Ezekiel Wendtoin Nikiema: “Thanks to the German language, I set myself apart from the artists in Burkina Faso”
Name: Ezekiel “Ezé” Wendtoin Nikiema
Lives in: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Country of origin: Burkina Faso
Period in Germany: several stays between 2013 and 2016
Occupation: Musician, German language teacher, interpreter
My name is Ezekiel Wendtoin Nikiema and I am from Burkina Faso. I am a musician and I have toured in Germany. Thanks to the PASCH-initiative, I cannot only communicate in German, I can even sing in the language!
I was born in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, in 1991. I spent my school years at the Lycée Mixte de Gounghin, which is a PASCH-school. I started learning German in my tenth school grade, in 2006, and I quickly fell in love with the language.
What is the PASCH initiative?
PASCH stands for the "Schools: Partners for the Future" initiative. It is a global network of some 1,500 schools that place a high value on German.
PASCH is an initiative of the Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA), the Goethe-Institut (GI), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Educational Exchange Service of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (PAD).
Learning German through PASCH-activities
Thanks to the PASCH-initiative, I did not only get studying materials like a dictionary or a grammar book, which helped me to learn German. I was also able to take part in theatre workshops and in the competition “Eine Welt Song”, in which I won the Africa Special Prize. I particularly enjoyed the PASCH-programme’s method of learning the language through activities like workshops, meetings or watching films.
Columbiahalle Berlin: EINE WELT Festival 2016
Two PASCH-schools in Ouagadougou
There is a second PASCH-school in Burkina Faso. It is called Lycée Bogodogo and it is also located in Ouagadougou. We took part in many PASCH-activities together with the students from that school. And through the PASCH-initiative, I also learned about the Goethe-Institut in Burkina Faso and I met many university students of German philology while I was still at school. They were invited to our school, where they performed plays and shared their experiences with us.
My studies and my jobs involving German
After finishing school, I studied German philology at the University of Ouagadougou. Afterwards, I worked as a private teacher at secondary schools and also as an interpreter. Currently, I am working as a musician. I play several instruments and from June to August 2014, I toured through France, Germany and Austria. It was great that I didn’t have to worry about communicating with the audiences in Germany and Austria, because I know the language. I could also exchange ideas with other musicians over there. Thanks to the German language, I set myself apart from the mass of artists in Burkina Faso.
Hopefully the next step: A Master’s degree in Dresden
I would like to complete a Master’s degree in Germany soon. I have gathered all the necessary documents, but the visa process is lengthy and very complicated. I hope that I will get my visa in 2016 and that I will be able to obtain a Master’s degree at the University of Dresden. Afterwards, I definitely want to continue working with music and combining it with the German language. I can picture myself working on projects in Burkina Faso which bring the German language closer to school pupils with the help of music and which will encourage them to learn German. My dream is to tour the country with the support of the PASCH-programme or the Goethe-Institut, doing workshops with schoolchildren.
Building a school
I even launched a school project: It is called “Fondation Warc-en-ciel” and I hope that it will be successful within the next ten years. With the help of APECA (“Association pour la Promotion de l’Education, de la Culture et de l’Artisanat”), the association for the promotion of education, culture and crafts, I would like to build a school. There I would like to acquaint disadvantaged children with culture and crafts and develop a training centre for interpreters and translators. With the knowledge from my Master’s degree, I will be able to teach German and work as a translator there.
My book in French and German
In order to support the construction of the school, I wrote a book in German and French. It is called “Warc-en-ciel: Mein Leben, meine Musik” (Warc-en-ciel: My life, my music). In this book, I share my own experiences and present traditional instruments. I would like the book to encourage young people to open themselves to other cultures while remembering their own roots.