Singing About Burundi

Burundians love their country, and here is Steve Sogo’s song, ‘My Beautiful Country, Burundi,’ which celebrates this fact. The song has been a run-away hit, very much beloved throughout the country.

Scenes in the video are of traditional Burundi styles and musical instruments and of various famous spots in the country, including the little pyramid and small trickle of water out of which Steve sips, which is claimed to be the southern-most source of the Nile River.

Today Steven is considered as the best bassplayer in Burundi and the most original artist of his country. Recently he has been selected by the World Bank Institute to be Burundi´s music ambassador. STEVEN SOGO sings in Kirundi, Swahili and in French.

For his composition he has been inspired by daily life. “J´aime la vie!” he explained in an interview and his love for live is his motivation.  Peace and life after a long war struggle are important subjects in his songs.

… His music is a permanent reflection of his cultural identity and heritage. STEVEN SOGO wants to be an example for the new Burundian generation to be proud of their culture instead of forgetting it. 

Steve Sogo on our beach with Bujumbura in the background.  Source:

Steve Sogo on the beach with Bujumbura in the background. Source:


The scenes in Steve’s video that are by Lake Tanganyika were shot here, where I live. The piece has become a classic.

Steven plays the guitar, the Ikembe (thumb piano) and the Umuduri (a single-stringed instrument and the ancestor of the Berimbau of Brazil). He sings in Kirundi, Swahili and in French. His take on traditional Burundian music is graceful and refreshing.  His music is … full of pain and hope at the same time, a mirror of present day Burundian society.

Regarding the years of war, Steve has these wise words to say –

[In my music] I just wanted to show the beauty of my country to change our thinking and be forward looking. I wanted to focus on a peaceful Burundi and not dwell on our differences. In any society music and words can be a real force for change that can touch everybody.

About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
Video | This entry was posted in Burundi, Lake Tanganyika, Living here, Social Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Singing About Burundi

  1. ritaroberts says:

    This is beautiful Diana, Thank you for sharing. You live in a wonderful country. Those birds are magnificent.


  2. ritaroberts says:

    Reblogged this on Ritaroberts's Blog and commented:
    This is beautiful . So I thought my blogging friends would enjoy it too

    Liked by 1 person

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