Left to Tell

by

Immaculée Ilibagiza

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Leonard Ukulikiyinkindi Character Analysis

Leonard is Immaculée’s father. He is an intelligent, kind, and protective man who is a pillar of his local community. After working as a teacher, he is eventually promoted to chief administrator for all the Catholic schools in the district. He is deeply religious, and he encourages his children to work hard in school and be devout in their faith. If Leonard has any flaws, it is his naïveté and particularly his willingness to trust those who have betrayed him before. Of course, these are also good qualities, as they demonstrate Leonard’s love of humanity and hope in people’s good nature. However, they ultimately lead Leonard to be killed when, early on in the genocide, he goes to the government office to request food for the Tutsi refugees and is shot in response.

Leonard Ukulikiyinkindi Quotes in Left to Tell

The Left to Tell quotes below are all either spoken by Leonard Ukulikiyinkindi or refer to Leonard Ukulikiyinkindi. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
God, Faith, and Miracles Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Hay House edition of Left to Tell published in 2006.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Both of my parents were teachers, and adamant believers that the only defense against poverty and hunger was a good education… Mom and Dad were the first high school graduates in their families, and they were determined that their children would go even further than they had in school. Dad led by example, working hard and studying throughout his life. He received many honors and promotions during his career, rising steadily through the ranks from primary teacher to junior high school principal. He was eventually appointed chief administrator for all of the Catholic schools in our district.

Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

My parents were devout Roman Catholics and passed on their beliefs to us. Mass was mandatory on Sundays, as were evening prayers with the family at home. I loved praying, going to church, and everything else to do with God. I especially loved the Virgin Mary, believing that she was my second mom, watching out for me from heaven.

Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

But our parents didn't teach us about our own history. We didn't know that Rwanda was made up of three tribes: a Hutu majority; a Tutsi minority; and a very small number of Twa, a pygmy-like tribe of forest dwellers. We weren't taught that the German colonialists, and the Belgian ones that followed, converted Rwanda's existing social structure—a monarchy that under a Tutsi king had provided Rwanda with centuries of peace and harmony—into a discriminatory, race-based class system. The Belgians favored the minority Tutsi aristocracy and promoted its status as the ruling class; therefore, Tutsis were ensured a better education to better manage the country and generate greater profits for the Belgian overlords. The Belgians introduced an ethnic identity card to more easily distinguish the two tribes, deepening the rift they'd created between Hutu and Tutsi. Those reckless blunders created a lingering resentment among Hutus that helped lay the groundwork for genocide.

Page Number: 14-15
Explanation and Analysis:

Mom and Dad ignored the social and political reality they lived in, and instead taught that everyone was born equal. They didn't want their children growing up feeling paranoid or inferior because they were born Tutsi.

Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

As I said, if these killers are driven only by hatred, we will force them away. But if the government is sending them, if these attacks are part of an organized plan to exterminate Tutsis, we are in serious trouble. The government has guns and grenades—it has an army and a militia—and we have no weapons at all. If the government plans to kill us, all we can do is pray. Let us use the time we have to repent. Let us pray for God to forgive our sins. If we are to die, let us die with our hearts clean… It doesn't matter if we live or die—the important thing is that we fight against this evil that has come to our homes!

Related Characters: Leonard Ukulikiyinkindi (speaker)
Page Number: 50-51
Explanation and Analysis:
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Leonard Ukulikiyinkindi Character Timeline in Left to Tell

