"Mapenzi"  song wins 1st Place in the World Music Category at International Songwriting Competition 

  International Songwriting Competition (ISC) announced today its 2014 winners. The First Place winner in the World Music category is the song “Mapenzi ‘Love'” by drummer and songwriter Jean Pierre Nimbona (better known as Kidum Kibido), from Bujumbura, Burundi. The second prize went to “Upokohue” by Moana Maniapoto, Paddy Free, Scotty Morrison from Auckland, New Zealand. The Third Place World Music award was given to “Sambah” by João Nabuco from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



 New York, NY, August 06,2013  

American Media Distribution has released a new story about Kidum Kibido on the American Media Distribution Wire Service. Here are some excerpts from the interview. The following interview was conducted by Jim Lenskold on June 17, 2013.New York, NY, August 06, 2013 --( American Media Distribution has released a new story about Kidum Kibido on the American Media Distribution Wire Service. Here are some excerpts from the interview. The following interview was conducted by Jim Lenskold on June 17, 2013. 

Kidum Kibido is Crossing Borders and Bridging Borders with his Music 

Shortly after Kidum Kibido achieved success with his first single “Yaramenje” and performed at the 2001 Burundi Peace Concert, he had a dream of inspiring peace through his songs. Today, Kidum is still driven by that dream and can easily be described as a peace ambassador playing music rather than a musician singing about peace. 

An American Media Distribution interviewed this 39-year old Burundi-born musician while he was home in Kenya, where he has lived as a refugee since the age of 21. The topics discussed include his music, touring the world for live shows and his recent 2012 Kona Award for Best Male Artist. Kidum is passionate about his music and his ability to connect with his audience. As he records songs for his next album, his goal is to expand his audience in Africa and globally for one primary purpose – to communicate his message of peace. 

Kidum was asked about his real name, Jean Pierre Nimbona but he goes by Kidum Kibido and how did that come about? 

“You know when I was born, it happened that I was a very big baby. The nickname given to me by my mother was Kidum Kibido because I was fat and big. The actual meaning of the word Kidum is a jug of 20 liters.” 

Kidum was asked how he got started. He Replied: “Let’s start when I left my country to come to Kenya because of the war. It was 1995. Instead of going to a refugee camp I decided to stay in Nairobi. I tried to survive when I was in Nairobi at that time because I joined a band and became the drummer and singer. After 4 years, I decided it is not good to be singing songs that belong to other people. Therefore, I decided to go to a small studio, in a container actually, in 1999 to do a song 'Yaramenje.' So that song went in Burundi and some parts of Rwanda. It became a very big song because the message which was in there. It was singing to people of Rwanda and Burundi at the same time. 

"Then I got this recognition from our president who decided to invite me three years later to go there and perform because the country was in a peace process. They were having these talks in Arusha, Tanzania and South Africa. So many people were so interested in bringing peace back in Burundi. In Rwanda things were a little bit different because there the war, it was one part [of the country] had conquered the other part. It was a military victory. 

"In Burundi, war was still going. The government decided to start this political process to get a political solution to the crisis. So I became the instrument of bringing people together because each group in Burundi saw that I belong to them. They say if he belongs to all of us, then he can bring us together, so let us use him. I became the instrument of the people so this thing of cooperation can start again. 

"I went to Burundi. I performed in Bujumbura. What follows after it was a cease-fire. The cease-fire was signed 2 years later. And there was this process of having a transition government and power sharing and so on.” 

Kidum has four albums completed between 2001 and today. He commented: “Yeah, I’ve done four so far. I am starting to do a fifth one and then continue. 

"There are so many songs out from this new one. Six songs are already out on YouTube. The song Kimbia, the meaning is 'run.' Run powers your dream. Use your talent to make your living. 

"I am telling people when I was a little boy, my dad told me to go to school. If I go to school and I finish school, I will get a very nice job. But he forgot to tell me about talent because talent is there and it can help someone make his living.” 

Kidum was asked how he you categorized his music. He replied: “They call me 'King of Afro-Fusion.' They say my voice is soulful and when I sing, they say you sing from the heart, your music is energetic, we love it and it stays in our heart. I just do what is in my heart, man. I don’t know where it comes from. I cannot define what I do. The way it comes out, that is what I give to people.” 

