Bio

 

 

March 15, 1962 Samputu is born

 

1977: Samputu begins singing in a church choir. Furthermore, he is influenced by traditional and contemporary music, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Lionel Richie.

 

1980: Throughout the 80s Samputu tours with his Orchestra Nyampinga in Rwanda and Burundi.

 

1990: Samputu is among the first to be arrested for ethnic reasons during the Rwandese Patriotic ront attack. He is detained for 6 months in prison until the government issues an amnesty.

 

1993: Samputu tours in Europe.

 

1994: During the genocide the Samputu family lost several of its members, among them his parents and three siblings. The following years are a nearly unbearable hardship for Samputu. Slowly recovering from these horrific events he dedicates his life and his music to further the causes of peace, healing and reconciliation.

 

1995: He marries and 1998 he moves to Canada.

 

2003: Winner of the Most Promising African Artist Kora Award for the song Ange Noir.Nominated for the Best African Traditional Artist Kora Award for the song Nyaruguru.He founds the Mizero Foundation, an organisation that aims to help children who are homeless, orphaned, infected with HIV/Aids, or vulnerable in some other way.The foundation creats the Mizero Troupe, a group of children who tour outside Rwanda singing and dancing.

 

2004: Samputu arrives in the US for Ten Years Remembering, an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda. Samputu is the one of only two African artists to perform for the World Culture Open at the Lincoln Center in New York. During the same year, he wins the Kim‘s East African Award, Uganda.

 

2005: Winner of The Spirituality & Healing Competition for the album „Testimony from Rwanda“. He is actively involved with Rwandans and Americans in Partnership (RAP) with the noted humanitarian and worker for social justice, Dr. Glenn Hawkes.

 

Samputu starts his Forgiveness Campaign and was honored with the opportunity to share his message and his music at The National Civil Rights Museum for the 2005 Freedom Awards, where he performs in front of Oprah Winfrey and Ruby Dee as well as Golden Globe Award winner Angela Bassett.

 

June 18, 2005: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attends an event to commemorate World Refugee Day with Angelina Jolie, actress and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees goodwill ambassador at the National Geographic Museum on June 15th in Washington, DC. Jolie also danced with Rwandan Musical group Samputu and Ingeli.

 

2006: 1st place for World Music in the category International Songwriting Competition with „Psalm 150“. Winner of the PAM Award, Best Artist of the Year.

 

2007: Samputu becomes Ambassador for Peace, International Federation for World Peace. In August Jean Paul Samputu publicly forgives the killers of his family during the gacaca trial.

 

2008: Nominated for the Tipperary Peace Prize. Samputu brings the Mizero Troupe to the US where they perform together as well as at the UN.

 

2009: Finalist for the World Vision International Peacemaking Award. Samputu initiates the Forgiveness Conference for the first time 15 years after the genocide. "Forgiveness: A Step Towards Reconciliation" conference takes place in Rwanda.

 

2010: Samputu tours in Japan and performs at 17 concerts and conferences, promoting the Forgiveness Campaign.

 

2011: Forgiveness Campaign in Rwanda and Tour in Lebanon

 

2012: Samputu organizes the conference „Healing the Wounds of History“

 

2013: Forgiveness Tour in Japan and UK

September 2013: Forgiveness-The unpopular weapon, TEDx Hague Academy, Holland

 

2014: Forgiveness Tour and Concert Tour in UK

 

December 2015: Samputu releases his 16th album, which he called "Only Love." This album attracts attaention in his native Rwanda, the laregr East African Community to which rwanda belongs. Only love has also received an international exposure as different international programmes of the BBC invited Samputuy to speak about the album at the studios in London.

 

January 2016: Samputu visit Switzerland and France giving interview to national and international media about his new album "Only Love", and giving lectures in the context of his forgiveness campaign.