Q&A with Pierre Nkurikiye, the Artist

Pierre Nkurikiye aka Cinjire is a 44 year old Burundian, a father and a devoted Christian. He is an artist song writer, singer, actor and author. He is also a communication advisor and the spokesperson of ministry of home affairs, community development and public security in Burundi.

He is currently pursuing for a PhD student in child rights at the University of Burundi Doctoral School, he spoke to Burundi Times’ Joella Niciteretse on his music career after releasing a new song “NEW YORK CHANTE DIEU”.

When did you start your music career?

I began to sing early in primary four when I wrote my two first songs for classmates. But I official began in 2007 when I was a student in the Police Academy. At that time I made my first song in the studio and broadcasted it on local radio stations.

Why Cinjire as a stage name?

Cinjire is a stage name given to me by my fans and colleagues in the police. The idea came from my song titled Cinjire which was released to invite young people to join the Burundi National Police through recruitments. The song became a trend and went viral as it was played in almost every media house (radio stations, TVs). Cinjire had also been loved by the people. So, fans and colleagues gave me that nickname. Since then, all police members recruited know me as Cinjire. My very first studio album is Cinjire. Now I’m producing the second one.

How do you balance your work and time for composing music?

I do music during my free times. My music completes my work as I dig ideas from my daily work. I sing what I do in my daily work.

What is your opinion about the Burundian music industry?

The Burundian music industry will catchup, it’s just at the beginning.

What are the challenges and the positives of this industry?

Our music industry is not yet built. No legal framework implemented, no funds…many things have to be built now. But we have our good music and the best musicians who are trying their best to build the true Burundian music industry. The foundation is there. We need to be supported by the government and other partners including businessmen.

What are your hobbies?

I like to sing, to spend time with   my family members (wife and children) and to do research because I read a lot.

Recently, you released a new song titled ‘NEW YORK CHANTE DIEU’, what pushed you to compose that music since it is kind of gospel?

NEW-YORK, CHANTE DIEU! Is my third Gospel song. The first gospel song is titled “Izogutabara”, it is included in my first album released in 2019, the second “Jesus, I’ll never leave you”. I shot the video in Karen-Nairobi with two ladies from Ethiopia and Kenya, I expect to release it in July this year. For this new song, I have been pushed by what I discovered in New-York last March when I was on an official mission at the UN Head Quarters. The absence of great, big places for God in that city, I was surprised by the small church constructions I saw in that big city. I ask myself where is the place of God in this city yet it was built by the hands of the almighty.

Why New York in all Cities?

Because I was there for the first time and the city is the capital of all the world nations, USA is World’s super power and such a place without a big place of God/ church is difficult to understand of course to a believer of God from a country like Burundi which puts God first even in the Constitution now.

How is your song doing so far?

It’s doing its best way because in only 2 weeks, the song is soon making 10k views. I have never seen such love in my songs. It’s really God’s.

How do you feel about it?

I’m ecstatic to be this special messenger of God through the Word.

Do you compose your music by yourself or someone else does it for you?

 I compose by myself.

Are we expecting any other song soon?

Yes, “Jesus, I’ll never leave you” will probably be out by the end of June or early July.
Did you attend a mass while in New York? How was it like?

Yes it was once in Sunday at Saint Pius X church the place where I shot some of the song’s video (clips), I was surprised to see the smallest church with limited attendance and short prayer time.

Are you singing to earn an income or you do it for pleasure?

For now I essentially do it to send messages. With the development of our music industry, I hope income will follow.

What message can you give to Burundian artists?

I want my fellow Burundian artists to be more professional, to work hard to build our music industry, while putting God and Burundi first.


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