BIOGRAPHICAL RESUME OF HER EXCELLENCY DENISE BUCUMI NKURUNZIZA, THE FIRST LADY OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI
Her Excellency Denise NKURUNZIZA, First Lady of the Republic of Burundi, was born at Gatsinda, Mwumba District of Ngozi province in the northern part of Burundi, on December 1st 1969.
Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA did her primary school education at Gatsinda Primary School and the first four years of high school at Busiga in her home region. She completed the last four years at ENEFA Kibumbu, Mwaro province, in the central region of Burundi.
Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA, daughter to Protais NTAHOMPAGAZE and Angèle GAKECURU, was born in a family of 12 children : 5 girls and 7 boys. She founded her family in 1994 and is now a mother to two daughters and three sons.
Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA served as a migration officer since August 1st 1993 to 2002.
When HE Pierre NKURUNZIZA, the President of the Republic of Burundi joined the National Council for the Defence of Democracy - Force for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) rebel movement in April 1995, Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA was left with a small child to take care of alone, and a four-month pregnancy. The second child was born when she was alone, hated and tormented by the government of the time for being a wife to a rebel leader who wanted peace and social justice to be done in the governance system of Burundi.
By then, the First Lady of Burundi led a life full of misery and hardships until 1997 when she received Jesus Christ as the Lord and her Saviour. Enabled by God, she regained strengths and endured all the troubles. She took care of children and tirelessly served God.
In 2000, she was prayed for as deacon, and ordained as an evangelist in the year 2005. Mrs. Denise became the First Lady of Burundi being already a mature Christian. During her time of need, she persevered and even shared the little she could get with those in similar situation, which led her church members to nickname her a “merciful woman”(BUNTU in Kirundi).
Mrs Denise Nkurunziza serves God in many capacities : she is an ideal church choir member, an evangelist, a prayer worrier, a teacher of the word of God and morality, and the best mentor for sustainable and integrated community development.
Mrs. Denise helped and prayed for her husband while being the State Minister for Good Governance until she actually became the First Lady in the Republic of Burundi.
Since the year 2004, Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA has got great achievements :
• Throughout the whole country and outside Burundi, the First Lady leads big campaigns aimed at bringing women to be mothers of integrity who take care of their families and children by imparting civic education to them, as they embody the hope and future of Burundi. She does not forget to hold meetings with the youth during vacations entrusting them with strong vision for the future.
• Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA visits hospitals, comforts patients and supplies to their several needs. She motivates vaccination campaigns for children and pregnant women, to help prevent infectious diseases.
• Like her husband, the First Lady of Burundi noticed that the country had been devastated for long and decided to mobilize people to rebuild it through community works. In addition to that, much of her efforts are geared at the protection of the environment, promotion of food security and the cleanliness of the capital Bujumbura.
• The First Lady of Burundi is a humble woman who often joins big and small farmers. She mentors the youth and joins students in the construction of houses for homeless people.
To effectively come into help to the needy, HE Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA resolved to establish a philanthropic organisation named after her nickname “BUNTU”, thus the “BUNTU Foundation” started in November 2005. It aims at restoring hope to the disadvantaged, such as orphans, widows, the elderly, returnees and people living in abject poverty.
By the year 2009, the First Lady of Burundi undertook another big campaign through which she helped as many orphanages and disabled centres as she could throughout the country.
In partnership with “Gynécologie Sans Frontière ”, BUNTU Foundation, founded and chaired by the First Lady launched a clinic which has been treating women suffering from mysterious diseases associated with maternity.
The integrity of the First Lady of Burundi has considerably contributed to the restoration and strengthening of the diplomatic relations between Burundi and the International Community.
Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA is a compassionate woman ready to rescue children thrown to the streets by their mothers. As the 2010 year unfolded, she found in critical situation and adopted a baby who was left by a mentally unstable Rwandan woman at the roadside in Ngozi province. Currently, she takes care of more than 10 children living with her family at the State House, a sign that she has a high sense of family and sharing what she has with those in need.
Mrs. Denise is a wise and open-minded woman who invests her time and energy into learning new trends and the best practices to better her performance and quality service delivery in her interventional programs. As proof to this,
• Despite her heavy load of responsibilities, she endured a three years program and got her Higher Pastoral Studies Diploma on November 27th 2010 from the Leadership Institute Burundi, a school established by the African Ministries Networks (AFMIN in short).
• Thanks to her character, it was with no hesitation that HE Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA was granted an Honorary Doctoral Degree by the United Graduate College and Seminary of California in the United States of America on March 17th 2010.
• She was ordained Reverend Pastor on July 2nd 2011, the first such
event in the country, on the continent and all over the world.
In consideration of the vision of Mrs. Denise NKURUNZIZA, her main objective is to ensure all the younger generations are mobilized and equipped for the service of their nation, and Creator, for the wellbeing of each and every citizen in Burundi particularly, and the entire world in general.