Gloria Sifa Shukrani, is a Congolese Asylum seeker, seeking refuge in South Africa since 2014. She has a story to tell on her overwhelming journey as a refugee and her decision to choose music as the way to go.
Gloria was forced out of DRC due to a crisis of civil war, she trecked and traveled through unforgiving forests and rough hills from Tanzania to Burundi and Mozambique and finally found her way to South Africa. She was compelled to face this ordeal due to lack of Identification documents. South Africa, a country that apart from seeking asylum she clearly says had a way for greener pastures with human right policies, peace and freedom lenient for Immigrants. She was also pulled by a relationship affair, which travelling to South Africa would help her meet her new boyfriend whom she met through Facebook.
The affair brought an unexpected pregnancy. This was the beginning of a turbulence of trouble in the already troubled Gloria.
Gender based violence, from physical to verbal assault, from forced hunger to starvation. All examples of domestic mutilation. All this she faced in the hands of her cruel husband.
Finally, running from home was a bitter option. Running away with a 3 year old baby boy was like out of the frying pan into the fire. She finally claimed salvage at one of her close family where she settled for a while. A better place than where she called home.
In an interview with Nawezaa Media’s Jean Marie, it is more heart shredding when Gloria confesses that her husband only married her in pursuit of a senior church position which would compel him to have a wife as courtesy dictates. The husband turned into a rebel, he would mistreat Gloria, beat her and even a number of times use harsh/offensive words with an aim of chasing her away. Gloria felt like life was turning a blind eye on her.
With years of struggle, mutilation and servitude. Gloria finally earns a job as a community health worker and this is a jubilation for her and her son. Food, school fees and house rent would finally be served although in difficulty as the job doesn’t pay so well.
Her Music career began unfolding. Gloria sings to motivate, encourage, heal and promote peace
“I want to use my voice to motivate”
She felt inspired to write songs due to her personal life experience under the dungeons of discrimination, where she says that at times refugees would be charged extra for health expenses at public hospitals and even overcharged school fees as compared to locals despite the South African government creating a policy for equality with inclusive of immigrants like herself.
She released her first recorded song titled “Refugee” this year July 2021 touching on her experiences as a refugee and the ordeal behind it. The Civilians in S.A would often refer to them as “makwerekwere” meaning people with no value.
Gloria faces enormous challenges in her music journey, one being lack of support from organizations supporting refugees or citizens.
“Out here (South Africa), there are people who are talented as refugees, they have the talent but where can they take it with no one to support them?”
Despite the odds, she still sees light at the end of the tunnel, “I believe my music will grow and reach everyone around the world to change everyone’s behavior towards each other“. The determination in Gloria has made her write more songs but she still faces challenges in producing them both in audio and video formats.
“I have managed to write another song on equality but I still cannot manage to record for the song to come out. My dream is to reach the world through my music and raise awareness on women’s rights, ”She further explained.
When asked about what kind of support is available for an asylum seeker like herself she had this to say,
“Some organizations that help migrants they will even come up with some criteria to say NO, we’re not helping asylum seekers, we are only helping refugees with refugee status, then you feel shutted, very shutted”
Gloria calls on support to develop her music “Refugees have talent that can amaze the world“, she says. Insisting on support financially, mentorship and even ideas. “When you have people with the same idea, you will do wonders“.
Moreover , she hopes she will one day be awarded the refugee status. As at the moment, with her already troubled life, she still faces more challenges due to lack of proper documentation and only survives on her asylum seeker certificate and her passion to change the world through music, that is her dream and her only hope, Music!
Listen to Gloria’s single “Refugee” here:
Should you wish to reach/support Gloria Shukrani Sifa, Here are her contacts ;
Email :[email protected]
or Social Media: Gloria Shukrani
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Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCagzri_r2QMYOU7yPefwX-g