The Founder

The organist and composer, Kizito Mihigo, was born Saturday, July 25th, 1981 at Kibeho, a sector of Nyaruguru district, in the former Gikongoro province, currently located in the Southern Province. Son of Augustin Buguzi and Ilibagiza Placidia, Kizito grew up in a Catholic Christian educational environment. At the age of 9, he began to compose small songs, and five years later, when he was a secondary school student in the « Petit Seminaire de Butare », he became the most popular liturgical organist composer in the Catholic Church of Rwanda.

In April 1994, when he was almost 13 years old, the young Mihigo survived the genocide against the Tutsis, in which more than eight hundred thousand Tutsis were murdered including his own father.

A few years later, this tragedy inspired the young talent to become the organist-singer-author and composer of the most popular songs in Rwanda.

One year after the genocide, Kizito Mihigo composed hundreds of liturgical compositions which were rapidly exploited in several parishes in Rwanda.

In 2000, (when he was 19 years old), Kizito Mihigo was already author and composer of over 200 (two hundred) liturgical songs, sung in all the parishes of Rwanda.

in 2001 (when he was 20 years old), Kizito Mihigo collaborated with other musicians in the New National Anthem composition.

In 2003, noticed by the authorities of the country, he was sent to Europe to follow his music studies.

In 2008, he received the postgraduate diploma (DFE) at the “Conservatoire de Musique de Paris”.

From 2008-2010, after his graduation, he was a music teacher in Belgium.

In 2010 he founded the KMP (Kizito Mihigo for Peace) a non-profit foundation with the objective to use Art for Peace, Reconciliation, Unity, Nonviolence and the Human Dignity in Rwandan society after the genocide against Tutsis in 1994.


In 2011, Imbuto Foundation, the organization of the First Lady of Rwanda, gave to Kizito Mihigo CYRWA (Cerebrating Young Rwandan Archivers) award, in recognition of his artistic activities for Peace and Reconciliation.

 

 

       His best known works are:

  • INUMA (DOVE): Kinyarwanda Song about Peace made - in 2010
  • TWANZE GUTOBERWA AMATEKA (composed on the occasion of the 17th commemoration of Genocide against the Tutsi)
  • TURI ABANA B'U RWANDA: (Composed in 2011. This song became an anthem-like among the Rwandan Diaspora)
  • ITEME (BRIDGE): (A 20 minutes Christian song about forgiveness and reconciliation)
  • ARC EN CIEL (RAINBOW): (Singing on forgiveness and peace after the genocide)
  • URUGAMBA RWO KWIBOHORA: (Composed for the National Liberation Day)
  • IJORO RIBARA UWARIRAYE: (Song about Memory Conservation, composed on the occasion of the 18th commemoration of Genocide against the Tutsi)

For more information about Kizito Mihigo, please visit HIS OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Founding Philosophy

Art is not just about entertainment. It is also a way to give a message that affects people’s hearts and intellect. Art is a tool for education especially among the youth. The way all people can laugh and cry as an expression of their emotions, is the same way that art (music, plays, poems and others) liked by many, affects people who benefit from it even long afterwards, as they will always remember one artistic work or another because of how it made them feel. The message in artistic works impacts on people’s lives (positively or negatively).

During the years that preceded the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, some musicians used their artistic skills in songs and poems that encouraged people to hate fellow Rwandans. Some of these songs openly called to killing. Words in some of these songs used during meetings and elsewhere denoted extreme, bloody violence. For example:

  • "Ishyaka ni CDR ndagatora mama, umwanzi wacu ni umwe ni umututsi" It means:"I swear CDR is the only party, we have a common enemy, the Tutsi". Another song that was an important tool for genocide perpetrators was “yee tubatsembatsembe”, literally, "let’s kill them all."
  • The official song of CDR party, was played on the national radio every Friday before that party’s program on radio Rwanda. This song contained words like "...abahutu turi maso, CDR kaze neza’’ meaning "we the Hutu are ready, welcome CDR’’

Music definitely played an important role in encouraging Rwandans referred to as Hutu to kill fellow Rwandans called Tutsi.

So if music was a tool to exterminate human beings and destroy the society in general, it is only just today to use that same tool in rebuilding our country and restoring morals that were shaken by the genocide against the Tutsi.

That is the objective of KMP foundation; using art (music, poems, drama and others) in every possible way, in spreading a message that restores peace among Rwandans, unity and reconciliation, non-violence and the really love of the country.

Objectives & Programs

Objectives

The main objective of KMP foundation is to promote  Peace, Love, Reconciliation, Unity, Human Dignity, Non violence after war and the 1994 genocide.

      This objective will be achieved through the following areas:

  • Appropriate commemoration and memory conservation of genocide by using art
  • Sustaining Rwanda’s achievements in the process of reconciliation and peace
  • Fight against hatred and division ideology
  • Interreligious dialogue
  • Careful and appropriate  management of genocide consequences
  • Education of youth on Love, peace and solidarity values
  • Conflict prevention

Programs

"The contribution of art in Rwandan youth education about peace and reconciliation values, about non-violence and human dignity, in civic education and patriotism, after the genocide against Tutsis" is a KMP permanent program in schools of Rwanda. Free concerts with songs, dance, theater, and poems are organized in schools across the country.

"The contribution of art in Prisoner correction after the genocide against Tutsis" is a KMP permanent program in prisons of Rwanda. Free concerts with songs, dance, theater, and poems are organized inside prisons across the country.

This is a Television Program on RTV (Rwanda Television) proposed by KMP Foundation

The Interreligious Dialogue is organized in order to find contributuion of each Rwandan in Peace building after the genocide.
Faith is undoubtedly an inspiration for human and Peace values after the genocide.

 

The preservation of the memory about the genocide against the Tutsi is a priority for KMP Foundation. In April of each year, during the commemoration of the genocide, our foundation organizes two big "concerts - testimonies." The first for the senior authorities of the country, and the second for the general population.

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