Immaculée Ilibagiza

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Immaculée Ilibagiza
Immaculée Ilibagiza
Born 1972
Occupation Author, Motivational speaker
Language English, French
Citizenship American

Immaculée Ilibagiza (born 1972[1]) is a Rwandan author and motivational speaker. She is also a Roman Catholic and Tutsi. 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 on one of Wayne Dyer's programs, and also on a December 3, 2006 segment of 60 Minutes (which re-aired on July 1, 2007).

Left to Tell tells Immaculée Ilibagiza’s experience during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. She survived hidden for 91 days with seven other women in a small bathroom, no larger than 3 feet (0.91 m) long and 4 feet (1.2 m) wide with an area of 12 feet. The bathroom was concealed in a room behind a wardrobe in the home of a Hutu pastor. During the genocide, most of Ilibagiza’s family was killed by Hutu Interahamwe soldiers: her mother, her father, and her two brothers Damascene and Vianney. Besides herself, the only other survivor in her family was her brother Aimable, who was studying out of the country in Senegal and did not know the war was going on. In Left to Tell, Ilibagiza shares how her Roman Catholic faith guided her through her terrible ordeal, and describes her eventual forgiveness and compassion toward her family's killers.

in 2006, a documentary short about her story, The Diary of Immaculee, was released by Academy Award–nominated documentarians Peter LeDonne and Steve Kalafer.[2]

Ilibagiza speaks all over the world and is the recipient of the 2007 Mahatma Gandhi Reconciliation and Peace Award. In 2012 she was the June 9 speaker for the Robert E. and Bonnie Cone Hooper Plenary Address of the Christian Scholars Conference at Lipscomb University.[3]

In 2013, Ilibagiza became a naturalized U.S. citizen.[4]


  • Ilibagiza, Immaculée (with Steve Erwin). Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2006. ISBN 1-4019-0896-9.
  • Ilibagiza, Immaculée (with Steve Erwin). Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2008. ISBN 978-1-4019-1887-3
  • Ilibagiza, Immaculée (with Steve Erwin). Our Lady of Kibeho: Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2008. ISBN 1-4019-2378-X
  • Ilibagiza, Immaculée. The Boy Who Met Jesus: Segatashya Emmanuel of Kibeho (Nov. 28, 2012) Carlsbad, CA: Hay House ISBN 978-1401935825
  • Ilibagiza, Immaculée (with Steve Erwin). The Rosary: The Prayer That Saved My Life(Aug. 15, 2013) Carlsbad, CA: Hay House ISBN 978-1401940171


  1. ^ Immaculee Ilibagiza: Biography
  2. ^ The Diary of Immaculee (2006) New York Times, accessed Dec 19, 2014.
  3. ^ Lipscomb University campus life, 2012-06-09, accessed 2015-01-21.
  4. ^ "21 Photos That Prove 2013 Was A Year Of Triumphs, No Matter How Small". Hufffinton Post. 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 

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