Saturday, December 12, 2009
Mighty Popo: A Canadian Citizen
How many guitar players and bands are writing alternate national anthems? Not many, I suspect. But the Mighty Popo did. Because citizenship matters to him. Mighty Popo was born to Rwandan parents in a Burundi refugee camp. He had no citizenship, no country that he could claim as home until he was granted Canadian citizenship.
Mighty Popo and two of his band members played at a recent symposium on immigration in Saskatoon, and he had many of us up and dancing. He kept repeating that, “Life is a celebration.” Mighty Popo’s albums are available from Amazon and on iTunes. He's also one of the featured artists on the CBC's two-part African Guitar Summit.
Refugee Success Story
For more information about Rwanda and Burundi and the life of a refugee, I highly recommend reading Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder. The book recounts the story of Deo, a young Burundi man, who arrives in New York City, with nothing. He deliveries groceries and makes friends with people who help him go to medical school. It’s a story of remarkable courage and perseverance.
I suspect that Deo and Mighty Popo have a great deal in common. Not because of the colour of their skin, but because of their strength of character and love of life.