Austin Young Chamber Speaker Series: Gilbert Tuhabonye
Join us for our monthly Speaker Series luncheon. We are excited to hear from Gilbert Tuhabonye!
Gilbert is an accomplished runner, genocide survivor and philanthropist. He is the author of This Voice in My Heart: A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Escape, Faith, and Forgiveness (HarperCollins Publishing, 2006), the harrowing tale of his courageous escape from one of the massacres in the long Tutsi-Hutu war of Burundi.
In October of 1993, members of the Hutu tribe invaded Tuhabonye’s high school and captured hundreds of Tutsi children and teachers. Most of the captives were killed with machetes; the rest were burned alive. After spending nearly nine hours hidden beneath the burning corpses of his classmates and suffering burns over much of his body, Tuhabonye managed to be the only one to escape.
Hospitalized for months with 3rd degrees burns, he was told he would never run again. Gilbert proved them all wrong. He persevered and, by 1996, his running skills took him to the United States as part of an Olympic training program. He obtained a track scholarship at Abilene Christian University and was a national champion runner.
Now a U.S. Citizen, Tuhabonye is the award-winning coach of Gilbert’s Gazelles Training Group in Austin, Texas. In 2006, he cofounded the Gazelle Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve life for people in Burundi without regard to tribal affiliations.
While Gilbert’s story is one that includes great tragedy, it is also one of faith, hope, and resilience. He is living proof that one person can make the world a better, more compassionate place, and that love really does conquer all evil.
Learn more at www.gilberttuhabonye.com