Today we talk about As we forgive them, a book by Apolline Dukuzemariya published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author, Apolline Dukuzemariya, to get to know her better, the moment that led her to the writing of her autobiographical story in her book As we forgive them, as well as the sensations she felt by ‘reading” her life on the pages of her book.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What was the moment that led you to the writing of your autobiographical story?
The moment that led me to write my autobiography was marked by the conferences I held in various places. Often, the attendees would suggest that I write my story, with some even offering to assist, but I wasn’t ready yet. However, as I witnessed our children growing up, getting married, and the arrival of our granddaughters, I felt a compelling need to pass down our legacy to the next generation, so they would know where we came from and the significant moments of our lives. An acquaintance introduced me to a skilled writer who helped individuals pen their life stories. Through multiple sessions together, we worked on my narrative, and in 2018, the first version of my book was published in French. Within a month, the five hundred printed copies were gone, prompting us to make a second print run of one thousand copies. Before depleting this stock, I released a second edition, including an afterword, in December 2022. In conclusion, the writing of this book in French and its translation into English stemmed from the encouragement received from those who heard or read my testimony.
- What sensations did you feel by ‘reading’ your life on the pages of your book?
Reading the pages of my book fills me with immense joy as I immerse myself in the journey of my life, starting from my childhood. The book captures just a glimpse of my experiences, and each sentence brings back memories and details of events. Positive moments that left a mark in my heart resurface: my Christian youth in Kigali, my wedding, the birth of my children, and the blessings we received in our church at Cyarwa. Those were some of the best times of my life, radiating with true love, unity, and harmony among us. I also encountered painful events, but throughout those trials, the God to whom my parents dedicated me since birth accompanied and supported me. I recall numerous instances where God intervened in challenging situations, like family issues that were difficult for a child to handle. Yet, it was during those moments that I started turning to God and witnessed His powerful actions. The Rwandan genocide of the Tutsi was the most painful event in my life, but that invisible hand of God came to my rescue. I am enthralled to witness God’s active presence in my life, guiding me through all of life’s highs and lows.
- What particularly significant experiences in your life find expression in your book?
I recount the harrowing experience of surviving the horror of genocide, where I faced the merciless attack of machetes wielded by ruthless militias, leaving me for dead in a pool of my own blood. My presence here today stands as a testament to God’s intervention, for He saved my life. This genocide claimed a significant portion of my family, subjecting me to immense physical and emotional suffering. Yet, the deep and personal relationship I cultivated with God from my youth strengthened me through these trying times. I delve into the medical care that led to my gradual physical recovery, but I also speak of the profound inner suffering I endured, with incomprehension. With God’s help, I found the strength to forgive my assailants, a forgiveness that paved the way for genuine inner healing. Reflecting on my mindset before and after extending forgiveness, the contrast is staggering! Forgiveness liberated me from hatred, bitterness, resentment, and sorrow, replacing them with love, compassion, true joy, and enduring inner peace. I stand healed, body, soul, and spirit. Such restoration could only come from God. I am not marked by machete blows; I am marked by the love and power of God!
- What are the messages you want to send out to your readers?
I aspire to convey the message of possible restoration, regardless of the magnitude of suffering. I am deeply attuned to the pain that surrounds me, recognizing that wounds are not always inflicted by machetes. Countless lives have been shattered due to all sorts of malevolence, violence, and various forms of physical, verbal, or psychological abuse. My own restoration stands as a living testament to the transformative power of God. If He could heal me, He can do the same for anyone. Throughout my journeys, where I have had the privilege of speaking at conferences, I have encountered individuals whom God has restored after hearing my testimony. This is what drives me – I feel akin to someone who has discovered a unique remedy for inner suffering. It would be selfish of me to keep it to myself when there are so many in need. I yearn for others to find consolation and healing through my words, to realize that they too can experience restoration despite their afflictions. May my story serve as a beacon of hope, guiding those in suffering toward the promise of healing.
- Are you planning to write more books?
At the moment, the elements needed to embark on a new literary journey have not yet aligned. Nevertheless, I remain attentive to the voices of my cherished readers. As I did with the second edition in French, I incorporated responses to certain questions that struck me as pertinent from the readers of the first edition. I encountered an unexpected experience that found its way into the second edition. Some surviving family members of the genocide, including cousins whose existence was unknown to me, came across my book in French. Their interest was awakened, and they yearned for more. They insisted, “Your book must be translated into Kinyarwanda or English.” The young Rwandan generation predominantly communicates in English. To connect with them, we established a family WhatsApp group, through which I could succinctly recount the essence of my book. Today, they are aware of the availability of the English version, and I am deeply grateful to Europe Books for its publication. I eagerly anticipate what the future holds, the novel paths that may unfold before me. In my spiritual journey, I have learned that a life lived with God is never stagnant; there are always new chapters waiting to be discovered.
Europe Books thanks the author, Apolline Dukuzemariya, once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book As we forgive them. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my readers, may the profound message of “restoration” that the author wants to convey to you be of great support and invaluable help for those who need to heal and restore themselves from a life or moments of it that were/are deeply difficult and complicated. May her words and life experiences bring you food for thought to remedy your suffering, bring you consolation and be a great source of hope.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!