Kidum was asked if there were specific artists that had influenced him musically. He replied: “A long time ago, I liked Johnny Clegg. Later there was an artist from Caribbean called Kassav. Everyone at my age used to love Michael Jackson. We used to call him Superman. Also, an English [-speaking] guy from Canada, Bryan Adams and from the French Canadian Roch Voisine. From France, Garou and Francis Cabrel and Phil Collins from England, who sings and plays drums like me.” 

Kidum commented on what two songs that best define him. “I would say 'Yaramenje' because it was my very first song and 'Mapenzi,' which was my breakthrough in Kenya.” 

After winning a Kora Award for Best Male Artist he was asked how that meant to him at this point in your career. “I have won so many awards around here in this region but Kora was more superior to all the other ones I have because that is like an African Grammy award. I just need people to help me conquer the whole continent properly. And other continents too. It is possible and I believe so. I just need people to push me there and the rest is my job.” 

In regards to promoting his music Kidum replied: “I am going to listen to so many people so they can guide me to reach more fans out there.” 

Kidum was asked about his upcoming shows. “In August, I am going back to Canada. I have been booked for April 14th to perform at the Winspear in Edmonton, a live concert to honor amazing women with some beautiful songs dedicated to women and mothers. I just need to reach the world. I want to have white people in my concerts instead of just singing to this guy in Burundi. I want to sing to everyone and be able to explain my message in front of the world. What I sing in my language, if it is translated to English, people will understand very well where I’m from. So they understand the background, the life we are living in this other side of the world.” 

American Media Distribution Wire Service is an international private wire service that distributes syndicated news and content directly from our own reporters in the field. 

Released by: American Media Distribution Wire Service 

Artist Media Contact: Sukisa  Artists  Management 

Kidum website: 


 Born in Burundi in 1974, Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known in East Africa as ‘Kidum’ fled the country in 1995, after it was thrown into turmoil following a civil war. He moved to Kenya where he later launched a successful music career and became a household name. As part of efforts to contribute to peace in his home country, in 2001, he participated in a peace concert at the invitation of the country’s former President, Pierre Buyoya. 

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has also invited him to perform at a peace concert. The crooner, who sings both secular and gospel songs, has also performed in Belgium and London, amongst other locations. Kidum is still connected to Burundi in many ways. For instance, with a keen interest in farming, he is a productive subsistence farmer in Burundi. Though he still lives in Kenya, he aspires in future to play a greater role in changing the social economic sectors of his motherland. 

In 1995, I was forced to flee my home country, Burundi, following a long running civil war. Fearing I might join the fighting, my father gave me USD 60 and told me to flee to Kenya and pursue my dream as a musician there. Upon my arrival in Kenya, I teamed up with a Tanzanian national, Saidi Kinyunda and we formed a band and performed in various entertainment spots. For three years, recording studios turned us down and in 1999 we formed Hot Rod band and approached a Nairobi based producer, Maurice Ayado, who agreed to record our first hit ‘Yaramenje’. It was an instant hit amongst the fans who were familiar with our genre of music. At the beginning life in Kenya wasn’t easy. I got arrested many times in police swoops on suspected undocumented migrants. The swoops targeted urban refugees with an intention of soliciting bribes in exchange for our short lived freedom. Kenyans on the other hand, viewed us as petty thieves, cheats and miscreants. When I arrived in Kenya, the majority of Kenyans mostly listened to foreign music. So we started singing in Swahili, and within years, we became a household name. I can proudly say I was one of the artists who made Kenyans listen to Swahili songs. Today, 90 percent of songs including mine that are sung or played in most entertainment venues are in Swahili. I was also one of the first artists to perform both secular and religious songs too. But i also think that It’s important that migrants should contribute to the host country; they should pay taxes as well as contribute economically. In my case, Kenya is home away from home. I have tried to empower Burundian migrants here in Kenya through music. This is my fifth band, since 1995, most of the back-up musicians, are not only Burundians, but also Tanzanians and Rwandese. I use my music as a force for social change. Kenyans identify with my music and this is important.