VIDEO: Surviving Genocide, cancer at 25, Bugingo tells all in her new book


Karen gives her speech

25-year-old Karen Bugingo on Friday evening launched her debut novel ‘My Name is Life’, which is a story detailing her struggles as a cancer patient until her recovery.

VIDEO: Trailer: My Name is Life, a book by Kareen Bugingo

The book aims at bringing hope and courage mostly to the people battling cancer, pay tribute to those who lost the battle to cancer and young people in general, she says.

1520804648‘My name is life’ book
Some of the guests peruse through the ‘My name is life’ book during the launch at Kigali Convention Centre.

Speaking at the launch, Bugingo, who lost both her parents to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, noted that she wanted people to read her story, be encouraged and look forward to the future no matter what they are going through.

“As I was writing this story, I knew that I was encouraging the young people to also share their stories. “Always remember that the story you are writing is a seed that you are writing in someone’s life because you never know how much it will change their lives.”

The cancer survivor, at the age of 19, was diagnosed with severe lymphoma (cancer) in her blood.

“I used to wonder why, at 19 years, I was battling cancer but this day tells me this is the reason I was suffering. I have given this book everything, my heart, my soul and today I see the good work and I’m happy and proud of myself.”

I look back at the nights when I almost gave up on the idea of writing my story. But, today my social media is full of young boys’ and girls’ messages telling me how they are fighting some cancer and other real life situations because of sharing my real life story. Writing this novel has taught me so much that I will use in future, she said.

It was published by Imagine We Rwanda - a local organisation.

Bugingo was born and raised in Kigali where both her parents were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and was raised by her grandmother and  aunt. 

She is a student, currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at Mount Kenya University in Rwanda.


1520804813Friday James as the MC of the event.
Local television personality, Friday James, was the MC of the event.
Karen and Imagine We team which edited and produced the book.
Karen Bugingo poses with friends during her book Launch. All photos by Nadege Imbabazi
Karen got emotional during her speech as she spoke about her Grandmother who raised her after her parents passed away during 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. Nadege I  
Makenda and Ndirangu pose with the book poster during the event.
Participants asked question about the books.
The launch of the book attracted a cross-section of participants 
Karen’s grandmother speaking at the event.
1520808257Participants take photos during the launch
Participants take photos during the launch