The LIRS 2015 Migrant and Refugee Leadership Academy is an extraordinary event which brings together migrant and refugee leaders from across the country. Today’s featured artist, Abraham Mwinda, is one of the 90 participants who will attend the Academy, being held in Baltimore and Washington, DC later this month.
The Through Courageous Eyes blog series features migrant and refugee artists and is curated by Cecilia Pessoa, LIRS Digital Communications Assistant.
Abraham Mwinda is a former refugee from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo who came to the United States via Nairobi, Kenya. He has now settled in Kentucky.
A self-described singer and songwriter, Abraham began writing songs at the age of seven and performing them publicly at 15. Writing and singing were ways he could express his thoughts more easily, which gave him the motivation to continue developing this passion.
In early 2014, Abraham began playing guitar, which he says helped him expand his audience. Since then, he has performed at various concerts, which are “mainly focused on sharing experiences with the public and promoting a culture of peace, love, and unity.” The lyrics he writes exemplify this culture as well. The song below, “Cold World,” asks “do we really have to go to war?” and concludes, “love is the way.”
Listen to the track “Cold World” from “In The Moment” Acoustic EP by Abraham Mwinda, recorded by Cole Eveland.
The first verse of “Cold World” reads:
This heart of mine, could be better but I guess that it’s doing just fine
Could this be a sign, that I was meant for more than what I perceive on my mind?
Somebody once told me, it’s a cold world that we living in
It’s been like that from the beginning
But I just can’t get myself to see, that this how it should be
And every night I go to bed, with a million questions in my head
Hoping that I would find some answers deep within
With such powerful messages of peace and hope, Abraham says his concerts have been referred to as “musical sermons.” Indeed, Abraham finds inspiration in his “beliefs, faith, and aspirations” as well as from his personal life experiences and the lives of people he has met.
Abraham’s full album, “In The Moment,” shares more of these powerful stories and messages in a relaxed acoustic afropop style. His track “Love is a Verb” stresses the importance of loving neighbors, but also acknowledges that “it takes courage to love, love is not cowardice.”
Abraham’s Facebook page shares the quote, “Never forget… even during your darkest moments, God still has a plan for you to shine bright. Don’t lose faith.” This talented musician has certainly used his talents with music and writing to shine brightly in the world.
Find all the previous posts in the Through Courageous Eyes series.
Through Courageous Eyes features the artistic work of refugees and migrants. If you would like to showcase your artwork as part of the Through Courageous Eyes series, please contact Cecilia Pessoa at CPessoa@lirs.org.
Banner photo credit: Johanan Ottensooser