“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!
Will you show your support for refugees like Mudibu with a Blue Key?
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With your key you will open the door to a new life that was unexpectedly—through no fault of their own—closed to refugees.
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