David Kwizera – African Diaspora
LEAF International Culture Keeper David Kwizera was granted Chief of the LEAF Intore Troupe at the young age of 17. His leadership skills, confidence, and ability to stay positive under intense situations have made him the ultimate teaching artist and culture keeper. For over 10 years, David has been learning, practicing and teaching traditional Rwandan dance and drum. In 2017, he became a Culture Keeper and leader. It has been an extraordinary journey, and now it is time for him to shine beyond his borders.
David’s story starts out as a child of the Rwandan genocide. With no parents to care for him as of 7yrs old, he bonded with a group of boy and they became his brother. In 2006, a Rwandan world musician Jean Paul Samputu connected LEAF to this group of boys; however, it was a surprise to LEAF to discover they were living on the streets in an uncovered parking lot. LEAF created a program hiring a Ballet of Rwanda performer as a teacher, having local drums made, and engaging a local man to serve as a mentor and coordinator. The boys needed everything; however, they started going to weekly classes for they wanted to know more about their culture and the traditions of Rwanda. Over the years, LEAF was able to provide resources for housing, english lessons, and various other learning opportunities. In this movement, a troupe was created and culture keeper born. Within his mission, David helps to bring other street kids off the streets and into the classroom. Over the past year, David has led the birth of a Cultural Arts Center in Rwanda where he and other members of the troupe serve as Teaching Artists to 200+ young street kids every day. Through his work, David Kwizera embodies his mission while gracefully defining resilience, artistic leadership, and hope for new pathways in life through music and art.
For more info on David & LEAF International Rwanda, please visit – http://www.theleaf.org/rwanda