As a boy growing up on the shores of Lake Kivu, Joseph Sebarenzi had no conception of Hutu or Tutsi. His parents, seven siblings and countless other family members were among 800,000 Tutsi brutally murdered over the course of one hundred days in 1994 by extremist Rwandan Hutu - with an efficiency that exceeded even that of the Nazi Holocaust.
Sebarenzi's father sent him away to school in Congo as a teenager, telling him, “If we are killed, you will survive". On the strength of his education, Sebarenzi was elected to Parliament in 1997 when he returned to Rwanda. He was quickly elevated to speaker, only to encounter the chaos and corruption of the federal government which opposed Sebarenzi’s efforts to import a system of checks and balances to prevent further atrocities.
As Parliament’s powers strengthened under his guidance, Sebarenzi was threatened and eventually forced to flee the country. Today, he educates the world about Rwanda, working to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Paperback 260 pages. Published 2011.