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Obituary: Zura Karuhimbi From Rwanda Save Plenti Pipo From Genocide

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Zura Karuhimbi bin no get any weapon to defend her sef wen some men wey carri cutlass surround her house say make she handover di pipo wey take cover inside.

But wetin pipo sabi about am na say she get magic power.

Dat na wetin put fear inside di mind of di plenti men wit dia plenti gun dem wey make her for fit save more dan 100 pipo inside all di kili-kili wey happun for Rwanda for 1994.

E reach 800,000 pipo from di Tutsi ethnic group plus some Hutu wey die for di genocid, Karuhimbi also loss her first born son and one daughter.

“Na dat time of di kili-kili I see di kain darkness wey dey inside man heart,” na so she tell tori pipo Di East Africa twenty years afta di war.

Dem born am inside family of native doctors

Karuhimbi bin die peacefully inside her house for di village of Musamo on December 17, nobody sure how old she bin dey.

According to wetin she bin tok, she go fit don pass 100 years but official documents say she dey around 93.

Either way, wen di Hutu militants wey dem dey call Interahamwe bin enta her village, she no be small pikin.

According to different tori dem wen pipo don write about her, dem born Karuhimbi for family of traditional healers for around 1925. Dis year of 1925 na according to her official identity card.

Her family na Hutu tribe dem be, and na Hutu be di majority for Rwanda. Di Tutsi tribe pipo dey small for number but colonial masters see dem like say na dem superior pass, and dat na why di colonial masters dem bin give dem beta access to education oppourtunity and work.

Dis division cause tension between di two tribes. Zura bin dey young for 1959, wen dem pursue Tutsi King Kigeri V, wit more dan ten thousand of im tribes men comot from Rwanda go Uganda afta Hutu revolution for di kontri.

So, di attack wey begin some days afta dem shoot down Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana plane for April 1994, no be di first time wey she don eva see dat kain violence.

‘Dem dig dia own grave’

Her small two room house for Musamo village soon turn refugee camp for Tutsi pipo, pipo from Burundi plus three white pipo sef during di kili- kili. Tori be say, plenti pipo hide under her bed and one secret place inside her roof. Oda tori say she bin dig hole inside her farm hide pipo.

Some of di pipo wey she hide na small pikin dem wey dem kill dia mama, she tok.

Just like e be wit her age, nobodi really know how many pipo bin hide inside her house, no be like say she dey count, na so she tell Rwanda reporter Pierre Bucyensenge wen dem do 20th anniversary of di genocide.

But she save enough pipo sha dey wey mak di Hutu militants come look for her.

“Di only weapon wey Zura bin get to pursue di killers na fear wey she put for dia bodi say she go release spirits on top dem and dia family” Bucyensenge tok. “She bin also rub one local cream wey dey cause skin irritation so she fit touch di killers to try drive dem comot.

Hassan Habiyakare, one of di pipo wey di “witch” save remember dis method wella.

“Zura bin tell di militants say if dem enta di shrine na curse form Nyabingi (dis na di word for God for Kinyarwanda language) go follow dem. Dem go fear and na so our life go dey safe for dat day.” Im remember.

Di warning work. Wen di kee kee end for July, everi single pesin wey Karuhimbi bin risk her life for survive.

D warnings work. Wen di genocide end, every single pesin she rik her life to protect safe.

Afta di war, she continue her life, and di tori about di witch for Musamo village continue to dey spread, even though she don tok say, she no be witch and she neva eva be witch.

“I only believe in one God and di tori about magic power, dat na just invention wey I take save pipo life” she tell Bucyensenge for 2014.

“I no be witch doctor.”

Di tori reach go fa for Rwanda sotay for 2006, dem give her di Campaign Against Genocide Medal award.

Zura also claim say she bin save di life of Rwanda president Paul Kagame wey dem born for neighbouring village wen im be just two years old.

“I comot di beads from my necklace give im mama to tie am for im hair . I tell her to carry am , make she no drop am for ground so di militants dem go tink say e be girl since na only boys dem dey kill at dat time.” Na so she tell tori pipo Vice.

President Kagame go later give Zura accolade for 2006, di medal wey she hold close to body every time

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