Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission Awareness - Education - Inspiration

Gilbert Tuhabonye

Gilbert Tuhabonye

Austin, TX

Gilbert Tuhabonye is an accomplished runner, motivational speaker, 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 more than 100 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 escape and seek medical attention.

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.  Tuhabonye is the award-winning coach of Gilbert’s Gazelles Training Group in 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.