Eric Murangwa Eugène MBE – moving portrait

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust commissioned a special project entitled Moving Portraits. This is a collection of five photographs of genocide survivors, with each individual featured holding an object that holds significance to them.

Eric Murangwa Eugène MBE – moving portrait

Eric Murangwa Eugène MBE is a survivor of the Genocide in Rwanda. This photograph was taken on the roof terrace of his block of flats.

Eric was a professional footballer in Rwanda when the Genocide began. He was looked after by his teammates and some fans of the team, and he and his family managed to escape to England. Eric is holding a football to symbolise the importance of sport to his life.

‘I had always looked at football as a tool for fun, but after 1994 I came to see sport as a way of bringing people together, educating people, changing people’s behaviour and perception. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years, ever since I started the charity Football for Hope Peace and Unity.

‘Initially I had thought about using this project as a way of honouring my younger brother who was killed during the Genocide. He was only seven years old. I would have wished to have a photograph of him to show today, but all of the photographs we had back then were destroyed. We don’t have anything that you can hold and remember.

‘It’s always important to remember and to commemorate people who have gone, but it’s equally important to think positively and look forward. That’s what football does for me.’


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