Etienne Mbarubukeye, best known by his stage name Peacemaker, is a third year student at the School of Journalism and Communication of the University of Rwanda.
Born in 1993, the reggae artiste says he wants to do music as a career.
Peacemaker was born and raised in Nyanza District where he began his music when he was still a child.
Speaking to Kaminuza Star, Peacemaker said that music has begun playing a great role in his life even as he’s still a student because it helps him to raise money for rent and some basic needs.
Asked what music means to him, he emphasised that music plays a very important role, including in his studies, as it helps him relax. He says, thanks to his music, he was able to raise money which he used to buy his own guitar.
“Music means a lot to me in two ways; it helps me to study well because when I am tired I play my guitar to relax,” he said. “It is also a source of income, much as it remains relatively small.”
Today, Peacemaker has more than six songs to his name, including two videos – ‘Amahoro’ and ‘Ukuri Kuraryana’ – and three audio, while he is also working on other songs in the studio.
He said that his love for reggae music started early on when he was about three years old and grew up drawing inspiration from reggae legends Bob Marley and Lucky Dube.
Peacemaker’s father was an artiste himself and did music professionally, especially in traditional music.
Asked about the main challenges he faces as a musician, he said the industry is still lacking financially, especially in terms of sponsorships, which sometimes leaves Rwandan artistes spend more than they actually make.
But, he believes, success is not achieved overnight. “I am positive about Rwandan music,” he said. “It’s a matter of time before it really takes off.”
For now, the student-cum-artiste derives most of his income from performing at weddings and other functions.
Peacemaker is also an aspiring author and he said he is currently writing his first book titled ‘Success, Service and Survive’, which he hopes to release some time next year.