The Rwandan Community of London in Ontario, Canada, and indeed the Rwandan Diaspora of Canada in general are gleaming with joy with the recent announcement that one of our own, Shadrach Kabango, will be the new host of the CBC’s arts and culture radio show Q.
It is a feat that should debunk the myth that new immigrants cannot dream as high or achieve as well as other Canadians. It is a shining success story that should serve as an inspiration to young Rwandans in Canada to have the confidence that hard work can truly lead to rewards. It is especially gratifying for Rwandans that a giant Western media outlet like CBC would hold in high esteem a member of our Community.
Shortly after Kabango’s name was selected, out of 200 competitors, CBC spokesperson Chuck said: “It’s been a long and thorough search for the new host of Q, and we’re thrilled with our choice.”
Born to Rwandan parents in Kenya in 1982, Kabango immigrated with his parents to Canada when he was only 11 months old and the family settled in London, Ontario. Kabango was active in the arts from an early age and often provided accompaniment with an acoustic guitar when his sister, Charity, would sing at events in their local community.
His musical pursuits ultimately propelled him to win the 2011 Juno Award for Rap Recording of the year and he was also nominated three times for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.
Rwandans and perhaps others as well find Kabango especially appealing for his originality of lyrics which address diverse social causes. His 2005 track “I’ll Never Understand” for example examines the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in his native Rwanda.
Kabango is bilingual, speaking French and English. He has a business degree from Wilfred Laurier University and a Masters degree from Simon Fraser University. He is established in Toronto as well as in Vancouver, while his parents, Bernadette and Francis Kabango have returned to Rwanda after nearly three decades in Canada.
President of the Rwandan Community of London, and Secretary General of the Rwandan Diaspora of Canada
Reaction to the story, “Rwandan rapper to host major Canadian radio show” (The New Times, March 11)