BY NAME AND NATURE

He created the Bumuntu Initiative to help young girls access education

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If you listen to the radio, you’ll be familiar with the songs Mine, Ndashaje, and Mukadata by the popular Rwandan performer Andy Bumuntu. Since he was young, Andy has loved to sing, and today is a famous musician. What’s even more interesting about Andy is that he created the Bumuntu Initiative to help young girls access education. We sat with him to discover more about his music and this exciting project.

Ni Nyampinga: When did you discover you could sing?

Andy: [smiles] I realised how much I like singing when I was about 11 years old. Like any other young person, I liked playing football, but I also spent time listening to different music artists. I even memorised their songs and sang them word for word.

Ni Nyampinga: Tell us more about your musical journey.

Andy: In 2009, I was both studying and making music - which wasn’t easy to balance. In 2012, we created a band called ‘Oxymoron’ and sang at different schools. Four years later, I released my debut single Ndashaje that became very popular. I then released Mine and Mukadata, and people also loved these songs.

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Ni Nyampinga: What has enabled you to get this far in music?

Andy: For me, music is a career that I can spend hours and hours on. Sometimes, I spend all day and all night in the studio to make sure my music is at the level I want it to be.

Ni Nyampinga: What benefits has music brought you?

Andy: I have received lots of benefits from my music including being able to earn money. This enabled me to start an initiative to help young people to study, especially girls in primary schools.

Ni Nyampinga: Why are girls the focus of your initiative?

Andy: Girls face many challenges that affect their education. This motivated me to pledge my support, and I started an initiative to combat this. It helps under-privileged girls to go to school. My team and I started the project in 2014 and have so far paid school fees for 14 young girls.

Ni Nyampinga: How do you decide who to support?

Andy: We visit orphanages and local government authorities and ask which children most need our help.

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Ni Nyampinga: Why is it important to support girls?

Andy: The sky's truly the limit for a girl - as long as she is supported. Girls are committed and responsible. When you support girls, especially, their education, they can grow up to be leaders in their communities. When a girl succeeds, her community succeeds. For instance, I often work with girls and women and benefit from that collaboration as we develop new ideas and make them a reality. I also encourage other men to support girls.

Ni Nyampinga: What is your advice to Ni Nyampingas?

Andy: I really encourage them to use their intelligence and abilities to lift up themselves and their friends. Girls, use your strengths to build your future.

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