Back to All Events

Clemantine Wamariya - The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After — in conversation with Madhulika Sikka

  • Politics & Prose NW 5015 Connecticut Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20008 United States (map)

A human rights advocate, social entrepreneur, and public speaker, Wamariya was born in Kigali and fled Rwanda’s genocidal violence when she was six. She and her older sister lived in a series of refugee camps in seven different African nations before they immigrated to the U.S. in 2000. Featured on Oprah in 2006 and in a 2015 David Brooks column, Wamariya here builds on her Medium blog post, “Everything Is Yours, Everything Is Not Yours,” to tell her story in her own way. Alternating chapters that recount her grueling struggle to survive in Africa with her bewildering experience in her new country, Wamariya shows the inextricable links between past and future and demonstrates the power of storytelling to defuse the pain of trauma, speaking out about suffering but also about courage and hope.

Wamariya will be in conversation with Madhulika Sikka, PBS Public Editor and creator of the 52weeks52books52women podcast.

This event is supported by the Young African Professionals (YAP) Network. YAP is a network of more than 10,000 young African professionals in the D.C. Metro area, which provides a forum for professionals interested in Africa to engage with contemporary leaders in business, technology, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship; to network and discover opportunities among Africans; support Arts and culture from the African Diaspora; and promote entrepreneurial activities among members. More information about YAP can be found on their website at