Massamba takes a break from singing

It’s been a life of singing for Rwanda’s traditional music icon Massamba Intore. As far as we can remember, he’s been performing and consistently recording music for the past 33 years.
Traditional music maestro Massamba Intore (left), with Marcel Ntazinda, a member of the Gakondo group, during a press conference on Tuesday. (Julius Bizimungu)
Traditional music maestro Massamba Intore (left), with Marcel Ntazinda, a member of the Gakondo group, during a press conference on Tuesday. (Julius Bizimungu)

It’s been a life of singing for Rwanda’s traditional music icon Massamba Intore. As far as we can remember, he’s been performing and consistently recording music for the past 33 years.

However, the singer has announced that he is taking a five-year break from the music industry to focus on other projects. The Nyeganyega singer made the announcement on Tuesday during a press conference at Hotel des Mille Collines in Kigali.

Massamba is a highly respected traditional music artiste in the country. “I am not quitting music; it’s just a break from singing. I want to focus on other projects, which are not far from music,” said the 49-year-old musician, before adding: “I will not be going to the studio until after five years, but I must say there are a number of projects I have in store that I strongly believe will contribute to promoting Gakondo music.”

Massamba, who is also the founder of Gakondo, a traditional music group, said that the projects will include touring schools along with his music group to create awareness among the youth about cultural heritage and traditional music, and mentoring young people interested in music.

“We want to develop and promote Gakondo music; it’s about our cultural heritage, it’s about why we exist as Rwandans and it’s what makes us unique from other people. This is why I want to give much attention to young people in schools and help them nurture their talent and help them build a strong understanding in Gakondo music,” he noted.

Growing up in Bujumbura, Burundi, his decision to embrace folk music started at the age of 11. He embraces and draws inspiration from his late father’s legacy, Athanase Sentore, who was a popular traditional musician.

“By the time my father died he had composed more than 150 songs but they were not released. I want to start working on them,” he revealed.

His latest album dubbed, ‘Inganzo ya Massamba Intore Cyogere,’ will belaunched in March, next year. It consists of 30 singles – Yaraye Avutse, Zarwaniye Inka, Ikizungerezi, Inka Y’urukundo, Aragiye Sine ya Mwiza, and Rwagihuta, among many others.

The singer has released audio CDs which can be found at Umubano Hotel, Hôtel des Mille Collines, Library Ikirezi, Caritas Rwanda, Ndoli Supermarket, and at the Kigali International Airport, among other places.

Besides music, Masamba is an actor, who starred in the 2007 drama feature film Shake Hands with the Devil.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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