You are probably wondering who this man is and why he goes by the name -or should I say nickname- MrBurundi. If you think that he won the contest of Mister Burundi at some point in his life, well you are wrong. That contest does not even exist in Burundi. Why that nickname, though? I am sorry to tell you that you will not find that answer in this post but I can tell you this: you don’t know much about Burundi if you don’t know this guy.
MrBurundi is called Chris by his close friends and family. His full name: Karl-Chris Nsabiyumva. Chris is a Burundian blogger, writer and founder of the well-known blog This Burundian Life, a blog dedicated to stories and ideas of people who have experienced the Burundian life. You’ve probably come across his funny tweets and hashtags on Instagram about the life in Burundi but don’t know much about him.
Today, he opens up with us and shares a couple fun things about himself. Now, who is not excited to get to know MrBurundi a little more?
Three adjectives that best describe you:
1. Forever young: I’m turning 30 next year but many people say I look 22 or 23. I used to hate looking young but I’ve discovered there are some advantages. Besides, everybody in my family looks young for their age. Good genes I guess 🙂
2. Outgoing-introvert: though I’m quite chatty online, I’m actually the opposite and quite awkward and shy in person. However, outgoing people make me outgoing – as in, I talk when I’m talked to. Otherwise, I’m quiet, and I almost never initiate conversation.(let me know if like me you don’t believe a word of what he just said)
3. Goofball: I don’t take myself seriously, and I’m often joking around. But that does not mean I’m irresponsible or immature.
Three reasons why you started blogging:
1. Boredom. Yup, I was bored and felt like I needed some novelty in my life.
2. Sharing my “returnee” story: when I finished college (in the UK) and decided to go back to Burundi, many people thought I was crazy and making a bad decision. So I began blogging to recount the anecdotes and/or lessons learned from my experiences as a “returnee”.
3. Telling the “real Burundian story” – I know this sounds cliché, but with so few good stories about Burundi online, I wanted to put a different kind of Burundian story out there for the World to see that Burundi isn’t (well, wasn’t) just problems.
Three cities you’ve visited and what you kept from those trips
1. Nairobi, Kenya: it’s like my second home, although I’ve never even lived there. I just love the vibe. Nairobi has the best (and worst) of all Worlds – modernity and tradition, western and African. And it’s the only place, outside Burundi, where I feel like I don’t stand out as a foreigner.
2. Adelaide, South Australia: before I went to Australia I had heard that Australians are rude and racist, but I have never met nicer (white) people in my life… Well, at least, the ones in Adelaide are. The other thing I loved about Adelaide is the perfect balance between city and nature. It’s modern but there are a lot of parks, and it’s not cramped and concrete and gloomy. It’s a very good place to raise a family. And it’s a growing city too so there are plenty of opportunities.
3. Chicago, Illinois: this is my favorite American city. The architecture is amazing and the population very diverse. Midwest Americans are also known to be quite nice. It’s built on the shores of a Lake, so it gives me an image of what Bujumbura would look like if it were developed. Their public transportation system is also quite good for an American city.
Three things you can’t go out without
1. My wallet
2. My smartphone
3. My sunglasses on a sunny day (which is almost every day)
(your)Three favorite subjects in school
1. History – I love stories
2. Geography – I love learning about places and exploring
3. Economics and Accounting – I love playing with numbers though I’m not really good at them.
Three expressions in Kirundi you always say
1. Kawuka birahera
2. Reka sha reka/Reka reka reka reka!
3. Ibaze nawe
Three weird habits of yours
1. I talk to myself (not weird at all Chris, not weird at all)
2. I don’t think it counts as a habit, but my facial expressions, which I can’t help, are weird. Maybe not weird, but too revealing of how I really feel about something or someone. They’re inappropriate sometimes, but I can’t help them.
3. Dancing – I just need to hear or think about a song I like and I’ll unconsciously start moving. Imagine me, in a suit, in a professional setting, rocking my head and/or my body, but there’s no music playing… Yeah, weird.
Three mean comments/tweets you’ve received (regarding your thoughts on the situation in Burundi)
Haha, I don’t remember any in particular (there are so many), but in all honesty, I think I’m meaner than any of the people who have tried to “attack” me. I’m good at sarcasm and mean comebacks so you don’t want to cross me. Haha. I am however learning to simply ignore people.
Three things you’re terrified of:
1. People knowing the things I’m really terrified of – I don’t want to take the risk of them using it against me. (You are a smart man Chris, haha!!)
2. Heights (not scared of flying, though)
3. Confined places – I’m not terrified of them but they make me really uncomfortable.
Three words that describe your “perfect” woman (though I am aware that there is no such thing as a perfect person)
1. Independent: she’s smart has her own life, ambitions, and does what she has to do to make things happen. I don’t deal with crooks and liars, though, or stuck-up types with an attitude. You can be independent, honest, respectful and loving at the same time.
2. Outgoing: as an introvert and socially awkward person, I like someone who has good “people skills” to balance me out. Not too much of a social butterfly, though – I wouldn’t be able to keep up.
3. In love… with me. Otherwise, she’s just another independent and outgoing woman haha.
Ladies, you can thank me later!
Chris has a personal blog that you can check here and this will make you doubt more the fact that he could be a shy person. People will not recognize him if you call him by his real name but everyone will know who you’re talking about if you mention MrBurundi.(True story)
Thanks for reading!!!
Lots of Love
Chris is the person who throughout his blog inspired me to start my own and I am forever thankful for him. And also, you are super cool for allowing this interview to happen. You rock!!!