On 16 November 2010, after four months of hospitalization, Immaculée Makumi passed away at the age of 61. Among the loved ones Immaculée leaves behind is her beloved daughter Claudine. Immaculée had a hard life, having experienced many forms of discrimination. During the Rwandan genocide in 1994 she was raped and infected with HIV as a result. Immaculée also suffered from serious asthma, gastric cancer and tuberculosis.
In spite of such hardship, Immaculée was a strong woman, capable of forgiving and continuously in search of justice. Her life story will live forth in the book “The Men Who Killed Me: Rwandan Survivors of Sexual Violence.”
Immaculée is the second person featured in “The Men Who Killed Me” who leaves us (Françoise Kayitesi passed away earlier this year). In her testimonial, Immaculée said:
I am grateful to be able to share my story, because it releases a huge weight from my heart … I am not accepted in my community, because no one understands how an old woman like me got infected with HIV. I don’t know why people are so cruel to me.
We wish to honour Immaculée’s life and courage by continuing to raise awareness of the plight of survivors of sexual violence, who are still seen and treated by some as second-class citizens.
Immaculée, you were a very brave woman, who will be deeply missed. We will never forget you.
May you rest in peace.
17 November 2010