Home Society Author Dimitrie Sissi Publishes French Translation of ‘Do Not Accept to Die’

Author Dimitrie Sissi Publishes French Translation of ‘Do Not Accept to Die’

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
10:29 pm

The Author with the English and French copies

One year after publication of memoirs of her experience during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in English, the Author of ‘Do Not Accept to Die’ Dimitrie Sissi Mukanyiligira has published the French translation.

“I published my original version last year and I am now pleased to have managed to publish the French translation N’accepte pas de mourrir this year.  A decision to start writing comes with frustration and raises emotions ,” she said.

“We should also admit that writing a book is costly in terms of time and money, and support of people.”

The ‘N’accepte pas de mourrir’ will be launched this Sunday, June 25 at 4PM at Mariott Hotel and it is available at several houses at Rwf 20,000, including Librairie Caritas, Librairie Ikirezi, Kigali Genocide memorial, Kigali International Airport, among others, on top of online version.

In the book, the author tells her true story, which is also a story of her generation, the age-mates,  who identify themselves with the story of before, during and after the genocide, until 2022.

In the first part, the author makes a fresh back of life on the Rwandan hills, the cohabitation with neighbors, the difficult socio-economic situation during her time, some development in infrastructure and all efforts of the country to develop despite isolating part of its population.

“That part gave my story a context and allowed me to narrate without starting from the worst events of the Genocide tragedy,” she said.

In the second part, the author takes a reader through her own difficult journey during the Genocide against Tutsi where she was in Muhima, Nyarugenge district, hideouts from Muhima to Kigali University teaching hospital and Sainte Famille church, then Kabuga where she met the liberators-Rwanda Patriotic Front-RPF Inkotanyi.

“It’s everything in details but in away that may not wound the reader even more,” she said.

In the aftermath of the Genocide, she talks about starting from the ash as a country, the burial in dignity of the Genocide victims, recovery….and the story of her resilience and success, and her understanding of the need to sustain the country achievements.

In this part she shares ideas on how to tell the Rwandan story to the children, telling them the truth but without harming them.

The Choice of the title

First thing to understand from Dimitrie, is that the title of her book did not come overnight; she had a pool of 12 titles from which she had to choose, which was an uphill task, since she needed to find something that would make an impact in the lives of the potential readers.

“When you read my book, the take home is love, resilience and working hard to develop. It’s a motivational title to tell people to never give up. Whatever happens in your life don’t accept to give up,” she said.

“Why should you for example be desperate for not finding a job when you have in front of you a case of someone like Dimitrie whom, during the Genocide was placed in a mortuary because they wished him dead ? Today when you see me laughing, working hard you may not believe that all these happened to me but it’s the truth.”

The book departs from the vision of the author, to share her testimony to the world, because she is convinced that “if every Genocide survivor can write their story and spread it, that would allow the youth to learn about Rwanda’s history; how the Genocide ideology started, how people lived under it until its escalation to the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi which decimated families.

Dimitrie chose to write as a way of paying tribute to the Genocide victims, to make sure that their names are written in golden letters and won’t be forgotten.

She believes that writing contributes to the search for sustainable peace, a task that should not be left to the only government.

On psychological point of view, she also believes that writing is a path to healing from the wounds.

The cost of writing a book 

Forget about money. Top on the list of things that are expensive while writing a book, is the decision to put your own past, your life out.

“We always feel comfortable to keep our live private, yet, as you choose to write, you have to be royal to readers. When you take that risk, you encounter resistance of other people whom you would love to be part of your book because you share the same story,” says Dimitrie.

Then comes the issue of time to write which in a way kills social life.

To keep international standards, one also needs the editors which is not an easy task in Rwanda.

However, the most challenging thing would have been the hard task of finding a publishing house.

“I knocked the door of more than 80 publishing houses from across the world before finding the one that could publish my book. All publishing houses are looking for fictional stories. They all advised: can you make it fictional?” she said.

Next in the mind of Dimitrie could be a translation into German language and probably, Jewish.

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