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Citadel, world music from the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, supported by the City of Sanctuary

When Norbert Nkengurutse and Roos Demol from International Community Dynamics started collecting guitars for people in Direct Provision, little did they know where all this would lead to?

photo by Selector Slim Productions

Now, a year and a half later, they are performing around Cork county and further afield with a band of residents from the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, and in the true spirit of the City of Sanctuary movement, they have been supported by the Cork Arts Office with a development grant, which will see them buying sound equipment, doing workshops with the renowned guitarist Niwel Tsumbu, and getting stage ready to share their love of the music from home with the people of Ireland.

The group considers themselves a group of talented people who use music to combat the hardships and mental pressures that go along with living in a direct provision centre, being unsure of the future, or whether they will see their families again, or wondering what happens with their case.

The group consists of people from many countries, such as Pakistan, India, Burundi, Ukraine, Russia, Iraq. They play music from their home countries and accompany each other, creating a unique blend of sounds and rhythms. Their plan is to become stage ready and start touring the country to other places with direct provision centres and encourage the musicians there to perform with them and use music as a means of creating awareness, battling depression and integration. Ireland is the best place in the world to make music. Roos Demol: “If you have the tiniest bit of musical talent, Ireland will make sure you use it, and that is what we do with Citadel, we bring out the musical best in people

Norbert Nkengurutse, co-founder: “Even if we don’t understand the words of a song, we can feel what it means, and that makes it so wonderful to perform together.”

Norbert and Roos started this initiative in the hope they would bring some relief to the residents of Kinsale Road, the project has now evolved into an awareness creating arts project and with the support of the Arts Office, they are planning to go a step further and tour the country next year.

Citadel will perform at the launch of the City of Sanctuary movement on Friday 29th.