Ilibagiza Immaculée is a Rwandan American author and motivational speaker. Her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (2006), is an autobiographical work detailing how she survived during the Rwandan Genocide. She was featured on PBS and on 60 Minutes.
During the genocide, most of Ilibagiza’s family were killed by Hutu soldiers but she survived hidden for 91 days with seven other women in a small bathroom, only 3 feet by 4 feet wide. In her book she shares how her Christian faith guided her through her ordeal and describes her eventual forgiveness and compassion toward her family’s killers.
Ilibagiza’s second book, Led by Faith: Rising from the ashes of the Rwandan Holocaust (2008), picks up where she left off in Left to Tell. She tells her story of survival immediately following the genocide. It describes how her faith in God kept her going as she struggled to find her place in the world again, and it also shows how she sought out and encouraged many of the orphans who were equally lost. In 2006, a documentary short about her story, The Diary of Immaculée, was released by Academy Award–nominated documentarians Peter LeDonne and Steve Kalafer.
Ilibagiza speaks all over the world and is the recipient of the 2007 Mahatma Gandhi Reconciliation and Peace Award. Learn more.