be the same case with kids in my village and so I will ensure that they have a computer laboratory and library. Being in a neighbourhood that doesn’t have people who motivate you pulls you back as a community. That is why I want to motivate and give them hope. I also want to open up a shop that will deal in crafts where all profits will go to the centre to help the disadvantaged children.
Do you have any advice for the youth?
They should dream big, believe in themselves and work hard. Self discipline is important because it is what drives one to achieve what they dream. They also need to be responsible in their communities and work towards its development if they are to earn respect.