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Native of Chad Spreads Music, Gospel

The Charleston Gazette (8/29/09)
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Playing the song "Solal," Prince Luc begins to strum his acoustic guitar at a slow rhythm, then suddenly quickens the pace.

Singing with a blend of English and Sara, a language from his native Chad, Prince Luc sings his songs to spread the gospel.
"Rejoice, sing a song of praise. Sing a song to the Lord," he sings at Christ Life Fellowship Church in South Charleston. "I rejoice in him, my Lord. ... Oh my soul, sing to the Lord. Rejoice."

Prince Luc attends Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he's a voice major. He started out on drums in a church choir back home, but now plays the bass, electric and acoustic guitars. "I've been playing the guitar for about 10 years now," he said.

For the most part, he taught himself guitar after he imitated others.

A few years ago, he met area residents Ed and Nancy Hill at the Bible school, and they invited him to Southern West Virginia. He's been visiting since 2006.

This summer, he stayed with Joseph and Pat Kusimo at their home in Charleston. Joseph Kusimo is pastor at Christ Life Fellowship, where Prince Luc has worshipped and performed music.

He returned this month to Chicago and will graduate in May, but wants to pursue a graduate degree in communication studies, possibly at West Virginia State University.

Prince Luc, a native of Chad's capital city, N'Djamena, shares his music on his web site. He speaks seven languages, and sings in several. He speaks English, French, Arabic, Sara and other languages native to Africa.

As a Christian artist, he particularly enjoys how a live performance helps him connect with his audience. The energy that exists on-stage can't be found in a music video or on the radio, and helps bring people to worship, he said.

"Being on stage ... you can help people see that," Prince Luc said. "You and your audience are seeking to give praise to God."

Back home in Africa, it's important for an artist to know his audience, Prince Luc said. Crowds come to a concert expecting to dance, so one must have a few songs in his repertoire. Otherwise, "they will say, 'Oh, the concert's not good,'" he said.

Long term, Prince Luc hopes to return to Africa to create a traveling music school alongside other African artists who "develop our own music."

He hopes to use music to raise money for orphans, who are very close to his heart. One day, he would like to open a music school and orphanage for HIV/AIDS victims.

"AIDS is a big problem in Africa," he said. "A lot of orphans need help."

Joseph Kusimo said Prince Luc has left an impression at Christ Life Fellowship.

"He has been a blessing to us for coming ... with his life experiences and how he grew up," Kusimo said. "What he has gone through as a Christian was very inspiring to us and to our youth."

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