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Musician Jacques Murigande – known by his Canadian fan base as The Mighty Popo – has a vision for Rwanda.
He wants it to be a musical epicenter. In pursuit of his dream, Murigande – who was born to Rwandan parents in Burundi, where he began life as a refugee – has launched Rwanda’s first ever public music school.
“Personally my desire is to teach (my students), to coach them, so that they will be able to do the things that they want to do vocally, and take that from Rwanda to other parts of the world. I see these kids becoming internationally-known if they have the desire to do so,” he says.
Nyundo Music School, which opened last year, has 60 students so far, all of whom auditioned for a spot.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” admits Murigande. “When we started auditioning kids in different parts of Rwanda, we were blown away. We saw so many talents. Raw talents, that is.”
Funding has come in part from the Rwandan government and the country’s Workforce Development Authority (WDA), and so far, the school has equipped itself with state of the art equipment to teach its pupils everything from music theory, notation and digital production.
“We teach them how to create jobs in the music industry. We teach them how to become professional musicians to an international standard,” says Murigande.
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