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.