Liberian refugee thanks Sheffield with an album of songs written from the heart

A mum-of-four is launching an album to thank the people of Sheffield for welcoming her into the city as a Liberian refugee.

By lisa wong
Friday, 2nd August 2019, 10:15 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th August 2019, 3:37 pm
Rose Bazzie
Rose Bazzie

Rose Bazzie has been living in Sheffield for 15 years but is originally from Liberia, West Africa.

When the 41-year-old isn’t working at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital as a nurse, or looking after the children, she loves to sing.

Explaining the story behind releasing an album, Rose said: “There are some powerful lyrics on being grateful for being alive, celebrating new days and achievements, being thankful for the city, the community and the country who opened their doors to us.

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“I want to empower migrants out there. With determination, one can touch the sky.

“We have more to give to society so we must provide our skills, talents and styles.

“My mother and her siblings were always singing in the home and church when I was young. I was always allowed to sing with them so I developed a passion for it. I also realised during the war in Liberia, which took me to Guinea, I could only feel at ease when I was in the midst of singers and singing. Music has no barriers. I have sung with people from different places and in languages that I don’t even understand but it still brought me joy.”

Alongside her husband Akoi Bazzie, Rose was one of the first refugees accepted onto the Home Office Gateway Protection programme.

The government arrangement allowed the couple to leave their refugee camp in Conakry, Guinea, where they had already fled to as a result of the Liberian war, and helped them to rebuild their lives in Sheffield.

She believes singing brings her peace and comfort - something that has helped her through the tough times in her life.

From Rose’s first public performance at school, to singing in church choirs with Akoi, she has built up her reputation as a singer.

She started ZEELA singing drama group in 2005 and received a ‘community champion’ award from South Yorkshire’s community foundation a year later.

She also delivers singing lessons to schools in Sheffield.

With the encouragement of her husband and children in the UK, as well as her family and friends in Liberia, Rose will now showcase her talent to more people.

On August 17, she will be releasing her own album.

Describing her style as ‘hot Afrobeat gospel music’, Rose explained how the lyrics have significant and personal meaning.

She believes that being accepted as a refugee in Sheffield was a more comfortable experience because of the ‘friendliness of the people in Sheffield’ and so now wants to give something back to those people.

Although the album is a first for Rose, it has given her inspiration to produce more in the future.

She said: “Now that I have started, I would love to do more as soon as possible.”

Rose’s album, A Grateful Heart, will be available on Amazon and TuneCore from August 17.