Updated: Jan 11, 2019
Gael Faye was born in Burundi in 1982 to French father and Rwandan mother, his family moved to France during the Civil War in Burundi and the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda in the 1990’s. The Civil War started in 1993 and lasted until 2005.
From his experience as a child and youth in the war, he wrote the book called “Small Country”. The book tell a story from a viewpoint of a child having to go through a Civil War that divided people around him, and how the young children deal with such horrific predicament at a young age.
From just being children, laughing, playing and exploring to having their lives shattered by Grown Ups war games. It was an end to innocence for these young kids. His book is beautifully written from front to end, it’s a powerful, unforgettable and poetic novel.
“My legs buckled as I tried to grab hold of the headrest on the passenger seat. My head was spinning. Gino headed out of the van with a mean looking expression and sat on an old tire full of stagnant water. He hid his face in his hands. I was speechless as I stared at Armand, whose tears kept coming, whose clothes were splattered with blood of his father. A father he feared and revered in equal measure. People had come to murder him in cold blood on our street. In our peaceful haven. My last shred of hope had just vanished. This country was a death trap. I felt like a panicked animal caught up in a great bush fire. The final barrier had been smashed. War had burst.” - Small Country, A Novel
Gael Faye is also a rapper and a Hip Hop artist, his music creations are compelling and has a lot of depth. I always find myself to love writers, artists or anyone who had been through some intense suffering in their life and come out so bright on the other side that it makes their work so ever powerful, it's honesty and rawness in their expressions and beauty through their eyes, is something truly amazing and special.
If you haven’t read “Small Country”, you must! And if you love Hip Hop and Rap, not the mainstream ones, but something original, listen to Gael Faye. Love it!