Niyonzima, Therence

Niyonzima, Therence


Therence Niyonzima


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Interviewee Gender


Geographical Location(s) during the genocide

Bujumbura, Lycee of Nyakaiga, Buyenzi, Gihona, Musave hill, Mibanda village

Current Geographical Location

Kizuka, Kizuka zone, Kizuka village, Rumonge commune, Rumonge province

Interview Date


Interviewer Name

Dr. Jeanine Ntihirageza, Northeastern Illinois University - Center for Genocide and Human Rights Research in Africa and the Diaspora (GHRAD)

Transcriptionist: — Pasteur Niyomwungere

Summary of Oral History

Therence Niyonzima witnessed his father die after he took a spear to his side.

After he watched his father die in agony, he said he carries his father’s wound and death with him in his heart every single day. He has never recovered from this heartbreak nor has he ever been able to recover his land or livestock taken by the militia. Niyonzima also lost his uncle in the genocide but explained that mourning their deaths would be strictly forbidden and punishable by death. Niyonzima was forced to live with the person who stabbed and murdered his father right in front of him. He had to pretend it did not happen to survive. Now, Niyonzima encourages Burundian youth to learn the truth about the painful past and to not be arrogant or vengeful.

Length of Oral History


Language(s) of Oral History

Kurundi, English

Language(s) of Transcripts

Kirundi, English

Translator for Transcripts

GHRAD Project Participant/ Research Team


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Download Therence Niyonzima – Oral History Transcript and Translation (Kirundi and English) (261 KB)

Niyonzima, Therence