EDITORIAL: Zula Karuhimbi: Bravery during the Genocide was a rare find

This week, a remarkable and brave woman left our midst and she has left a void that filling her shoes will be a formidable task to achieve. She was one of those who merit the term; “one in a million”.

109-year-old passed away early this week and hers was a life well-lived, one of the rare gems of humankind.

Hundreds of survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi owe their lives to Zula, their guardian angel that used all the tricks in the books to keep killers at bay.

At a time when nearly the whole country had been thrown to the dogs and killers running berserk, there were few places to hide and even fewer people willing to hide fleeing Tutsi.

The few cases of bravery like in the case of Zula are an indication that there were still people who valued the sanctity of life and today need to be recognized and celebrated.

Zula risked her life, and even though she was in her 80s her age would not have given her any measure of security as the killers had no age limits; cross their path and you were as good as dead.

While Zula received national honours when she was still alive, it is not enough. Her memory needs to be kept alive with either some form of an award of an event named in her honour.

It would be a constant reminder that in the midst of adversity and uncertainty, there was still hope in humankind. It is difficult to describe the events of 1994 to someone who was not on the ground at the time. Finding someone like Zula was like looking for a needle in a haystack.