Felis Mwambalo Mubibya

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Back there in the Kivu region, in a small town called Bukavu, in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), I was born into a born again Christian family where everyone was a singer. We are the Mubibya family.

I saw my mama singing in the church choir with my three older sisters, while my brother Pablo was singing in the church band. I loved the movement a lot to the point of joining the children’s choir in the PEFA church, which in Congo is known as FEPAZA  (Fraternité Evangelique de Pentecoste en Afrique au Zaïre). At that time the DRC went by the name of Zaïre.

Because of a few reasons I found that I wasn’t as comfortable in the choir and began to be more interested in playing Conga (Tumba). I was 7 years old at that time. I could not tell why, but in those days every choir from different branches of our church would ask me to play for them even though we did not practice together. That gave me enough confidence and trusting in myself to know that this was something I could do.

When I was 12, I joined a band called New Vision. At that time the vocal leader was my older brother, Pablo. I decided to join the band when he was not around, because I was afraid that he would not accept my joining. I joined the group with the intention of singing, but when I arrived I found that the drummer was not around. One of Pablo’s friends told me, “Since you play Conga, why don’t you help us with drums for the moment?” Since I was having that confidence of knowing I could do it, I said yes. So I went on drums. I was not perfect at that time because I had not been practicing it.

When I was at home I could play on any thing that made a sound. Our table, my mama‘s saucepans and all the baskets at home could be used as drums. That brought a problem and my mama would chase me away from destroying her things. At the end of the day she came to realize that it was a talent developing. At the age of 13 I played in front of over 2000 people in a live concert at Ahadi church.

What a blessing it is to have your talent and ministry known/understood in your own house! Finally I had a chance to practice, time to learn more about music and develop my career. When I was 17-18 years old, I was selected as the best drummer in the region.

I left Congo after receiving this call that I should go to the nations, Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…” I knew that the only thing that I could use to reach nations and make disciples is with what I was given by God and that is the talent He gave me. So I went with it and started working on bass guitar, acoustic guitar and singing as well.

I traveled in East Africa and started helping people with drums and singing. I have 24 albums recorded with different local singers and some international groups, such as the Sowers Group, and a song with Andy Sorenson from Australia. I was given the opportunity to work on my own albums as well. I have two completed, Yuko Njiani (He’s on the Way) and Yesu Ni Mungu (Jesus is God) and one that is in its final stages of production, Jipe Moyo (Take Heart).

I have realized that working alone and trying to accomplish everything on my own is not easy, because unity is power. I am going to the nations, I have started already. Let us all stand together in this and make disciples of all nations.

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