Keeping Culture Alive: A Refugee’s Story of Survival, Strength & Hope through Music
Pastor and Burundian Refugee
Ezekiel Ndikumana works 10 to 12-hour shifts, six days a week at a San Antonio tomato produce company. On his way and to and from his job, Ezekiel — one the only automobile owners in his community — picks up and drops off nine friends at their respective employers.
For Ezekiel, the hard work and extra carpooling is hardly an inconvenience.
After living 34 years in the wretched conditions of a Tanzanian refugee camp — where Ezekiel’s wife gave birth to seven of the couple’s eight children — he feels “lucky” to live a productive life in Texas.
Faith and singing kept the Ndikumana family’s hope alive in the refugee camp, and three years ago, the United Nations — as part of its refugee relocation program — flew the family to America to live. Against the advice of other refugees and West Africans in San Antonio, Ezekiel started a Pentecostal church, where the family now expresses their Burundi culture through joyful music that attracts visitors from all over the state.
To contact Ezekiel, please email Michele Koch at MKoch@SpringCreekUMC.org