Triphine Tuhabonye


As Interviewed by Lucas Abounader, March 15, 2015
"I don't think we've made any progress. I feel like we went down in everything -- the economy, the peace. Everything is down. No one knows what to do now."
Triphine Tuhabonye

Introductory Profile: About Triphine Tuhabonye

Triphine Tuhabonye was born in war-torn Burundi. She witnessed the Burundi Civil War as a young woman and survived the genocide of the Tutsi ethnic group in 1993, the subject of this interview. She moved to Texas years later with her husband, Gilbert Tuhabonye, who also survived Burundi and came to the United States to train for the 1996 Olympics. We met and became very close about two years ago when I joined her daughter’s swim team.

Triphine is a tall, kind person with flamboyant curly hair. She is very open to other people and always seems to have a smile on her face, despite previous experiences.

Because we were very close friends, the interview started off with a light tone. But as Triphine revealed more and more about her past life, I could tell the mood was beginning to darken, and there were many parts of the interview that were extremely tough for her. We discussed matters such as the level of security and safety growing up and how Burundi has changed since then. It was an inspiring interview.