Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Enric Sifa

OK- I know two posts in less than an hour is a little ridiculous, but I was listening to my "Speak Rwanda" lessons and I came across this Rwandan church song that was BEAUTIFUL!!! It sent shivers up my spine to listen to it and I saw that it was sung by Enric Sifa. I proceeded to look him up on iTunes and it turns out that he has a whole CD of Christian music in both Kinyarwandan and English. I bought it immediately and it turns out he has an amazing story as well. I would highly recommend buying his CD "Just a Moment". This is an excerpt on Enric from a music website:

Rwandan born Eric Nshimiyumuremyi (now Enric Sifa) was orphaned by the tragic events of the 1994 genocide and its devastating impact to his country. At age nine he began to live on the streets, trying to find any way to survive. He struggled daily to get food and shelter, suffering from loneliness, abuse and hunger.

Because he loved music, he began hanging around village nightclubs, running errands for patrons. These clubs were dangerous though because drunk patrons or gangs would sometimes beat him or abuse him.

On a Saturday night in 2000, Enric was severely beaten in a nightclub. That night as he lay awake in pain, he felt so miserable because he had no one to help treat his wounds. He heard a voice telling him not to return to that life. The next Sunday morning he wandered into a church. In that church, he found his passion again-music! This music was free, and the people treated him well. Enric's heart began to feel hope for the first time so he gave his heart to God. He immediately began writing songs, and at 14 he wrote many powerful songs like Vahanze (come out and enter) still sung by his fans in Rwanda today.

In 2002 a church member asked Enric to teach children to sing for American visitors coming to help with a summer camp hosted by Africa New Life Ministries. While he led the children in music, Serena Morones from Portland Oregon recognized his life’s potential and offered to help him return to school.

As a newly sponsored student through Africa New Life Ministries, Enric began to flourish. He continued to write music and in 2004 he won a national music competition in Rwanda about the hazard of AIDS and how people can prevent it, earning the right to sit with the President of Rwanda.

While attending primary school at Gakenke Primary School in the eastern Provence, he was chosen as a student leader to attend national children’s summit with Rwandan government leaders. The summit was formed for the purpose of involving Rwandan students in the process of changing the country, to avoid repeating its painful history. He attended the summit for two years.

Today at the age of 21, Enric has composed over 60 songs in both his Kinyarwanda and English. He has appeared on Rwandan TV and radio, performed for government dignitaries and toured three times in the United States with the music group, Hindurwa. Enric's dream is to travel the world and speak about how people can make the world shine by loving each other , and sing to people about God's power to change anyone from the most hopeless circumstances. Enric released his first solo CD in December 2007.


  1. Wow! What a powerful story! Thanks for sharing it. I will definitely be buying his CD. You are in our prayers as you wait!

  2. What an awesome story that shows that no matter when we feel like God isn't working on our behalf, He always is.
    While you are waiting for your babies, we are counting down the days for our new grandson, to be born on the 5th of November. I am constantly reminded of you both and you babies that are soon to be with you.
    Because He Lives

  3. I'm gonna get it so I can sing it to the babies too! Though their momma will sing so much better than me!!

    I can't wait to kiss them!!

  4. Katie and Adam, thank you for sharing your story! It constantly brings tears to my eyes because I am so excited to see what God is doing in your lives. This story is incredible! You both have incredible strength and I can't wait to meet your family, even if it is only in pictures. You are just going to be incredible parents!!!! Thank you for blessing my life with your story!!

  5. Thank you for posting about SpeakRwanda and Enric Sifa. It's beautiful to read about people who are enjoying our work!
    Serena Morones
    ~creator of SpeakRwanda

  6. I second that. Thanks for writing about this. I love to see how people are impacted by our work as well as the miracles that God has done with the Rwandan people.

    ~American "sister" of Enric
    ~Speak Rwanda Admin