Rwanda: Producer Junior Multisystem On Life After Amputating Accident

11 January 2023

He was once one of Rwanda's most talented music producers but a March 2019 accident snatched what was a blossoming career for Jean Luc Karamuka, commonly known as Junior Multisystem, leaving him on the fringes of death.

The once bubbly music producer, credited among the people who uplifted modern Rwandan music over the past decade or so, is now a shadow of himself and continues to nurse immense pain resulting from his amputation wounds.

The 30-year-old former music producer has never recovered from the freak accident which happened at Gisimenti on the fateful night of March 30, 2019, as he walked by the roadside from a nearby hotel where he had attended a birthday celebration.

What started out as a night of joy and celebration ended with Junior, as he is commonly known among his peers, rolling under the wheels of a Toyota Rav 4, contemplating on his life for a moment, in an accident that came out of nowhere and nearly cost him his life.

It is a night the celebrated local music producer will never forget and one that left him convinced that when something is bound to happen, nothing can stop it.

"It was my sister's birthday. I remember I was at work and her friends called me and said they were planning a surprise for her. As a family, we had planned something the next day,"

"Her friends told me they need a few family members to be around, so I finished up work and went to the location where the party would take place in Remera, along with my aunt," recalls Junior.

Junior says that the party went well and after he escorted his sister and aunt from The Mirror Hotel to the bus stop near Chez Lando, where they were going to get motorcycles and go home.

"We were walking by the roadside and the next thing we heard a loud sound and my auntie and sister were screaming at me to get out of the way or die. By the time I turned, it was too late,"

"The car hit me right from behind. I still feel the thud in my back. The next thing I knew I was down, the car running over me. Under its tyres, I reflected on my life and repented. If I was to die, I am sure I would go to heaven," he told The New Times.

Junior was hit by a car which was hit by another car and skidded off, ending up on the pedestrian walk where they were walking.

The car left him with his left hand nearly severed off. Attempts by doctors at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) to restore it were futile, as the damage was too much.

"The arm had not fallen off. It was still attached but kind of loose. Doctors tried to fix it but in vain. I was in the theatre several times to have the broken arm attached again but it was not to be,"

"Eventually they decided to amputate it to avoid any more infections that could complicate the situation," he says.

A journey of pain

The accident marked the beginning of a journey of pain for Junior, which up until today he is still battling. When The New Times visited the music producer, he posed a dejected lean figure, far from the energetic fleshy young man he was before the accident.

"I used to be big and chubby. It is the pain that has consumed me," Junior said in an interview, adding that since the unfortunate incident, he has not lived a single day without any pain.

"They had told me that in the situation when one undergoes amputation, they have to withstand some pain here and there for at least two years. By the time we crossed the two-year mark, the situation had gotten worse," he says.

Junior says the amputation wound later began to bleed due to infection and developed an inflammation inside, all of which resulted in excruciating pain.

His biggest challenge has been the pain which prevents him from doing anything productive for himself, as he has to keep taking medicine and seeing doctors to help him suppress it.

"I have seen every doctor and been in and out of hospital but nothing much has changed. My hope is to access advanced care outside the country," he added.

The pain has been so much that at times he feels numb and disoriented due to painkillers and forgets important things. At some point he had forgotten that we had scheduled an interview.

Junior says that he hopes one day he can go back to work as music production does not necessarily depend on having two arms.

"I can still go to the studio and produce music but I cannot do so with this kind of pain. Production is all about programming, you can do it with one arm," Junior says.

Several efforts to support the producer, including fundraisers, have been organised to help the music producer access advanced medical care but surprisingly he has no idea on the progress.

"I was told something is being done. I have not followed up but I was told that some people are doing it behind the scenes. With resources, I can go to India or Belgium for treatment to minimise the pain," he says.

He has hope that the efforts of artistes will yield something to help him travel abroad for treatment.

"I hope this way I will be able to get advanced treatment. Currently I go to the hospital every two days for injections to minimize pain," he added.

He appealed to everyone to support efforts to have him medically rehabilitated. Currently, the music producer leads a lonely life in Nyakabanda, Nyarugenge district, where he lives in a small moderate house.

Born in Kacyiru, Gasabo district 30 years ago, Junior Multisystem picked interest in music at an early age, in P4, where he started toying with music instruments, having grown up in a Christian family.

As he grew up, he began listening to modern music from the region and beyond, from which he picked music production ideas and hit the studio to produce his first songs for artistes in 2009, thereabout.

He went on to become a household name in music production, alongside the likes of Pastor P, Lick Lick and Piano Production, among other outstanding music producers at the time.

He produced hit songs for a myriad of artistes including King James, Urban Boys, Dream Boyz, Knowless, Uncle Austin and many others.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the music producer. You can visit it here: share-sheet&utm_content=undefined&utm_medium=chat&utm_source=whatsApp&utm_term=undefined

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