It might have been her first performance in Rwanda, but Nicole C. Mullen’s tracks are popular in the country, especially to the Christians.
Mullen was the guest vocalist in the just concluded Kigali Hope Festival, to mark the end of the 15th commemoration period of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide against the Tutsi.
Famous for her excellent voice and gospel hit songs: “My Redeemer” and “On my knees”, Mullen was born in Tennessee, Ohio and started singing at a tender age of two.
At the age of 12, Mullen wrote her debut song and that was the beginning of her journey to singing career. Now nine albums later, she is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and choreographer.
She is a mother of three and is married to David A. Mullen, who has helped her write most of her songs.
Mullen’s presence at the festival marked her fourth performance in the continent having been in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
“Rwanda is beautiful the landscapes are amazing and it’s amazingly modern,” Mullen said.
Mullen says her performance in Kigali was destined, because God wanted her here “I do not determine my seasons, I came because God wanted me to come and spread his message of hope in the festival”
She explains that as she sung she was amazed by the incredible feeling of hope in the air.
“Suffering though painful stimulates a new seed to grow, I see this here. There might have been pain in the past but I see birth of new hope and reconciliation. The country will rise again and is rising again,”
Mullen noted that Rwandan spirit of reconciliation and determination to rise from a painful past should be an example to the rest of the world.
“Rwanda is setting an example, showing the world that it’s possible to reconcile and to love even after hurtful events, this is a message we need to take everywhere,” Mullen remarked.
Mullen talks of the inspiration for her songs, “I sing so as to share a message that God is able to keep us, I talk about the God of mercy who loves and desires the best for everyone,”
Her songs seem to be embedded in her own life line, her struggles and successes mirrored in those of her audience.
Besides singing, Mullen says that she has found another way to give back to a society that has given her so much. She has established The Baby Girls Club, which mentors and encourages young women from six to eighteen years old.
She also supports many international organizations through her music. She is also a clothes designer and owns a shop near her home in Tennessee.
Her message to the local artists: “Be faithful and keep on singing regardless of the audience size, give it your best.
You can never determine how big your career will become,”
After a wonderful two day performance at the Amahoro Stadium Nicole left Kigali for home on Sunday morning, she is expected to perform in South Africa later this month.