Drawing back to his birth in Ruyigi, Burundi, the giant behind award-winning film "Cop's Enemy” breaks down his relationship with both countries; Burundi and Tanzania. John K-ay is undoubtedly one of the most influential Burundian diasporas to date. Through his work as an actor, producer, and philanthropist, John K-ay has made a difference in the lives of Burundians, and across East Africa.
Born in Ruyigi, Burundi, John K-ay was raised in Kigoma, Tanzania. At birth, John K-ay could not consume anything, including breastfeeding. No one knew what was really wrong, except having less specialized doctors with limited resources. John K-ay’s mother was told that her baby had no chance of survival, taking their hope away. John K-ay’s mother traveled from one hospital to another, passing different provinces to eventually landing in Gitega, the newly named capital of Burundi. John K-ay had more treatment, which allowed him to come back to life. “I started breathing and crying normally, and later began breastfeeding like other babies.” says John K-ay as told by his mother.
“I started breathing normally, crying and breastfeeding” - John K-ay.
This is an epiphany that changed John K-ay’s life forever. “After my mother told me this story, I promised myself to help people however I can no matter what,” says John K-ay.
For John K-ay, success is not about having a lot of clothes, money or making a lot of movies. He adds, saying, “Success to me is about helping others and restoring their hope.” John K-ay says, “we do not live our lives forever, but our deeds will live on to make an impact in the lives of others who will follow in our footsteps.”
“We do not live our lives forever, but our deeds will live on to make an impact in the lives of others who will follow our footsteps.”
John K-ay recently sponsored meals for a hospital in Burundi. He also donated resources to Burundian families who recently lost their homes due to heavy rain and storm that recently hit the country. With a long history of philanthropic work in Burundi and Tanzania, the award-winning actor and producer continues to give back to low-income families. He has collaborated with actors from Burundi and Tanzania to push the culture forward while maintaining his relationship with both countries.
John K-ay has been one of the most engaged east African diasporas living abroad. Today, John K-ay continues to make a difference in other people’s lives because of his actions.