GASSILDE: Troubles of an African Girl
For Gassilde, growing up as a Hutu girl in Burundi in the 1960s means she has little choice about the path her life will take. It means she will marry young—and that the man she marries will have little or no respect for women. It means her father, brothers, and eventually her husband will have the right to beat her—or worse. It means she will grow up in a farm community without an education. As one of seven children, she, along with her sisters and her mother, is expected to work in the fields each day to provide food for the family.
But Gassilde’s mother, Claudia, wants a better life for Gassilde, and with a Tutsi friend devises a way for Gassilde to go to school—against her father’s wishes and with horrible consequences.
With a newfound ability to dream of a life different from that of her mother and sisters, Gassilde’s future is set on a path where she faces conflict at every turn. This new life exposes her to extreme racism and violence—but, most of all, it exposes her to hope.