SPOTLIGHT: JOSHUA TOM : From Refugee Camp to world tours
“I remember a number of times I almost dropped out of school because of hunger. I couldn’t concentrate in class, I even fainted once and I decided it’s better I go to the street, wash dishes so that I could get some food.”
Joshua Tom Duku is 26-years-old and a resident at Ruaka. His story is one that will surprise you but as well Inspire you. Duku come from a large family of six kids
His father and mother separated during the Liberation war against Sudan which eventually gave birth to South Sudan.
His mum got pregnant with him and later separated with his dad. His dad found his way to London and his mum fled to Kenya as a refugee.They settled at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Where he grew up. In a camp full of repeated hurdles.
I remember after school we used to go hunting to shoot birds or even sell water just to make it to the next day. It was like growing up in a confinement with poor conditions of livelihood and standards of education were very poor since our classrooms were under trees.
I was fortunate to attend early childhood education and later got a good samaritan who sponsored my Form 3 and Form 4 in Nairobi. Upon completion, my life became even harder since no one was willing to sponsor my higher education and that is when mum decided to disclose my biological father.
This was 2010 when I went on tour to search for my father which was no easy task. By God’s grace, I got his contacts through other people from his ethnicity.
One morning, he answered my call. Now, this was so intriguing, imagine a 21-year-old showing up from nowhere calling you daddy. Later that year, I joined Catholic University and Graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics.
My mum is still here at the Camp, she doesn’t want to go back to South Sudan after the sentimental hurdles she went through. Our small house still stands.
I’m and artist from a popular crew in Juba called Spikeboyz. We started rapping/singing in 2005. I went through Talent Search South Sudan where I managed to be among the best five in 2013 and thereafter I started releasing my singles with Big Record Label in Juba.
My music journey is Inclusive of numerous performances at Catholic University such as Mr & Miss CUEA. When I was in CUEA, I remember one of us in Spikeboyz recorded a song from the refugee camp through his Inspiration music tour.
The Inspiration came from literature, music classes and personalities such as 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and T.I.
Now that I’m done with school I am working on my music projects. My new single is titled “too much blood” featuring K-Denk. You can access my audios on sound-cloud “HERE” and Reverbnation “HERE.
Currently, I’m at Kakuma Refugee camp on a music tour. The tour is aimed at reaching out to refugees especially youths and students to Inspire them to believe again. Here is a sample of my performance.
VISION & ENCOURAGEMENT TO YOUTHS
I have a dream to change bad politics in my country South Sudan to be a better scene.
My message to youths in Kenya, South Sudan & Africa at large is that, Believe in yourself despite the hardships you are going through. I grew up in a refugee camp without my biological father and my stepfather was abusive to us but I persevered because I know what I want in Life.
Seek opportunities because there are people out there willing to help, work hard on what you are doing because you never know who’s watching. Don’t forget to pray & quit using shortcuts.