Rodrigue Karemera’s classic Ndakwibuka

The lyrics, keyboard, drums, and strings are beautifully orchestrated. The smooth voice and simple love massage knitted in the lyrics are like melting chocolate in the mouth.

The lyrics, keyboard, drums, and strings are beautifully orchestrated. The smooth voice and simple love massage knitted in the lyrics are like melting chocolate in the mouth.

Ndakwibuka (I Remember You) is one of the greatest Rwandan songs ever made, totally captivating (lyrically) and extremely innovative (musically). Though it was written and recorded many decades ago, the song still sounds like it’s brand new – straight from studio.

This masterpiece that has withstood the test of time was sung by the late Rodrigue Karemera. Karemera was killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi but he still lives on through this song. Whenever Ndakwibuka is played, the old nod their heads in remembrance of the good old days while the young bow in respect.

Karemera provided food for thought in his clever, elaborative and unadulterated lyrics that make him one of the finest Rwandan musicians to have graced the stage. Some people say there is hidden vulgar meaning in this song  while others claim  he meant exactly what he sung, especially  where he sings, “Hagati y’ibiti bbibiri aho twakundaga kunyuru…” (Between the two trees where we used to pass, whenever I reach there, I turn and look back and remember you.)

Though I was not yet born when this song was a hit, whenever I hear those opening chords my mind stops and I get very misty-eyed. Ndakwibuka is a deep song – one of the greatest classics ever written by a Rwanda artiste!

 

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