Consolee Nishimwe on Surviving Genocide and How She Was Able to Heal Herself and Find Hope - Ep 035
When the word “genocide” comes to mind, one might think these heinous acts occurred deep in history. Yet they’ve occurred as recently as 1994, when 800,000 innocent Tutsi Rwandans were attacked by their fellow countrymen.
Today, we speak to Consolee Nishimwe about her experience surviving the Rwandan Genocide and how her life as a survivor. We open the show by learning about the history between the Hutu and Tutsi social classes and find out how Belgian colonial powers turned these two groups against one another.
Consolee then expands on this, describing her childhood as a “privileged” Tutsi, and how shame was cast down on her for this status. She touches on her living conditions, and colors a vile picture of the genocide, talking about how machetes became a symbolic weapon of choice and ways Rwandan radio encouraged the ruthless murder of Tutsi people.
In the latter half of the show, listeners will find out about how Rwanda slowly returned to a state of normalcy. Although a different path to what she’d imagined as a child, Consolee now uses her story as a tool to help others. She talks about how she uses it to inspire survivors to come out and tell their story.
To hear more about Consolee and her incredible story of struggle, survival, and ultimately triumph, be sure to join us for this very special episode.
*Key Points From This Episode:*
* Introducing Consolee Nishimwe, a genocide survivor and today’s guest.
* Consolee tells us about her simple childhood and the fun she’d create for herself
* We learn about the two previously competing ethnic groups in Rwanda.
* How Belgium incited tensions and divide between these two groups.
* Being aware of her status as a Tutsi as a child.
* Ways that Tutsis were treated since 1959.
* How Consolee’s family status was well-known in her village.
* How Consolee felt as a young Tutsi.
* RTLM Hit Radio and its place in society.
* Why the machete became the weapon of choice during the genocide.
* Consolee talks about how everything changed in her village the day the genocide began.
* Hear about Cnsolee’s experiences of day-to-day survival.
* Despite being part of a Christian family, how Consolee received the most help from a Muslim friend.
* Consolee’s experiences with sexual assault.
* We take stock of what happened in the first 100 days of the genocide.
* How Rwanda returned to a state of normalcy after the genocide.
* Consolee describes her mental wellbeing, post-genocide.
* What interactions were like with Hutus once the genocide was over.
* Consolee’s genocide experiences as a tool to help others.
* We hear Consolee’s thoughts on the current American political divide.
* How Consolee stays so hopeful and how she defines success.
* How Consolee would approach a survivor.
* Console answers the question: How does a survivor know that they’ve healed?
*Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:*
Consolee Nishimwe on Twitter
Consolee Nishimwe on Instagram
Tested to the Limit: A Genocide Survivor's Story of Pain, Resilience, and Hope on Amazon
Ralph Waldo Emerson