A Global State of Mind

Raiza Biza is a rapper from Kigali, Rwanda. He moved to Gisborne, New Zealand from Africa as a teenager, and Hamilton soon became his home. As a child, Raiza Biza’s family had to relocate several times. He was conceived in Rwanda, but his mother gave birth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He lived there for two years, and then his family moved to Zambia. After some time, they moved to South Africa. The family’s final move was to New Zealand, when Raiza Biza was 13 years old.

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Deeply Indebted

The well known rapper SHAD is another Kenyan artist who has defied the odds. SHAD was born in Kenya in 1982 but was raised in London, Ontario. His parents moved their family to Canada when he was just a year old. His parents were Rwandan so he grew up knowing a lot about his culture. The stories that his parents told him about their life and hardships in Rwanda always stuck with him. In an interview SHAD said “My mother continuously instilled in me a sense that my life, my presence, and my personal integrity were all rooted in a history—a history of Rwandan people who were (and are) full of goodness, complexity, dignity and fortitude.” Continue reading “Deeply Indebted”

Gender Equality Through Hip-Hop in Rwanda

Once considered a territory traditionally dominated by men, today, women rap and sometimes do it better than their male competitors. It all started with MC Lyte in the 1980’s in the US, and now continues with Rwandan female hip hop artist Paccy and Joyce Namande, commonly known as Kitty. Hip hop artists worldwide have a bad reputation because some have criminal records. Even an innocent woman who joins the industry is regarded as bad character which makes it even more difficult for female artists to balance life and hip hop music. Also Female rappers have to perform better than men to make. But Paccy is determined to make unusual efforts to succeed because if she fails, they will say, women don’t have what it takes, and she will not let that happen.