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“It’s been hard to sing my past. Sometimes, I sing it and then I just put it away, because it’s so hard. it feels heavy in my heart.”

Jean Patrick Bimenyimana, whose artistic name is ‘Mudibu’, grew up in the central African state of Burundi.

In 1993, he was just 16 and attending boarding school, when the assassination of the newly-elected president triggered a country-wide series of massacres in which Tutsis and later Hutus were targeted based on their ethnicity. Between 50,000 and 100,000 people lost their lives.

Bimenyimana survived the initial attacks but later fled Burundi for Kenya where he was registered by UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) as a refugee. He is now living in the United Kingdom where he has worked for an NGO assisting other refugees.

“If I didn’t have music, I don’t think I would have survived,” Mudibu says. He is a performing musician. His nickname was given him as a boy in the capital Bujumbura — it is a variant on the spelling of Modibo Keita, the first President of the state of Mali.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Mudibu’s story, coming out next Wednesday!

Blue Key for RefugeesWill you show your support for refugees like Mudibu with a Blue Key?

For just $5, you will join the Blue Key community, a growing contingent of Americans who are standing up for the world’s most vulnerable people: refugees.

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One Response to Refugee Stories: Mudibu, Burundi (Part 1 of 2)

  1. [...] Watch Part 1 of Mudibu’s story here, where he describes his experience becoming a refugee after fleeing genocide in his home country, Burundi. [...]

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