About the Book
This book tells a story of Tarcisse Ruhamyandekwe whose journey started at his birth in Rwanda. In his life, he has experienced so many acts of exclusion, discrimination and racism, so many times that his first reaction has been always to ignore them. This was not normal, but it was acceptable. That behaviour was somehow a result of his life in general. Exclusion, discrimination, and racism were present from the beginning of his life. He was born in Rwanda, then a country with a violent racism culminating in the horrible Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994. Between the age of five and seven, he watched soldiers of the post-colonial political regime countlessly take his father away in the middle of the night at gun point just because he was a Tutsi. Between the age of seven and thirteen, he was regularly asked to stand up and disclose his Tutsi ethnic group in class. In his early twenties he got expelled from National University of Rwanda and went to exile because of his ethnic group. In his mid-twenties, he was an undocumented student constantly subjected to derogatory naming in Zaire, and in his late twenties he was a refugee without a country in Swaziland. With that baggage, calling him a “Negro” in his forties in Canada was never a life-changing insult. But a sneaky racism was going to deny him incredible opportunities in a society where life depends greatly on financial performance. He understood then that for a Black person in Canada, and moreover immigrant, the window of opportunity is so small that not only do you have a limited time to take it, but you also need specific skills to rise, “not sink,” in a hostile environment. But in the end, those who put difficulties and hassles in his life made him a better person, stronger, compassionate and more resilient.
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