His has been a tough journey. While some talented musicians gave up on music, Enric Sifa chased his dream – thanks to his determination, he is now a recognised artiste.
The gospel artiste, real name Eric Nshimiyumuremyi, was orphaned by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. At age 9, Sifa lived on the streets seeking for means of survival.
He struggled daily to get food and shelter --- suffering from loneliness, abuse and hunger.
Because he loved music, Sifa started hanging around in pubs. However, this was unsafe for the youngster as he often got beaten by drunkards.
Sifa shunned such places and instead began wandering into churches where he fell in love with church music. The music was free yet he was not harassed.
He began to grow in hope for the first time and subsequently gave his heart to God. He immediately began writing songs, and at 14, he had already started writing powerful gospel songs such as ‘Sinjye Mwami’ and ‘Vahanze’, which are still played on the local radio stations.
In 2002, Sifa started teaching children from his church to sing, and while he led the children in music, a woman from Portland Oregon recognised Sifa’s potential and offered to help him return to school.
As a newly sponsored student through Africa New Life Ministries, Sifa began to flourish. He continued to write music and in 2004, he won a national music competition in Rwanda about the hazards of AIDS and how people can prevent it.
While attending primary school, Sifa was chosen as a student leader to attend national children’s summit with Rwandan government leaders. The summit involved Rwandan students in the process of changing the country, to avoid repeating its painful history.
The 25-year-old has composed over 60 songs in both his Kinyarwanda and English. He has appeared on the national TV and radio stations, performed for government dignitaries and toured the United States three times, with the band Hindurwa.
From being a street child, Sifa is now a famous gospel artiste as he takes every opportunity to sing about what God has done for him.
His dream is to travel the world over and sing about changing from the most hopeless of situations.