Barbara Umuhoza, 36, is the author of the book ‘Shaped’, that describes how she was molded by different things starting from her childhood and until today, that never tore her apart but shaped her. In an interview with The New Times, Umuhoza said that her early life was shaped by both her parents, two refugees who met in Burundi, and made a deliberate attempt to ensure their children grow up with Rwandan ideals and values. “At an early age my father told me, you can become everything you want to become” she said. Even though her father Barnabe Mfizi wanted his daughter to be a doctor when she grew up, fate had other plans for Umuhoza. “My mother was a hard worker, a patriot… dancer, creative,” she said, adding that when they returned to Rwanda, her mother got a job with Bank of Kigali, where she worked until late and had to wake up early. In one of the chapters in her book, Umuhoza talks about how over the years, she developed severe anxiety and panic attacks and though she prayed to God and got help by the Holy Spirit, she says she needed professional help at the time. The author, who is also a pastor says that though people tend to think that Christians tend to be powerful, it doesn’t remove the fact a person can still struggle with insomnia or other conditions. It was a challenge to her to seek professional help as a person who counseled other people, as a pastor. She was battling mental health and experienced panic attacks to the extent that she would at times forget where she had parked her car. It wasn’t until a friend confronted me and told me; “You need to walk into a room and talk to a therapist and admit that your lifes falling apart.” As a mother of two boys, Umuhoza says she wants to groom and equip her sons to be good men. “I want to raise boys who will be good men, in sense that they will raise awesome children, leave an indelible mark on earth, patriotic, loving, hardworking because there’s more to manhood than money and status” she said “Good boys who are not abusive, who understand what it means to empower women” she added. The book ‘Shaped’ is slated to be launched on Saturday, July 16 and the copies will be available in bookstores including Ikirezi, Caritas and Charisma.