JIJI SEVEN - Biography

BIOGRAPHY


GROWING UP
JIJI SEVEN was born into a large family of nine children, and he is the seventh child. His father was a pastor in the Free Methodist church, so he grew up in a Christian environment and attended Sunday school.

From a very young age he listened to different musical genres from different countries. His special love for Reggae started then.

As a teenager, Jiji Seven was overwhelmed and exasperated by social injustice. His philosophy was that everyone should be valued and treated well because of their humanity. Paradoxically he was growing up in a society where those who are poor or who do not come from well-known families were not treated well. He could not stand the negative attitudes and lack of respect some people get because of their social status. He was frustrated that in the Burundian society, the strong and the rich were always right (even when they are wrong). He yearned for social equality and he could not find it, not even in church. Many of the members did not inspire him to the righteousness that he dreamt of. Searching for answers he developed an interest in Rastafarianism, the only movement he heard of that promoted peace, equality and justice for everyone. And so Jiji Seven committed himself to using reggae music to bring about change in the society.

In 2003 he started his music career at the youth center of Kamenge, in Bujumbura, where he was a member of the group "REMESHA BAND".


CONVERSION
Two years later, in 2005, he was in his room one afternoon, when his life took on a direction that he did not expect. The Holy Spirit came to him and revealed to him that he was a sinner who needed to be saved before he could change the life of anybody else. The Holy Spirit invited him to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

The word of God that he had heard, as a child, from his parents and in church, was revealed to him again. He now saw it, true and clear, and realised his own deep depravity in its light.

Jiji Seven received Jesus as his Lord and Savior there and then in his room and was born again. He cried tears of happiness for salvation, forgiveness and redemption, and of pain and regret for the time and energy he had wasted.

He came to understand that God needed to change his life first before He can entrust him with any mission.

From that moment his world view started to change, and so did his behaviour. Now he knew that God had to form his character first. He accepted the guidance of the Holy Spirit in everything he did.


MUSIC MINISTRY
During the time of his conversion, he got to know two young Christian artistes who are about the same age as him. Together they began to use their music as a way of preaching the good news of Jesus Christ.

In September 2005 they start a group which they named GMP – God's Master Piece. Their belief was that every human being was God’s creature, unique and special, and thus should use their talents to serve God by serving people.

GMP was one of the first Christian groups that used musical genres, like hip hop, dancehall and reggae, which were not commonly used in Burundian churches. Their music appealed to the younger generations and so their ministry grew. They had found a new way to spread the Gospel. Soon they released several singles and became popular in Burundi and elsewhere.

7 years later, in 2012, because of various personal responsabilities and time constraints, the three members of GMP decided to break up. Jiji Seven launched his solo career with the now hit song "I am a soldier" which was released in January 2013.

He kept on going with songs like "You are the same", "Time will come", "Mister Number One", "Dance with Me", all of which featured on his first album DVD released under the title I'm a soldier (2013). That same year Jiji Seven formed his own band called "Soldiers of Christ".

Together they organized concerts and were sometimes invited to different events to evangelize through music.

At the end of 2014 Jiji Seven started recording his new solo album in Madiba studio with the well-known producer Bachir. The album was released in April 2015 under the title "He Knows Me". He currently lives in Sweden where he is continuing his music ministry.


MOTIVATION
Over his career, Jiji Seven has had good media coverage. Each time journalists ask what his reason for singing is, Jiji answers like this:

I sing to preach the good news of Jesus Christ through music. I sing so my audience should know that salvation is only found in Jesus. There is no name in which people can be saved except through Jesus.

I sing to teach: everything that I have learned I would like to pass on, so we can make an educated society. Ignorance prevents people and society from moving forward.



FAMILY
In 2010 Jiji Seven met Namahoro Cynthia. Their relationship grew and on July 18 2014 they got married.

For family reasons, in April 2015, just after the release of his album, Jiji Seven left his home country Burundi for Sweden. He is now based in Sweden, in the city of Gothenburg with his wife Cynthia and their daughter Jaynie who was born in June 2017.