Rwandan author to launch book on “living with disabilities”

Gabriella Afrika started writing from a young age. Courtesy

Rwandan author Gabriella Emilie Afrika will this week launch her book, ‘Necklaces for the Headless’, a story about RosineUwase, a Rwandan girl who was born without a head.

The book showcases to children, both young and old what it is like to live through disabilities.

In the book, Afrika describes the difficulties of people living with disabilities through Rosine Uwase, born in a rural village in Rwanda. She exposes the stigma associated with living with disabilities but also speaks of courage, determination, love and resilience.

The 80-page book that will be launched in Kigali is  available on Xlibis bookstores, Amazon, Ebay, Barnes&Noble amongst many other worldwide retailers.

Speaking to Sunday Times, Afrika said that she wants to raise awareness about people with disabilities and also challenge readers to ask themselves about the compassion in their hearts towards others who are physically handicapped.

We are all humans and deserving of love respect and compassion and this should be taught to young children because they are tomorrow’s adults.”

Afrika's book showcases to children, both young and old what it is like to live through disabilities. / Courtesy

Afrika further explained about the book.

“You see; most readers would perceive Rosine, the protagonist of the story as disabled while throughout those whom are truly disabled were; the character who tried to harm her with his shoes. That is a mental illness showcased through anger detachment, indifference and violence.”

And “her Mother Yvonne, whom instead of accepting her child the way she was born instead rejected her.

Afrika also stated three things that she would like her readers to have after reading her book.

“Be resilient and always believe in yourself, dare to dream and dare the impossible, go beyond what is perceivably achievable.

More about the author

Her love for children, tragic history of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi and the remarkable resilience of the country and its people inspired her to write the book.

Afrika is the third child in a family of four children. Her father is a seasoned development economist and a co-founder of the University of Kigali and her mother is a university counselor.

She was a hobby writer from a young age while writing short stories and poems.

Afrika is currently the director of marketing at the University of Kigali and her interest in joining an institution of learning was motivated by her strong desire to contribute to the development of Rwanda, her country.

She has launched the first digital platform in Rwanda, ‘bluedragonflycenter’, to provide a variety of health-care services to support those in need.

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