Man Oh Man – Tresor Riziki
The Congolese-born international pop sensation, Mukengerwa ‘Tresor’ Riziki, 32, on the hardest lesson learnt so far and risks worth taking!
Are you usually early or late?
I usually make it to my appointments on time but when I’m overwhelmed, then I run late.
What would you rate 10/10 and why?
Savoury African food — when it’s done right, it’s lit! It really takes me to another level. African culture and diversity can be tasted in our spices, and it’s the most beautiful thing to experience. We can literally taste the differences in our food.
What job would you be terrible at and why?
I was once a gardener and I was terrible at it. I used to mow the lawnmower cable (cut over it) all the time, and it would result in me getting an electric shock. It was not pleasant at all.
What age do you wish you could permanently be and why?
My current age, 32, because I’m living my best life. I’m in a good space right now – careerwise, mentally, spiritually and relationship wise. Everything is good. I also feel strong, focused and my vision — with regards to PR, my label, VII Recordings and everything else in between — is very clear.
How do you unwind after a long and hard day at work?
I’m an old soul, so I’m obsessed with music from the good old times — hence I listen to vinyls. I sometimes binge-watch series with some gin and tonic, but only when absolutely necessary. This also goes for celebrating life, it doesn’t even have to be anything major. It could be that I’m celebrating surviving this crazy world.
Why did you decide to do the work that you’re doing now?
I don’t think it was a decision I made consciously.
I started putting in the work when I was eight years old, so I have always been involved in the arts. Everything I have ever done, including odd jobs in the past, has been to fulfil the vision I had with regards to the arts and music. So besides just following my passion, I don’t remember a time when I definitely decided that I wanted to be a musician.
What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Life, perseverance, dreams and overcoming challenges. I’m passionate about everyone’s personal journeys because I believe the more we share, the more people get inspired. I could also give a presentation about my life because the more I tell my story, the more I get inspired myself because it reminds me of how far I’ve come.
What amazing things did you do that no one was around to see?
Doing good deeds – whether it’s uplifting a stranger’s spirit, making someone’s day, or helping change someone’s life. These are not even necessary for people to see, for me, it’s about selffulfilment. It feels really good when I do these things. I don’t feel like I need to be glorified for it because being a tool for change in someone’s life is a reward in its own.
When people come to you for help, what do they usually ask you to assist them with?
Most of the time, it’s seeking advice about life and other times, they ask for a recording deal. Once in a while, people ask me to buy them houses and cars. I deal with it by making them understand that I’m not in a position to be buying everyone who asks a house or car. Generally, I help where I can, but I also believe that the best help you can give someone is knowledge, contacts or a referral and then it’s up to them how they nurture those relationships.
What is something that many people are obsessed with that you just don’t get the point of?
I think the world cares too much about what people say on social media. They would even go to the extent of getting into debt trying to please or impress people who actually don’t care about them. Our worth has turned into likes on Instagram and retweets on Twitter. I always tell people that they need to stay true to themselves and be proud of their own journeys. Do not rush things or put yourself in a tight situation because when you’re in trouble, the people you were trying so hard to impress will be nowhere to be seen.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
When things are going well for you, there will always be a lot of people who want to take advantage of you. This is why you must always listen, and trust, to your instincts. Surround yourself with people who care about you, give you solid advice, and are not afraid to put you back in line.
What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
Life skills TV channel for young people. It would cover topics such as — how to budget when furnishing your first place, or when you go grocery shopping, or how to draw up and submit your CV, as well as coping with stress.
What are the three significant numbers in your life and why?
The first number is seven. It goes back to my seven years living in South Africa before releasing my first album. That was also the title of my album. Plus, seven is a symbol of readiness and perfection in my faith and that is exactly how I felt. I felt like I was ready and mature enough to take on the world with my first album. The second number is eight because I feel like it symbolises the next chapter in my life (infinity). The last number is three because I’m the third child in my family — it’s obviously lucky number three [chuckles].
What would you do if you knew you were going to die in one hour?
I would tell my family and the people I love how much I appreciate them. I would also ensure that all my policies are paid up and are in order so that my family can have one less thing to stress about [chuckles].