In order to survive, she cut a deal with God. God saved her life. Now she has to do her part of the deal. And God is waiting.
Her name is Louise Uwacu, a Rwandan genocide survivor, now a writer and TV Show host in Canada.
Close to a million people were killed in Rwanda genocide in 1994. Louise Uwacu was among those fleeing to save their lives.
Just before the event got out control, her parents gave her some money to use as each member of the family had to take a different paths for a chance to keep, at least, one or two members of the alive.
Louise used wisely the money. She bribed the killers. Unfortunately that was not always enough. So, she decided to call on God “Imana” to cut a deal.
“I told Imana that the idea of sending his son on planet earth to suffer and die in order to prove his love for humanity is complete bullshit. I told Imana that the only way for him to prove his love for me and for humanity is to give me life… And not just any life by the way … but give me a great life. Allow me to travel the world be far away from Rwanda and any other war zones … Allow me to go and learn, and do and be amazing. That is how I will believe you truly love me and my family. If we die, Imana, you are bullshit! And then to my biggest amazement Imana proved to me that he was not bullshit.”
Louise Uwacu is now living in Vancouver Canada, where she is a writer, and TV/Radio Show host. She has written 3 books covering her life and lessons she had learned the hard and unpredictable way.
In this long interview, Louise Uwacu shares deep insight about the nature of life, the future of humanity and Africa, and how personally she celebrates life every second to honor her deal with God.
Here is Louise Uwawu.
SiliconAfrica: You are from Rwanda. Rwanda is now a pride for the whole African continent. It’s a well administrated country, the cleanest country in Africa, which has dramatically improved the life conditions of its people during the last two decades. How do you feel about the new Rwanda?
Louise Uwacu: Yes I was born in Rwanda. And let me start by answering your very tough question of by saying that there is no new Rwanda. To only see Rwanda from 1994 and base its projections of the future on what happened in 1994 and then say there is now a new Rwanda is a mistake that as a survivor of Rwanda at its worst in 1994 I can not afford to make. Why? Because apparently the more you can see in your past, the more forward in the future, you can go in your own personal life. If you can only see the past 2 days, then your projections towards the future are not going to be that far thinking as well. And I think this applies to Nations as well. And this is why Education and knowing your very very very history is so important.
My education has taught me that Rwanda is an ancient Nation. One that was there thousands of years before the idea of Jesus. One language. One culture. One ideal supreme infinite intelligence being; IMANA YERA. The supreme ancient being that inspired the ancient Egyptians to call their supreme being AMEN RA. Rwanda has always been well administered. And has also always been the pride of Africa mainly because it is part of the ancient land of the Great Lakes which is not just Rwanda but also the Ancient Kingdoms of Kongo, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania… And as science and history has proved. The Ancient Egyptian civilization, the original civilization that inspired the Greeks and the Romans and now the rest of the world… that civilization was originally African.
That civilization oriented it self towards Azania, today’s South Africa was our real North Africa and Europe was the South of Africa. Because the Ancient civilization builders them selves said that they wanted to face where they come from. They them selves said that they came from “TA NETER” … The Land of the “Gods” … The Great Lakes. So I suspect that even ancient Africa must have been proud of Rwanda. I’ve written more about this in my second book. And when I hear stories of how people congratulate Rwanda on being so clean … I say to myself… of course Rwanda is clean. It is part of our culture. It is called ISUKU. Every Rwandan woman, every Rwandan house, ISUKU is so important.
My mother used to come home, always passing her finger first on the wall to check if there is any dust on the wall… and if there was even the slightest dust oh my goodness… So the idea that Rwanda is spotless… to me it would not be Rwanda if it was not that clean.
SiliconAfrica: You were forced to leave Rwanda in 1994. Just before the events, your parents gave you money to carry with you. They said “just in case we get separated, here is the money you will use if you have to negotiate with your killers. They said, you wrote “if I pay the killers a lot of money, I could live and if worst comes to worst, I could also pay them to shoot me with a gun and make sure they kill me with one bullet. Instead of the usual cheap death of being chop-chopped in pieces by a machete.”
Fortunately, you survived the war, massacres and genocide through the help of money, bribes. How lucky were you?
