As the country continues to commemorate 20 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi, many of the horror details of that period have been captured in different films and documentaries.
A firsthand experience of that dark period is the narrative behind a book, “From Rwanda to Victory” by a genocide survivor, John Makongo who fled to Kenya during the genocide period and survived to narrate his harrowing experience escaping on foot with his mother and sister, the only surviving members of his family, through the forests.
Makongo’s autobiographical novel “From Rwanda to Victory” is a successful tapestry of good triumphing over evil. This is an epic novel in which Makongo writes right from where his eventual journey through life began: In 1994 when his country, Rwanda degenerated into killing fields never witnessed before in Africa of modern times.
“My life began at a dark point, but through the divine grace and intervention of God I became victorious and successful,” he writes in the beginning of the novel.
Makongo narrates how he saw with his eyes bloodthirsty Interahamwe manning roadblocks brandishing all kinds of weapons positioned to kill the Tutsi. The forests didn’t provide them with any sanctuary as marauding wild animals preyed on the vulnerable escapees.
“Surviving malnourished young children whose parents had been killed were offered as a sacrifice to keep the wild animals at bay. We knew that death was lurking in all corners,” he writes in the book.
The divine grace of God features prominently in this book, which should offer spiritual guidance to those who are undergoing various forms of trauma in their lives. “Arriving in Kenya presented the family with new challenges. His mother was remarried to a Kenyan man in Eldoret but when the husband died some years later, they were kicked out of the home, driving him to become a street child.”
After years of surviving on the streets, a benevolent hand in the form of a German missionary took him back to school. He now runs Cradle of Hope, a charity organisation helping street children and abandoned children get education.
In the end, Makongo finds his victory through God. The novel has several verses from the Bible that depicts God as a caring person.
This is not only an autobiography of a person who has gone full circle and oscillated inside the magic carpet of life, but a spiritual guide that reveals that God has a purpose for everyone in this life, your station in life notwithstanding. The book is published by Antioch Christian Publishing Company and is available in ebook and hardcopy forms.