Monday, December 10, 2012

Ezra Kwizera: Finding forgiveness in song

Ezra Kwizera performs at the Music Technology program's final concert of the year. Photo: David Denofreo.


His childhood was full of instability, war and poverty. As a Rwandan refugee in Uganda, Ezra Kwizera has seen and survived hardships most of us can’t imagine.

“There was a time when I could see no hope for my life,” he says. “It was like there was a wall in front of me. I didn’t think I would see myself grow to be a man.”

 There was one constant in his life, however: music.

“My first memory of having music in my life was being five years old and singing at Sunday school,” he recalls. Since then he’s added dancer, guitar player, pianist, hand drummer and music producer to his list of talents.

Now an accomplished performer and producer, Ezra has performed in venues in North America, Africa and the United Kingdom. He recently graduated from the Music Technology program at Douglas College, which he credits with helping him become a better music producer.

His music is a combination of pop, reggae, soca and African dance hall, and he can be heard singing and rapping in English, Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Zulu and Swahili.

“When I sing, I want to make you dance and celebrate life at the same time!” he says.

Currently on a four-country tour of Africa - Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda - Ezra’s message is all about love and forgiveness.

“I’m grateful for my past,” he says. “It has helped me in all aspects of life.”