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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oneonta chapter.


Name: Denis Muganza AKA “Darkecy”

Hometown: Kigali, Rwanda 

Year in college: Junior

Major: Music Industry & Business Economics


HC: What are some clubs/activities you are involved in on campus?


DM: “Oneonta Hip Hop Collective (OHHC), Poetry Slam Association, Resident Advisor, Orientation Leader, tour guide, etc.”



HC: How did you feel when you first came to SUNY Oneonta? Did you have any worries?


DM: “Yes, I flew to the U.S. from Rwanda only 3 days before I came to Oneonta for college. I felt like I would be treated differently and viewed as an outsider. Even though at times I am treated differently and viewed as ‘different’,  most of the time it is a good thing.”


HC: What’s something you heard about America when you lived in Rwanda that you found to be false?


DM: “There is a stereotype about America around the world that Americans are all arrogant and rich people and all they do is eat. I have found that Americans, just like everybody else in the world, differ from person to person. Yes, some fit the negative stereotype but a lot of them are down to earth. I have found that most Americans are good and hardworking people, who just want to belong and be loved, just like everyone else.”


HC: What is something you miss most about home?


DM: “I miss my family. Spending over a year without seeing my mom and dad isn’t always easy. I try to tell myself that I am now an adult and I try to keep busy with music, schoolwork and jobs, but sometimes I feel alone. I especially get homesick when I realize how in some ways my culture is very different from the American culture. I realize how most people in the U.S. don’t even know or understand a lot of things about where I’m from, but I’ve learned to live with it. In the end, I appreciate the fact that we are all ultimately human and the friends I’ve made here have become like my new family.”


HC: If you had to pick one of your most rewarding experiences you’ve had at your time here at SUNY Oneonta, what would it be?


DM: “This would have to be when I opened for Big Sean with the OHHC last fall. Crazy story: The previous semester I had helped to start the OHHC with a few friends, since we all felt that the Oneonta area lacked a Hip Hop scene. When I got the spot to play at OH-Fest, the whole group came on stage with me and we gave the crowd one heck of a show. The following semester it was declared that Big Sean would be the main act at the Fall Concert. I got the news that we had been voted by the student body to open for him when I had just touched down at JFK from my visit to Rwanda right before sophomore year. Despite being stranded without a way to get to Oneonta, my friends from the OHHC were so pumped about being chosen that one of them came to pick me up once I was in Albany. A week later, I was on stage with these people doing what we love before an audience of about 3,000 people.” 



HC: Based on all of your life experiences, what is a motto or words you like to live by?


DM: “It’s hard to pick one, but here’s one that I have recently become very fond of:  ‘What is to give light must endure burning.’ A lot of people think of success as a thing that occurs overnight. So many people also think that I’m just talented or lucky sometimes, and even though those words are humbling, I think that it is safe to say that I’ve worked very hard for everything I have achieved. I also believe that I have not achieved that much and I want to achieve a whole lot more, so, I plan to work a lot harder to achieve my hopes and dreams.”  


HC: What are your plans for the future?


In the near future I plan to release an album that tells my story as a 21st century Rwandan and African. The album will be called “Afr-i-Can” and it will be released on October 12th on my music website. The “Afr-i-Can story” is not intended to be a way for me to brag or to even exclude people who are not African, it is just a way to tell my individual story as an African boy and to have it be heard. Often I feel that we, Africans, are so under-represented in the media and majority of the time other people (non-Africans) are telling our stories for us. I can not tell every African’s story because Africa is huge and it has over a billion people, but I plan to tell my own story and hopefully people, whether African or not, will give it a listen. I want to inspire my fellow Africans to also tell their own positive “Afr-i-Can story” that is different from the negative image that western media frequently portrays of us. I also want everybody else in the world that hears it to say, ‘If this boy from the middle of nowhere can do this, what is stopping us from chasing our dreams?’ I will be doing a tour for this album during my October school break in various parts of New York and tour dates will be announced on the website. Music videos will be released on the site, too.


In the far future, I plan to get a job in the music industry as I establish my own niche market that will enable me to create and distribute my own authentic music independently. When I have established myself as an international recording artist and performer, I want to go and invest in my country, Rwanda, and perhaps [all of] Africa. I want to invest particularly in music and art education so that Africans can also have a say in the global media and arts scenes. Recently, I have been looking up to Akon as a role model. I admire how despite all the success, fame and money he acquired he never forgot to give back to his people and the place he came from.




Kenzie Negron is currently a senior in college studying at SUNY Oneonta to pursue her dream career of being a high school english teacher as well as a part time journalist. Kenzie is the proud Campus Correspondent for the Her Campus Chapter at SUNY Oneonta. Kenzie is also the author of her own blog; http://sincerelykenz.com. In her spare time, Kenzie enjoys snowboarding, indulging in tacos, and hanging out with her friends. You can find out more information about Kenzie by following her on Twitter and Instagram (@kenzienegron).