Mike is a student at the National University of Rwanda (NUR). He also a music composer, presents Salus Relax and a live talk show on Radio Salus 97.0 fm, and above all, he is a musician. He narrated his life story and pointed out his ambitions to Sunday Time’s Bryan Kimenyi.
Born Mike Karangwa on September 1, 1985, his childhood friends did not know that the shy kid they always bullied would beat the odds and become an all round entertainer. They also didn’t know that they would buy his music and listen to his programmes on Radio.
“When I was in primary school, I was quite shy and my age mates always bullied me, and teased me on my character. Many of them wonder how I managed to be a musician,” he muses.
Church choirs have become the spring boards that power local and international artists to the sky of success.
Mike’s music career was no exception, though he joined the church choir of Saint Dominic in his later years- secondary school. The church helped rid him of the shyness.
Pop and R’ n ‘B being his favourite fields, he loved playing songs of the Backstreet Boys, and still plays and listens to their every hit.
In fact he is in constant contact by phone and mail with Alexander James, the lead singer of the Backstreet Boys’ Band. Since he tore off the chapter of shyness, he has made nine songs and says, “I rate all of them equally, though <Vakubintu> and <Isubireho> have proved to be darlings to most of my fans.”
Also attributed to his name are songs like; Amayobera, Isezerano, Fiesta, Listen To Me, Bundibushya and Ubahiga. All may look well for the young star, but that is not the case because at the tender age of 2, he lost his mum. He was her last born.
“I wish she would be here to witness how the small Mike has become the big Mike. What makes it worse is the fact that whatever I’ll achieve will be enjoyed without her,” he explains with a tinge of sadness.
Emotions aside, Mike has set his limits high with any thing to do with his life and career, “My turning point was when I passed my Senior six Exams and got government bursary to the National University of Rwanda (NUR). It taught me a lesson of fighting my own battles and achieving the best in every thing I do.”
“I want to have a good life, make it big in the industry, and also create a better world with whatever I achieve for the unfortunate in this life,” he adds.
His piece of advice to fellow musicians is “to get together such that we improve the standards of our industry” because, he says, “it is in a sorry state”
Locally, Mike is a fan of Mboneye Eulade of the <Mumutashe> fame and Mani Martin known for his track <Rukumbuzi>. He and friends will perform at Burundi’s Saga Plage beach on Valentine’s Day and intends to release his debut Album in July, hopefully in the Grand Auditorium of the NUR.
A devout Christian, his motto is “I expect people to judge me by what I’ve done (work) not because of who I am, where I come from or the colour of my skin.”