Louise Uwacu: Wow … I was so lucky… I have so much good luck in life. And sometimes I am under the impression that I even bring good luck to other people. And the fact that I have been able to survive Rwanda and make it all the way in Canada how do I even begin to explain just how much luck has been on my side? I think that the best way to explain my luck in life, is to tell you that there is no “luck” in KinyaRwanda (the language of Rwanda). In our philosophy, to have luck is “Kugira Imana” it is to have Imana, the infinite intelligence, the supreme creator on your side. Imagine that? And I did have Imana on my side in Rwanda indeed.
I specifically remember while we were dying that I prayed to live and I challenged the supreme being Imana in my prayers. I told Imana that the idea of sending his son on planet earth to suffer and die in order to prove his love for humanity is complete bullshit. I told Imana that the only way for him to prove his love for me and for humanity is to give me life… And not just any life by the way … but give me a great life. Allow me to travel the world be far away from Rwanda and any other war zones … Allow me to go and learn, and do and be amazing. That is how I will believe you truly love me and my family. If we die, Imana, you are bullshit! And then to my biggest amazement Imana proved to me that he was not bullshit.
And today I have to live up to my prayers and prove to him that I was not bullshiting… As they have always told you … Be careful what you wish for… So now I have to live an amazing life Hein? … I should have known better. I blame the fact that I was just a teenager!
SiliconAfrica: Reflecting on the circumstances of your departure from Rwanda, you wondered why your parents haven’t bought you a gun instead. You wrote “Couldn’t they have sent me to Karate school already? Why oh why should I just have to accept my tragic fate? All my years after surviving Rwanda, I have been wondering what a huge difference it would have made in numbers of dead people, if we could have had an educated, trained and armed population. Ready to defend itself from the so-called regular, random daily incidents or from the highly organized tyranny of a dictatorship.”
Do you think, self-defense training, and conscription should be the best way for our continent to protect itself from future tragic events, like colonization, genocide?
Louise Uwacu: This is a question that has taken me so much thinking time ever since I survived war, massacres and genocide in Rwanda … I think to my self, how? How can I teach people and Nations on how not to become another Rwanda? What is it that could have saved lives in Rwanda? What is it that can save lives in Congo?
Because people always talk about genocide in Rwanda and they say “never again” and yet right next door in Congo, over 7 million people have lost their lives, and the Congo is still a mess, and Rwanda has a huge responsibility in how that mess became bigger and worse than it already were with Mobutu.
Despite the fact that the Congolese people had nothing to do with Rwanda’s inner problems which led to genocide of those labeled “Tutsi”… The Congo suffers the consequences of being neighbors to a lost Nation and they are still paying a much higher price than that which has already been greatly paid in Rwanda … so how in the world can we keep talking about “never again”? Without clearly explaining how that “never again” is going to happen? …
So of course on the basic fundamental level the solution is Education. Knowing your self and your history. Remembering that we may not be in 2015 because our ancient calendar was already thousands of years before the Romans started counting time. And on the practical level, my inspiration for a solution has been the American constitution, a great document that gives the people the right to bear arms. It is such a precious right that even Americans may loose one day, because they don’t really appreciate or understand what it is truly about. It is about the people having more power than their government. Because governments kill people. Guns are not the problem. Governments are employees of the people. And so they should not be allowed to be more feared (more heavily armed) than the people they are supposed to serve. If the people are more armed than the government, how can a government commit genocide? There will be massive self-defense. And less people will die. But if the people are completely defenseless… then any thug with a gun can rule the country any time. Let alone the armies and the dictators. And we saw that happen in Rwanda. Over night, the army, the rebels, and the street people, the ones with all the guns became the rulers… And you all saw what they did. The entire population was just another hostage. Then the Rwandan side that was supported by the British and the Americans won the war, against the Rwandan side that was supported by the French.
The rebel army took power by force, and then of course they turned around and asked the
people to vote for them? Why do they ever bother? That would be like invading and raping a woman and then asking her for her hand in marriage, asking her to confirm and proclaim publicly to the whole world, that she now loves you by choice? Could that happen to an educated, trained and armed population?
However I do not support conscription. It should all be voluntary. No one should be forced to join an army to fight. In KinyaRwanda, a man is called “Umugabo” and the army is called “Ingabo” it is as if the army is simply the plural word for man. Which means that one Umugabo, one man is an army in himself. And when there is more than one man, we have “Ingabo” we have an army. Even the traditional shield that the men take on the battlefield to protect them selves is called “Ingabo”. All this kind of explains subconsciously that what makes a real man is his capacity to defend and protect what is his. You don’t even need an army, all you need is conscious men (and women) who know their place and role in life and your country will be a safe place to live.
