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Yanick Salehe Tubu

25 years old
Democratic Republic of Congo
Biography collected by Primo Luanda Bauma, written by Yanick

I’m from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I came to Malawi in 2017. I play drums and congas. I had the passion for music since I was still a child. I remember I would play with sticks, beating a plastic chair or other thing following the sounds and the rhythm of the song that was playing. My mother would chase me away saying that I was making too much noise. But I would not stop there. At the end, she would throw away whatever I was playing with. That did not stop me.

When I was 12 years old, I got the chance to enter the Sunday children’s choir and that is where I learned to play the congas. When I was 16, I met with a guy who was a professional drum player. He is the one who taught me how to play the drums. After 2 years, a church took me in and supported my education, and they gave me the chance to play drums in the adult choir. So I improved my skills in playing drums, and I started playing in concerts, events, and festivals.

After some years, my family and I experienced insecurity in the Congo, so we decided to flee to Malawi for safety. Upon arriving in Dzaleka, we lived in extreme poverty, I couldn’t sustain any of my needs. After a while I decided to go to Lilongwe to look for a job. Thanks to God, I met a friend who connected me to a church named Winners Chapel. They granted me a contract for two years to play the drums. A secular band gave me a one-year contract to play congas. It did not stop there. After two years, a church named Simama Church gave me a one-year contract to play congas. These years, I have been invited to help my friend Giresse Ino who played at the Tumaini festival, a festival that always takes place in the Dzaleka refugee camp every year in November.

I love music so much, and I love playing drums and congas. In the future, I want to play with big bands, international ones, as well open a space whereby I will be teaching kids and other people who are willing to learn how to play congas and drums. I plead with my fellow musicians to unite ourselves to work together for the development of musical talents in the Dzaleka refugee camp.

Yanick Salehe tubu