Kalume was born in Kigali, but grew up in the DRC. His mother was Rwandan while the father hailed from the DRC*.
Sadly, he lost his mother in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, the grief from which inspired his first poem – Death of a mother. In the poem, he pours out all his pain and sorrow following the death of his beloved mother.
One day while attending class, he was overwhelmed by emotions and memories of his mother and just started writing.
“After writing it I immediately started crying, and my teacher walked to me and took the poem to read it. Immediately, he also broke into tears and the whole class broke into tears. The whole class was crying so everyone left and went home.”
After that incident, his class teacher encouraged the young man to pursue poetry seriously, and he has never looked back.
He has won two online poetry competitions organized in Canada so far, and is also a budding author of short stories and a rapper and song writer, with four audio tracks to his name.
Kalume was one of the three winners at the fourth edition of the Kigali Vibrates with Poetry event that was staged in Kigali on July 30. / Moses Opobo, New Times
*) Demokratische Republik Kongo