SiliconAfrica: You are well known speaker, entertainer, and you sometime poke fun on the most tragic events. You’ve once said that Death had some respect for MONEY! How is your “undercover” Comedian careers going? I have seen some of your show in Vancouver, do you still do standing comedy shows?
Louise Uwacu: Stand up comedy is not as easy as advertised by some of the best comedians out there. They are lying making it look so cool and so chill… What a scam. It is so hard. More excuses: if I had discovered stand-up comedy in my 20s when I was clubbing all the time, I would have done so well. But I discovered stand up in my 30s when I was trying to make up for all that partying by doing something else with my life, such as writing books, having my own production company and hosting my own talk shows on Radio and Television … So I don’t really have that much time left to do stand up and tour around in comedy clubs making people laugh about how I came to Canada without a visa and a passport because Rwanda has no single port, so how can I have a passport? And who needs a visa or a gold visa card, when you have real Gold from places like Guiné and Mali? Does Canadian immigration, which is so stingy with their visas, know that real gold can take you places where no visa to any country can take you? … So for now, I have decided to remain an “under cover” comedian. And this could be why U&I Talk Show loves featuring comedians …
SiliconAfrica: You have written and published 3 books. The first one “Positivion” shares your timeless life lessons gleaned trough the pain of going trough war, massacres, genocides, exile; but also the joy of being simply alive and being aware of that. The second book “Writivist” is a manifesto to heal oneself and understand the world through unheard sorties, analysis, and uncommon wisdom. These books had brought you around the world to tell your story on TV and Radio.
What writing had changed in your life?
Louise Uwacu: Writing has been my therapy. Do you have any idea how expensive therapy is in peaceful rich countries such as Canada … for people who have regular issues such as losing a house by bad credit and becoming homeless by drug addiction or having your best friend the cute puppy dog or the sweet miau cat die in your house while you were away on vacation in a resort in Mexico? … Do you have an idea how it is expensive for these people to get the therapy they need to recover and to keep going in life? It is so expensive. I am starting to think that only the rich in Canada are mentally and spiritually healthy? … So now imagine how expensive it would be for people who are here because their entire nation went to war and they lost their families, their lands, they became refugees, and then they had to swim all the way from Africa to Canada to re-start from zero? …
Just that swimming part alone all the way from Africa … How much would that cost to heal in therapy? Even though my swimming was of course done while chilling on a flight from Europe to Canada sipping champagne celebrating my luck! … So anyways… Writing has been the priceless therapy I could never afford. And I highly recommend it to all people who may be suffering out there. Cry in writing! My second book is about helping you do just that … it is titled “The WRITIVIST* WAR is WRITE”… it is meant to help all the people who would like to start writing, publishing, and speaking out their own stories in the media.
And my first book, “The Nightmare of a POSITIVISION*” is about facing the challenges of surviving peace. You think peace is a piece of cake? No chance! Peace is so hard to survive. At peace you can think. And thinking is torture hein… Just try it… All that bliss that you think you are living, simply because you may be ignorant … Just try thinking and see what happens? … And am under the impression that people who live in peace think more … so it has been a Nightmare having a POSITIVISION* and living in peace because it is like no one is stopping me? … no one is trying to kill me? … So I have to actually do something with my life? … I can’t just pray anymore … and I cant even bribe anybody anymore to let me live … I have to create the life I want? … Anyways… writing has allowed me to do all that and more … it has simply allowed me to re-create my life.
SiliconAfrica: You are currently the Executive Producer and Host of The National U&I Talk Show. What is this show and how did you get it started?
Louise Uwacu: U&I Talk Show with Louise Uwacu is about sharing Knowledge, Information and Laughter.
All kinds of great guests, talents and entrepreneurs are welcome on the show. U&I picks people that have something of great value to share with our audience. People that even I enjoy. And say to myself, I wish more people knew about this, this is so inspiring, it has helped me so much, and it is unfair that the whole world does not know… People who give me such thoughts are most likely to end up on U&I Talk Show… And of course I take great pitches from producers and all kinds of sources all the time. Either way, when you tune into U&I Talk Show you are supposed to not only become inspired and informed, you are also supposed to feel great and be entertained. And if that doesn’t happen for U. I usually tell people to tune into another talk show!
Funny enough over the years, instead of people tuning away, more people have tuned in and now the Radio show has gone on to Television and is still growing. How did it start
is a long story with a few sides to it, and people can find out about it in my books or on some of U&I’s online videos of the past.
