Burundian culture will be in the spotlight when the African nation’s Independence Day celebrations come to Footscray next weekend.

Young African rapper Fablice Manirakiza says the growing Burundian community in Melbourne is eager to share its culture with the people of the western suburbs.

“It’s an annual event and this year we will be at Footscray Community Arts Centre,” he said.

“The location is the best we’ve had and we’re hoping people will come down to see the acts we have to promote the Burundian community here in Australia.”

Manirakiza, who recently won the Young Victorian of the Year achiever award, came to Australia nine years ago in one of the first waves of refugees from the troubled African nation. The young musician, who serves as president of the Burundian Association of Victoria, has even recorded a song with legendary Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly.

“That was life-changing for me,” he said.

“I look at myself, coming from being a boy in a refugee camp to recording with someone like Paul Kelly. It was breathtaking.”

Burundi is a landlocked country in East Africa. Its Independence Day celebrations at the arts centre from 1-6pm Saturday, July 2, will feature music, food, art, culture, film and handicrafts.

More details: www.burundiansinvic.com