Ziggy 55 on balancing entertainment and his corporate job


Fikiri Nshimiyimana popularly known as Ziggy 55. Courtesy.

Fikiri Nshimiyimana also known as Ziggy 55 is a TV and radio presenter, music artist and works at Rwanda Revenue Authority’s communications department. He is also a former member of the music group, The Brothers, before he went solo. He talked to Sunday Magazine’s Sharon Kantengwa about his passion for entertainment and future plans.

Besides being an entertainer, you also have formal employment. Tell us about your love for entertainment?

I think that you should instead ask me about my love for the corporate world becauseI think was born to be an entertainer.I joined a dancing group at the age of 11 and became a DJ at the age of 14 and worked professionally at 19 where I got my first contract in 1999.

I joined radio in 2005 but having acquired a degree in Human Resource Management at KIST, I had to apply for a job to be able to sustain myself because radio wasn’t paying enough. Nevertheless, I couldn’t give up on entertainment because I love it. I never thought I would be an entertainer but destiny decided that I would be one.

You say you are an entertainer but you split up with the music band The Brothers. Why is that so?

I couldn’t say we split up. The thing is we came together in 2011 after the other band members decided they needed a third member and chose me to be part of them. However in 2012 I had so many projects going on as I was pursuing another course, I had two jobs, and was making wedding arrangements around the same time and so had to put a halt on my participation in the group.

When I took my break, my colleagues too decided to take their own break and complete their projects and upon my return in 2015, they had other plans going on.Working as a group is not easy as you need to connect time. We hope to get back together but only time can tell. Danny and I however currently have song together that we plan to release anytime soon.

You suddenly went solo but your music has been a bit ‘delayed’?

It’s not easy to do all my jobs and continue my music at the same time. To produce quality music requires a lot of time. I have many projects in studio but I’m happy because the efforts I put in music, I get to reap out of them. I love to do things on my pace because then I will do it whole heartedly.

After all I want to do is produce quality songs because I do not sing for competition. I have received many awards and my songs still get airplay and I’m grateful. I don’t do music to be a star, I love it when I just sing and people appreciate.

How can you describe your music style?

I started with hip hop although I consider myself a reggae artist while I also do Rwandan Rumba. I would however describe myself as an African artist and not limit myself to just one style.

I don’t like it when people who define art. It should be an expression of your inner self. I’m still doing music for fun so let me just explore my talent.

What are your career plans?

My plan is to quit my corporate job. I’m almost completing my Masters degree in media studies and journalism and so I am currently trying to define my career.

I think that media is what I do better and it’s what I intend to concentrate on. I have been doing that for 12 years now and there is no way that I am going drift away from it.