SiliconAfrica: What are the future plan for U&I show? Any plan to expand to Africa?
Louise Uwacu: countries only need apply). There is much talent in Africa that could use the International platform that U&I offers. U&I already makes shows in English, French and Ki-Swahili. So in Africa, U&I could serve a great market all across the continent. And offer Radio and Television programs in those 3 major languages and more.
People in the media business in Africa, please get in touch. In the meantime, any international Artist coming to Vancouver, Canada. Those who have great things to share,
U&I would love to feature you. The most recently featured great talents from Africa on
the new Television season of were PABLO and KANSIIME, the comedians from Uganda. (insert link to video). It is so great to hear of Africans coming all the way to Canada to make people laugh. I told Kansiime and Pablo that this is the best humanitarian intervention mission in the history of humanitarian missions!
Can you imagine leaving your land, and going to other people’s lands to simply make people laugh? How could they not love you? I also call it “peaceful colonization”! Africans are experts at it. Europe should take notes. And I hope that these great talents will back and I also hope that Africa is sending us more humanitarian interventions. The world craves your music, your joy, and your brilliance. I would like to tell My African People, to simply keep creating. And U&I will keep broadcasting your lights. Whether U&I tapes its shows in Africa, in Canada, America or on the Moon. The purpose remains the same.
SiliconAfrica: You are also the CEO and Co-Founder of Positivision, a Non Profit Organization dedicated to Education and Peace in the world. In 2009, you traveled to Mali for Positivion, and made a documentary with the same name. Could you please tell us a bit more about your organization and its activities?
Louise Uwacu: About POSITIVISION* as an organization. I am here today to denounce its cofounder and CEO, she has neglected it for a few years now. Why?
Ok so this is what had happened; when I went to visit and talk to the villages of Mopti in Mali. The people there taught me a lifetime lesson. They showed me how they sustain themselves. They were not waiting on our help. Because as they told me, so many go to Africa just to pretend to help. They take pictures and showcase the good they are doing. And years after all that help, where is this great Africa that has been re-built by its millions of helpers? No where!
So the people told me that they needed collaborators. Not helpers. They told me that they need MONEY and MONEY and more MONEY. And that is when I realized, that if I truly want to help, I need to make Money first. I need to become an Entrepreneur and own a business that makes billions. And then I can use my billions to support my heart’s projects. I could not just come back to Canada and go around doing fundraisings, asking people to Donate money to help Africa.
For the past few years, I was focused on building my business rather than building a great charity organization. And I am following the people of Mali’s business model. They had this thing where they buy animals while they are still young and weak and they treat them well, and they feed them properly.
And once the animals grow up and become fat, they take them to the market and sell them for a much bigger price. And they keep going. What is that? That is the true and original CAPITALISM! Look up the name “capital” in the dictionary itself, it is actually based on animal, stocks and heads. Animals were the original capital, especially the cows. And the stock market was a real stock market. And your stock grows because you feed it well and treat it well. Not because you manipulate numbers on computers like some do on those other stock markets of the world major “Capital” cities.
So the Capitalist people of Mali inspired me to come back to Canada and raise my own cows (the Books, U&I Talk Show, Radio and Television). And as the stocks got fed well, they grew into good fat ones. What do I do next? As any good capitalist would tell you, don’t sell the cow just yet, sell the milk, sell the cheese, sell the yogurts and more. And so right now, I am selling milk and cheese and so forth from my cows. Or as they call it in the media industry, U&I Talk Show with Louise Uwacu> is up for licensing and syndication. National and International.
U&I is looking for more milk and cheese lovers out there, they call them Radio and Television networks. Who will love to buy my milk and cheese and then get it to their own milk and cheese lovers called the audience, the sponsors and the advertisers. My baby cows are growing into fat cows that will feed many for many years to come.
And then also allow me to eventually be able to afford my POSITIVISION* of building POSITIVILLAGES* in Africa through Education. I will let you guess who may be my great inspiration on this journey of having a great talk show and building schools in Africa. If she is reading this, I would like to ask her just one question: when can My People tune into your own network to watch U&I?