The timeline below shows where the character Leonard Ukulikiyinkindi appears in Left to Tell. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Eternal Spring
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...a province in western Rwanda. Immaculée has fond memories of going swimming with her father, Leonard, near their house. When they get home, her mother, Rose, always has breakfast ready. (full context)
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...who tends to the family fields alongside her full-time job as a primary school teacher. Leonard is a teacher too, and both parents emphasize the importance of education to their children.... (full context)
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...in our part of Rwanda.” They also have a motorcycle. People in the village nickname Leonard “Muzungu,” which means both “rich person” and “white man.” Immaculée’s family are Catholic, and like... (full context)
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...the broadest sense”: they treat everyone kindly and spend their free time doing volunteer work. Leonard established a coffee cooperative that serves as a scholarship fund for poor children, and he... (full context)
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Rose and Leonard treat the village like an “extended family” and people travel significant distances to seek Leonard’s... (full context)
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...of 12, Damascene drives Rose to the hospital when she has an asthma attack while Leonard is away. Damascene almost crashes the car, but ends up saving his mother’s life. Damascene... (full context)
Chapter 2: Standing Up
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That night at dinner Immaculée tells Leonard about what happened at school. Leonard looks angry and says he will talk to Buhoro... (full context)
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...boy in her class have been denied scholarships, which have all gone to Hutu students. Leonard is horrified, but eventually he assures Immaculée that they will find a way to send... (full context)
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...has no option but to just become a “wife.” The next day, Immaculée learns that Leonard sold two cows in order to send her to private school. Immaculée is stunned; cows... (full context)
Chapter 3: Higher Learning
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During the Christmas break, Madame Sirake, a neighborhood gossip, informs Immaculée that Leonard was among those arrested. Immaculée races home, where Rose doesn’t mention Leonard’s arrest until Immaculée... (full context)
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After two weeks, President Habyarimana was pressured into releasing thousands of Tutsi prisoners, including Leonard. At this point Kabayi apologized and pretended it was all a misunderstanding. Immaculée’s brothers insist... (full context)
Chapter 4: Off to University
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...University in Butare. Her parents are so overjoyed that they immediately begin preparing a feast. Leonard plans a trip for Immaculée to the neighboring villages to let their extended family know... (full context)
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...the two have long conversations about religion, family, and education. Before long, they start dating. Leonard doesn’t mind that John is Hutu, but he is concerned about the fact that John... (full context)
Chapter 5: Returning Home
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...the Easter break to study for her upcoming exams, but then receives a letter from Leonard urging her to come home immediately. Immaculée decides to go, and she is joined by... (full context)
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Leonard tries to calm Damascene down, but Damascene insists that they have to flee immediately and... (full context)
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...brothers, and Augustine gather to discuss the rumors they’ve heard. Augustine is hesitant to disrespect Leonard, but admits that he thinks the death list is real and that they should leave... (full context)
Chapter 6: No Going Back
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...Rose, who is in a “kind of trance,” packs the family’s belongings in suitcases. Yet Leonard insists that the RPF will stop the killings. For one of the only times in... (full context)
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...few hours, a couple of thousand villagers gather outside Immaculée’s house, waiting for guidance from Leonard. The scene almost resembles a “family picnic,” yet with the sound of grenade explosions in... (full context)
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That night, Leonard tells Immaculée that she needs to sleep and promises that he will protect her. Immaculée... (full context)
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...ok. She is shocked to see 10,000 Tutsis now camped out around her family home. Leonard, who has not slept, is assuring everyone that they will be ok. He encourages those... (full context)
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Only a few hours later, Interahamwe attack the crowd outside Immaculée’s home. Leonard and a hundred other Tutsi men chase away the killers, but it is certain that... (full context)
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Suddenly there are shouts announcing that the killers are back. Leonard runs toward them carrying his spear, while Rose runs after him screaming that if he... (full context)
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...be murdered but also raped. At first Immaculée refuses to the leave the family, but Leonard agrees that, as a young woman, she must go. On Leonard’s suggestion, Immaculée takes Augustine... (full context)
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...are about to be killed. However, God is watching over them. A Hutu friend of Leonard’s who is standing nearby warns the crowd not to hurt Immaculée or Augustine. Momentarily safe,... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Pastor’s House
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...family, and also John’s uncle. Immaculée once heard her aunt say that the pastor “resented” Leonard’s good actions, but he has always been kind to Immaculée. Pastor Murinzi takes Immaculée and... (full context)
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...Damascene rushes in to tell her that the killers have burned down their family home. Leonard has gone to Kabayi for help even though Kabayi tried to starve him in prison.... (full context)
Chapter 10: Confronting My Anger
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...Immaculée realizes with horror that Pastor Murinzi was telling the truth. She also concludes that Leonard had been mistaken in trusting the government. Later, the pastor switches to the BBC and... (full context)
Chapter 12: No Friends to Turn To
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...women spend in the bathroom, Pastor Murinzi’s patience appears to be running out. He accuses Leonard of being “a very bad Tutsi,” saying that he was helping the RPF to plan.... (full context)
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...Immaculée stood up to Pastor Murinzi. The pastor meekly continues to recite the “evidence” criminalizing Leonard, but it is clear he is embarrassed and realizes that he is wrong. (full context)
Chapter 17: The Pain of Freedom
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...pretends to know her father died, but asks him where. Jean Paul tells her that Leonard was killed in Kibuye town, likely on April 14th. He’d gone to the government office... (full context)
Chapter 18: A Letter from Damascene
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...and “so much humor.” This letter is dated May 6, 1994. It is addressed to Leonard, Rose, Vianney, and Immaculée, but there are parentheses around everyone’s name but Immaculée’s. In the... (full context)
Chapter 19: Camp Comfort
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...to kill those who murdered Immaculée’s family, and Immaculée is momentarily tempted. However, she touches Leonard’s rosary and reminds herself that the killers aren’t evil—they have just strayed from God’s path.     (full context)
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...resemblance to her parents, and begins to cry as she recalls her close friendship with Leonard and Rose. Aloise says that Rose “saved” her by paying for her school fees when... (full context)
Chapter 20: The Road to the Rebels
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...prays fiercely. One Interahamwe recognizes her, saying “I know this cockroach” and identifying her as Leonard’s daughter. Immaculée puts herself in God’s hands, knowing that only He can save her. Moments... (full context)
Chapter 21: On to Kigali
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...no job, home, or money—not even any belongings except the clothes she is wearing and Leonard’s rosary. (full context)
Chapter 22: The Lord’s Work
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...that she should go back to Kigali. Immaculée stands at the roadside and prays, holding Leonard’s rosary. Soon after, a colonel approaches her and takes pity on her, mistaking her for... (full context)
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...she has delayed because of the unbearable sorrow it will bring them both. She puts Leonard’s rosary on the table beside her and begins to write “the saddest letter I have... (full context)
Chapter 24: Forgiving the Living
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A friend of Leonard’s named Semana, who is “like an uncle” to Immaculée, is now the regional mayor in... (full context)