Yolande Mukagasana is a Rwandan nurse, and mother of three children who likes wearing jeans and designer glasses. She runs her own clinic in Nyamirambo and is planning a party for her wedding anniversary. But when genocide starts everything changes. Targeted because she’s a successful woman and a Tutsi, she flees for her life.
This gripping memoir describes the betrayal of friends and help that comes from surprising places. Quick-witted and courageous, Yolande never loses hope she will find her children alive.
Have you ever thought of killing somebody and the aftermath effect it would have you on?
I find myself thinking about it whenever I listen to true crime podcast, watch true crime documentaries or read books that detail erroneous crimes as such.
I get afraid, like how would it affect my psyche? Would it ruin me mentally or would it unlock some part of me that will like murdering people that I never knew I had?
All I know is I never ever want to find out.
I learnt about the genocides in Rwanda when I was 11, for some reason my father saw a movie called “Sometimes in April” and thought my daughter is born in April, she would like this. I wasn’t prepared for the horrors that would unfold and I never knew it was real, back then I didn’t have access to the internet or knew something like Google existed.
I came to know about the existence of Not My Time to Die due to a panel at Ake Festival in 2019, where Yolande Mukasagana spoke in length about her experience, and I knew that whatever happened I had to read her testimony.
Human beings are the scariest things on this planet. Yolande’s testimony details how a community of people who she treated and was always happy to cater to as their Muganga in the space of hours started to hunt her and became her worst enemy.
It’s scary how easy it is to become inhumane.
Reading Yolande account of what happened to her from the 6th of April in 1994, how she fought to stay alive and the sheer bravery of her family as they faced death, was so hard, I had to take breaks because of I couldn’t help the tears.
This testimony will always stay with me as a reminder. Read this book if you haven’t already.