As I continue to feed and raise my cows … my main inspiration remains our slogan from back then when we started < With a POSITIVISION* success is our only option > … because this Entrepreneurship route is not for the faint hearts Hein! You need so much POSITIVISION* to keep going… People just see the baby cow becoming fatter and fatter and they say… holly cow… They don’t know that it takes so much work and so much love to raise even one great productive cow. I am happy that I had a purpose before I went into this cow business, other wise I would have quit a very long time ago and went back to having a “real” job as many of my friends kept telling me!
SiliconAfrica: You are a panafricanist. You welcome artists, musicians, comedians, politicians, intellectuals in your show in Canada. What is your feeling about the current talk about Africa Renaissance? Do you feel that vision in your guests?
Louise Uwacu: What is a “Pan Africanist”? I don’t know if I am one! … The original name of our continent is KAMA by the way. Or KAMITA and KATIYOPA. Or even ETHIOPIA. If there is going to be an African renaissance, it will not be in English or French. It will be in Bambara, Yoruba, Igbo, Lingala, Swahili, Xhosa, KinyaRwanda and so on … So how can I call my self a “Pan Africanist”? The word it self is not “African”.
As for my guests sharing my vision of the re-creation of the real United Ancient Nations of Kama… they don’t have to share that POSITIVISION* of the future of Kama (now known as Africa) to be invited on U&I Talk Show …
What I want from my guest is to be living their own visions and dreams and then come on U&I to share on how they did it or how good their journey has been and how can other people out there also achieve and be successful in living out their visions and dreams? So my guests are free to have their own minds and visions. But there may be exceptions such as, U&I has yet to feature people who support any currently ongoing wars for example.
As a survivor of war, I have serious issues with People who support wars that they only know on TV. And I always suggest to them that they should go and support that war locally on the ground, then maybe you can come back and tell us about it on U&I … Other wise your support of any current ongoing war on television is not credible hein! Some may be considering you for the “Anti Human” award soon ! … And People who win an “Anti human” awards are definitely not welcome on U&I. They are the exception to the general rule that U&I is open to all!
SiliconAfrica: What advise would you give to people in our audience who would like to start their own talk show or media business?
Louise Uwacu: Wow. You know you are giving me ideas on what kind of 3rd book I should be writing? Just recently I created another service. Teaching people on how to be good in front of the camera. I was inspired by that great Congolese Artist “Cheri Cherin”.
He is so talented but he went on French TV and could not express himself in the moment. And then I also had already had people ask me if I can help them be good on Camera… So I would like to tell people who truly want to… that U can do it. U just have to learn how it is done. And make sure you learn from someone who is doing it or has done it. Because it can not be learned in writing or talking. You have to practice. Then adapt what you learn to your own style.
There are no 2 Talk Shows alike. Each talk show Host is unique and that is what makes a good Talk Show. People will tune in to watch you and your guests. So please be you and your guests. Don’t make us tune into the fake version of another great host out there.
As it is in life, so it is in hosting a show. Know yourself. Know your audience and you will win all the battles that there is to fight. And there will be battles. So if you are into being scared by big dreams. Stay in bed and tune into our talk shows, those of us who have learned to tell our fears to chill out until the show is done taping! You can start by making one show at a time.
Next thing you know, you will have 100 episodes. You will have so many guests wanting to be on. And you may become like the media you used to want to be. Just start already! I know it’s a talk show, but it will not happen if all you do is talk about it! And by the way, I am under the impression that having a talk show is not even about the Host talking.
It is more about the Host being a good listener. And then people wanting to share their stories with the Host precisely because the host listens! So keep that in mind… On U&I Talk Show … The Host and the guests get to talk. But obviously it is only because the show is called U&I Talk! … ok enough jokes… last question …
SiliconAfrica: How our readers could contact you? Any password to get you answer fast?
Louise Uwacu: To get me or anyone at U&I Talk Show to answer you faster, all you have to do is tell U&I about your success story. And tell U&I about how that will enrich our audiences’ lives. Tell U&I about your books, arts, comedy, clothing lines, movies, teachings, and so much more out there … Because as you yourself already know… Who do you see in the media? Ok … wrong question… today’s media is full of “Anti- Talented” people. But that is them. On U&I… Talents and Entrepreneurs still have a place to shine. Even if they are ugly! They are welcome. U&I don’t care about how beautiful you are. What color you think you are when the sun’s rays hit you. Or how big your booty and your boobs are… If U want to be on U&I Talk Show, U gona have to have a talent and a great inspirational story to share with our audiences. Or else I would suggest you simply contact another talk show!
Thanks Louise for your time.
Louise Uwacu Books are available at Amazon.com