His name is Jean-Pierre Nimbona and he is known by the name of Kidum. By far he is the greatest Burundian superstar singer of all times (that's my opinion). He has been to a place no other Burundian artist has ever been. He was elected the best male artist of the year in East Africa in 2011 and he recently finished his first Canadian Tour which included performances in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal (twice), Calgary and Edmonton.
He happens to be my wife's family close friend (I can now get inside information about his career lol). He is about to fly to Switzerland for one concert, then to Sweden for another one; after that he will return to Zürich for another concert. He will end his European Tour with a concert in Belgium before heading back to Kenya (where he lives) for only five days. After, he will head to Rwanda for a concert, plus play five concerts in Burundi before flying to South Africa. After the African Tour, he will go to the US to perform 30 concerts! Did you hear that? 30 concerts in the US. I am tired from just writing the number of concerts he will be performing at over the next few months. It's crazy.
I have seen him perform in Burundi a couple of times; he was once my guest at the radio station when I was still in Burundi, but at that time we were not really close friends. Now that my wife has introduced me to him, I have had the opportunity to be with him one on one a couple of times while he was here in Toronto. What a blast! The guy can produce hit after hit. At his concerts, all he has to do is start a song, then the public takes it from there and finishes it. He is such a talented artist.
I was with him yesterday at Ngoma Lounge here in Toronto where he came to say good bye to his fans and offer free drinks (I was there just for that one lol). He got to perform with my boys Kijanya, Nicolas and Tamsir Seck. It was a joy man. We had so much fun.
I had another chance to speak with Kidum once more. He told me his story. He fled from Burundi during war to live in Kenya where he started his career as a musician. The first years were so hard that he wanted to give up numerous times. He started regretting why he had left his home country, but he couldn't return as the war was still on. He started playing in bars and getting a little bit of money here and there.
Then came the song “Yaramenje”. That song took the whole region like a storm, and the rest is history. Looking back at his tough times, he doesn't regret anything at all. Now he can really enjoy his success as he knows that it came by working hard and never giving up. Do you know what is his goal now? In his own words: “I want to leave a legacy. I want to go to places where no other artist has ever been, so as to be an inspiration to other African Artists”. I guess he is on the right track.
I am glad I was there to hear that. Most of the time, we see people at the top of their careers and we have no idea about what they went through to get there. I believe talent alone is not enough. It is about persistence, believing without seeing, passion, determination and above all, doing what we love to do. The rest is in God's hands.
Moral of the story? Do you want to spend time with a superstar? Just marry someone who knows people at high places, maybe he/she will happen to know me.
Always a pleasure