“I Saw Hate”: Claire Gasamagera Recalls Escaping Rwandan Genocide

In Ep. 3 of “Twisted Storytellers,” Claire Gasamagera, a survivor of genocide in Rwanda, tells the harrowing reality that brought her to United States.

From the live stage in Detroit to earbuds everywhere, WDET presents Season 3 of the Twisted Storytellers Podcast. The podcast features a diverse cast of Detroit area storytellers who perform live to sold-out audiences. This season explores the real-life challenges face by immigrants and reminds us all what it means to live in a modern day melting pot.

Claire Gasamagera remembers when political unrest in Rwanda began to grow. 

At the time, her father was the mayor of the district where they lived. As tensions grew, Gasamagera and her family were evacuated.

“They put us in the white trucks and we were able to pass through barricades with the UN flags. That’s how we ended up in the United Nations army camp,” Gasamagera says. “We didn’t have food. We didn’t have water. We didn’t have enough toilets. But we were safe.”

After ten United Nations soldiers were killed trying to protect the Rwandan Prime Minister, the UN soldiers decided to leave the camp. “My father was the one commissioned to break the news. We all screamed, ‘we’re going to die. We’re going to die.’ But our cries didn’t matter,” she says.

In episode three of WDET’s “Twisted Storytellers” podcast, Gasamagera shares the harrowing story that brought her to the United States.

Click the player above to hear Claire Gasamagera tell her story about escaping the Rwandan genocide, and subscribe to the entire season where podcasts are available.