Burundian born but Kenyan based musician Jean-Pierre Nimbona, alias Kidum has announced he will not hold any concerts in his home country Burundi and its neighbor Rwanda over threats to his life.
Kidum announced his decision via his social media channels on Tuesday. He said that specific politicians on both sides of the two governments are mistaking him to be a political player thus putting a number of threats to his life.
“I have been living in Kenya since 1995 and for that, I say to Kenyans thank you so much for adopting me. Today I am taking a personal decision to take a break. I will not perform again in my county of origin until further notice, which is Burindi and its neighbor Rwanda since every time I am in those countries, I increase my enemies because they confuse me to be a politician.”
Kidum claims that “politicians in both countries think I have the power to change things in their favor” and he doesn’t understand why he can’t enjoy his life when in both countries.
“If it is not being poisoned, there is always an attempt to kill me. I am not a politician and I don’t plan on being one. For opposition groups in both countries, please stop using my situation to your dirty games” he said.
Kidum now says he has taken a break from performing in areas of Rwanda and Burundi over safety.
Yesterday, a police officer according to the star news website, phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.
“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio program.
The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.
Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.
The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were canceled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.
That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.
Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.