Kizito Mihigo

Singer, organist and composer, Kizito Mihigo, was born Saturday, July 25th, 1981 at Kibeho, a sector of Nyaruguru district, in the former Gikongoro province, currently located in the Southern Province. Son of Augustin Buguzi and Ilibagiza Placidia,

Kizito grew up in a Catholic Christian educational environment. At the age of 9, he began to compose small songs, and five years later, when he was a secondary school student in the « Petit Seminaire de Butare », he becames the most popular liturgical organist and composer in the Catholic Church of Rwanda.

In April 1994, when he was almost 13 years old, the young Mihigo survived the genocide against the Tutsis, in which more than eight hundred thousand Tutsis were murdered during including his own father.

A few years later, this tragedy inspired the young talent to become the organist-singer-author and composer of the most popular songs in Rwanda. One year after the genocide, Kizito Mihigo composed hundreds of liturgical compositions which were rapidly exploited in several parishes in Rwanda.

In 2000, (when he was 19 years old), Kizito Mihigo were already author and composer of over 200 (two hundred) liturgical songs, interpreted in all the parishes of Rwanda.

In 2003, noticed by the authorities of the country, he was sent to Europe to follow his music studies. In 2008, he received the postgraduate diploma (DFE) at the “Conservatoire de Musique in Paris”. From 2008-2010, after his graduation, he was a music teacher in Belgium.

In 2010 he founded the Kizito Mihigo Peace Foundation (KMP) a Non-Governmental Organization for Peace and Reconciliation.

August 2011, Imbuto Foundation, the organization of the First Lady of Rwanda Jeannette Kagame, gave to Kizito Mihigo the price CYRWA (Cerebrating Young Rwandan Archivers), in recognition of his artistic activities for Peace and Reconciliation.

In April 2013, the Rwanda Governance Board recognized the Kizito Mihigo Peace foundation (KMP) among the top ten local NGOs that have promoted good governance in Rwanda. On this occasion, the Foundation received the “RGB award” of Rwf 8,000,000 (eight million Rwandan Francs).

President Paul Kagame himself had always presented Kizito Mihigo as a model for young Rwandans.

In April 2014, after releasing a critical song immediately prohibited by Rwandan authorities, he has been arrested and charged with planning to oust the government. In February 2015, he was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment after being convicted of conspiracy against the government of President Paul Kagame.

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