Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world, is located in East Africa. It is the continent’s smallest country, bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania, and The Congo. It’s poverty is due the country’s landlocked geography, poor legal system, lack of access to education, and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS. But this hasn’t stopped a young boy from achieving his dreams and doing what others in his country thought was impossible.
Nyandwi Majaliwa is a fourteen year old boy from Burundi. His father is a humble tradesman, and while they lived in poverty, his mother had dreams for him and his five siblings. When she noticed that Nyandwi is showing enthusiasm in trying to read the Qur’an, she motivated and encouraged him further. At the young age of ten, Nyandwi started learning Arabic and memorizing the Qur’an.
In a country that mainly speaks French, Kirundi, and Swahili, Nyandwi worked hard to learn Arabic, a language foreign to his ears and eyes. He started memorizing the verses from the Qur’an verbally from an Islamic scholar. At dawn, after his morning prayers, Nyandwi spent two hours memorizing the Qur’an. He then went to school and returned home in the afternoon. After lunch and a brief rest, he would then revise the same verses which he had memorized in the morning.
Three years later, at thirteen years of age, Nyandwi not only memorized the entire Qur’an, but has also a good command over the Arabic language. “I am very respected in my hometown for memorizing the Qur’an,” he said in an interview to a newspaper here in the U.A.E.
In this year’s Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award (DIHQA), Nyandwi was chosen as the first contestant to show off his talents. He had been nominated to participate in DIHQA by the Islamic Union Federation of Burundi.
Aside from his passion to read the Qur’an, Nyandwi also enjoys reading about the world and current political affairs from newspapers. He is also knowledgeable of the works of prominent Islamic scholars.
In a country where there are only 8-10 per cent of Muslims, Nyandwi has certainly accomplished something deemed impossible by a lot of his countrymen.
“I memorized the Qur’an to honor my mother’s request, who witnessed my enthusiasm to learn it,” Nyandwi told the reporters in a very clear and impressively fluent Arabic.
Photo and facts: Gulfnews