Until eight weeks ago, Joseph Bizima, 54, father to Alpha Rwirangira, the winner of the third season of East Africa’s premier music competition, Tusker Project Fame, in Kenya was an ordinary parent who rarely came into the limelight.
His son made great history, when he won himself Rwf 35million after beating up 12 contestants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda to emerge the best.
He has made Rwanda proud and his family delightful.
His father mentions the name of his son with respect.
Talking to Bizima, it is evident that he is fond of his family.
Bizima works with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), as national coordinator of Transboundary, a project under Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).
“You know the singing talent runs through our blood. I am also a singer,” Bizima starts, smiling broadly. In the conversation, I get a picture of a man who is satisfied.
“I was a singer personally, but remember we had a troubled history which forced most people not do much about our talents,” Bizima explains with a sudden tinge of bitterness.
He says he is happy because the family talent has been proved. He keeps quiet for sometime as he remembers his troubled history.
“I was born in exile and lived in Tanzania as a young man,” Bizima says adding that, “but I am a happy man today.”
Bizima had both primary and secondary education in Tanzania. Later, he moved on to pursue further studies at the London University, where he obtained a degree in agriculture.
Throughout the interview, Bizima keeps talking about his son Alpha and music. “He is a hero,” Bizima states, putting on an impressive face.
He repeats: “I am also a singer especially when it comes to church songs. “During my time,” Bizima goes on; “I participated in various choirs while in Tanzania.”
He adds that, “later, I learnt that singing was my calling. But then, it was very hard to pursue it since the family responsibility was piling up.”
“But when I look back, I think we have achieved a lot as family. I don’t have any regrets,” says Bizima.
Perhaps like father like son. When the budding artiste was declared winner, he invited his father on to the stage to thank him with a ‘hug’ for the role he has played in his life.
“I would like to say this in front of you and God. This man is the hero of my life. This is the angel that God gave me,” said an ecstatic Alpha.
He said this as he pointed at his humbled parent who was now besides him on stage. On hearing the announcement, Alpha’s father broke down.
“I did some dancing. It was an honor to our family. Who now says Alpha never picked his music talent from his father?”