A Long Way from Paradise: Surviving the Rwanda Genocide.

Author:Otas, Belinda
Position:Book review

A long Way from Paradise: Surviving the Rwanda Genocide

By: Leah Chshugi

Published by Virago Books ISBN: 978-1844-08-6573

In recent weeks, Rwanda has made headlines for all the wrong reasons, from an alleged attempt on the lives of exiled Rwandese in London, to a protest led by Paul Rusesabagina, whose story inspired the film Hotel Rwanda, against President Paul Kagame in Chicago. It seems remnants of the 1994 genocide will always find a way to remind us of history's bitter days.

Nevertheless, there are many whose stories still strike a chord because their experiences of the genocide have spurred them on to become agents of change as they speak their truths. This is what Leah Chishugi does in her account as a survivor of the Rwandan genocide in this deeply moving and brave story.

Chishugi, a Tutsi, who was on a modelling assignment at Kigali's airport on 6 April 1994, the day the killings started, writes: "We have been told that you have 'inyenzi' in you. The word 'inyenzi' was no longer hurtful to me. It had become a word that meant 'my people.' If I see a cockroach scuttling across the ground now I cannot kill it because I feel like I'm killing a member of my own family."


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