Clemantine Wamariya

Clemantine in Berlin, 2017 Joyful Clemantine Wamariya (born 1988) is a Rwandan-American author, speaker, and human rights advocate.

Born in Rwanda, she was forced to leave her home in Kigali and her parents at the age of six due to the Rwandan Genocide. She sought refuge with her extended family in the south of the country but was forced to flee again when the genocidaires targeted the family there. She and her older sister escaped the country and spent several years seeking refuge through Africa before being granted a refugee asylum to the United States.

She settled with a family in the Chicago area and began formal schooling for the first time at the age of thirteen. She gained international attention in 2006 through an appearance on ''The Oprah Winfrey Show'' which featured a surprise reunion with her parents. After graduating from Yale University, she pursued a career as a storyteller with engagements including a TED talk. In 2018, she published a book recounting her life experiences, titled ''The Girl Who Smiled Beads''. She is a 2019 recipient of the Alex Awards. Provided by Wikipedia
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