Refugee brothers from Congo living the American Dream in Abilene


From left, Manoa, Fidele and Patrick, the Sebahizi brothers fled persecution in the Congo and are now living the American Dream in Abilene, Texas.

ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) — Three brothers who fled the Democratic Republic of Congo are now living the American Dream in the Lone Star State.

“They slaughtered us, like our friends, our loved ones for two hours without fighting back. Imagine being slaughtered for two hours without fighting back. Even most of our friends were burned alive,” said Fidele Sebahizi, who is now an Abilene police officer.

That is one of the things with which the Sebahizi brothers dealt in their village.

“I’m from an ethnic group called the Banyamulenge and we are very marginalized in the Congo, discriminated against,” Fidele said.

They fled the country in 2004 to a refugee camp in a neighboring country.

“People came and attacked our refugee camp and killed many people,” said Manoa Sebahizi, who works for the Abilene school district.

From the refugee camp to a safe haven, and finally getting approved for a visa to come to America, their first stop was San Diego.

“When I came here I was not able to speak English,” Manoa said.

Manoa, the eldest of the three, was the first brother to move to Abilene. He chose Texas’ Big Country because other family members were already living here.

“We prefer to live in a big family together because we help each other,” Manoa said.

Next came the youngest brother, Fidele, then Patrick, making Abilene their permanent home.

“Over there you can’t get a job. There is no jobs, the life there is difficult, you can’t get money but here it’s better because you can work at whatever you need to get money to feed your family,” said Patrick Sebahizi, a student who wants to become a politician.

Each brother taking their own career path but using their experiences to find their passion.

“I grew up experiencing discrimination against my people so I always wanted to do something different so I wanted to make a difference that’s why I decided to join the police,” Fidele said.

All three are still going to school to further their careers.

“His mom is going to work full time so I have to work part-time so I can get time to go to school and stay with kids,” Patrick said.

While their futures are unknown they are thankful to be in Abilene, raising their kids in America.

“To be honest with you I do not know exactly who I am going to be in the future but I hope I am going to make a difference on this earth,” said Fidele.

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