Rwanda’s top female marathon record holder Epiphanie Nyirabarame graces our Magazine cover this week.
Nyirabarame was one of the six athletes from Rwanda who participated in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
The 27-year-old, made Rwanda proud after she won a third gold medal in the recent women marathon in the Francophone games, in Beirut.
Three-time Olympian Nyirabarame was born in Huye district (formerly Butare), in the southern province.
She comes from a large family, and is third in the family of seven children. She joined athletics shortly after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Nyirabarame cites Mercianne Mukamurenzi, Rwanda’s legendary female athlete as her role model.
Nyirabarame burst to fame in 1995, when she participated in the national athletics competition, and that marked the beginning of success. She confesses that athletics is her passion and that’s why she turned it into her profession.
The petite lady is a practicing catholic, and also a traditionalist, who believes more in African traditional values.
She looks after six orphans of the Genocide. Nyirabarame says she enjoys preparing meals, and does it more often whenever she is free.
Nyirabarame plans to form a local athletics club for women, because she believes that its one of the means that will help Rwandan women, develop themselves and to stay healthy.
She trains daily in order to remain in good shape, and starts her training routines from 5a.m and goes up to 8a.m.