Africa Rise: Songs from Daystar University's Afrizo

We all treasure the experience of Afrizo: the joyful melodies, the rich voices, and the colorful personalities that create a vibrant African experience.  But Afrizo’s songs and voices are more than just entertainment—they tell the story about how Daystar University is impacting the entire African continent, one student at a time.

Every Afrizo song has a deeper message waiting to be discovered. It's often a message that reflects Daystar's dedication to educating Christian servant leaders to impact Africa. Let’s look deeper at one of Afrizo’ songs and see how it exemplifies the mission of Daystar University.

Those who have traveled to Africa know the poverty, oppression, and despair that often chains its people. Despite these hardships, many good things are happening across the continent. Afrizo's song “Africa Rise” tells the story of how perseverance and faith brings reward:

 

 


From the ashes of pain, to the ashes of shame
We’ve come this far, thanks to God
Now there’s no looking back, we’re moving forward
We’re moving forward, tunasonga mbele (we are moving forward)

Nitasonga mbele (I will move forward)

Haven’t you heard that we all have a different story?
We want what they have but we are not the same
Patience pays; it never disappoints
So hope and trust that we are
And you will see, we will be
Every day we will press on, just believe

Nitasonga mbele (I will move forward)

Pamoja, twasonga mbele (together we are moving forward)
Pamoja, twaenda mbali (together we are going far)
Na kwa umoja, tutazidi (and in unity we will increase)
In peace love and harmony

Words and music by Manasseh Shalom


Afrizo did not simply record, sing, and perform “Africa Rise” to give its audiences an African experience; it traveled across five U.S. states to raise funds for scholarship students studying at Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. No one knows the truths in the song “Africa Rise” better than these students. One particular student, Thomas, shares his experiences growing up and struggling through lots of “ashes”— pain of a family death and the shame of poverty—but he found hope to move forward.

“I am the seventh born in a family of eight. After the death of my father in 2005, all my five elder sisters went into early marriages. Due to our increased poverty and hostility from our father’s family, my mother, two brothers, and I were forced to move into a Nairobi slum. We had nowhere to live, and we thank God that a church opened its doors to us as a home for three years. Later, my mother did get a job, but her salary could not sustain the family and pay for my school fees for me and my brothers.”

Since receiving a scholarship funded by U.S. donors, Thomas knows what it means when Afrizo sings, “Patience pays; it never disappoints.” Thomas hoped, trusted, and believed in God, and he pressed on through hard times to see his dream of a university education come true.

Thomas has come this far thanks to God, as the “Africa Rise” song begins. He says: “I believe God has good plans for my future; plans to give me hope. I am convinced that the blessings of the Lord on me will overflow to others. It is my prayer that at some point in life I will be in a position to support a number of students to study at Daystar, and build schools and orphanages to care for the poor children in Nairobi’s slums.”

 Afrizo met with Thomas (fourth from right) and other scholarship recipients prior to leaving for their U.S. tour. 

Afrizo met with Thomas (fourth from right) and other scholarship recipients prior to leaving for their U.S. tour. 

“Africa Rise” reflects Thomas' life and the lives of so many who have faced many ashes in their lives, yet still rise up and move forward with hope for a better life.

Daystar U.S. is privileged to hear the stories of over 100 students every year who share how they’ve come from ashes of shame to a solid and hopeful place at Daystar University, thanks to God and generous American donors. Your gifts give them strength to move forward. 

Tunasonga mbele! We are moving forward!