It was arguably one of the most successful musical concerts staged by local artistes this year.
Girl duo Charly and Nina will probably never forget last Friday, the day they launched their first album dubbed ‘Imbaraga’ at a fully-packed Kigali Exhibition and Innovation Village’s Akagera tent.
Charlotte Rulinda and Nina Umuhoza, better known as Charly and Nina, unleashed energy, passion and creativity every time they stepped on to the stage.
Two big screens on either side of the elevated stage ensured everyone captured every moment.
It was just before 9p.m when host Arthur Nkusi opened the show with jokes which set the tone for a memorable night. Neptunez Band backed up the artistes who performed at the show.
Upcoming artistes Sintex, a brother to Nkusi, and talented Andy Bumuntu, started off the performances.
By the time Deejay Pius came on stage to perform some of his popular collabos like Play It Again, featuring Radio and Weasel, and Agatako with Jose Chamelone, the tent was now full to capacity.
Unlike other shows where the main acts come in last, Charly and Nina performed in between a set of other artistes. Each time they came to the stage, they beamed in different attires in the company of good dancers.
When they first emerged after Deejay Pius, they were welcomed by a deafening applause. They started off with their early songs such as Bye-Bye and Ngwino before they switched to more recent hits like Zahabu and Mfata.
A standing ovation followed their initial performance. Overcome by emotions, Nina told the audience that the turn-up was beyond their expectation.
“It has never occurred to us that we could perform before such a huge crowd. We really thank our fans, friends and families who came to support us tonight,” Nina said before relinquishing the stage to Yvan Buravan.
The RnB star started with Malaika, which got the crowd singing along, and then ‘Just A Dance’, another of his popular hits.
Buravan, who took time off to recognise Alex Muyoboke, the manager of Charly and Nina, invited Uncle Austin to perform their collabo ‘Urwo Ngukunda’, which sent their fans wild.
Charly and Nina returned, singing their new song ‘Imbaraga’, before inviting producer Patrick Bugingo Ndanga, a.k.a Pastor P, to play a piano for them, as they performed ‘Agatege’. Pastor P produced the songbirds’ first hit, for which they still recognised him.
They recalled the ups and downs they passed through during the early days of their music career, which started in 2014, recalling a number of songs which failed to appeal to the people. The duo said they kept pushing and praying to God and finally they got the breakthrough.
At this point they took to singing gospel songs, including Patrick Nyamitali’s Messiah, Gabby Kamanzi’s Amahoro, and Israel Mbonyi’s Ku Marembo y’Ijuru, before turning to traditional music dance (Cecile Kayirebwa’s None Twaza and Ntarihinda, and Masamba’s Kanjogera). Jules Sentore took to the stage to help the duo sing the legendary Rwandan songs. Former Miss Rwanda contestant Guelda Shimwa also showed up on stage to sing her favourite Kamaliza song.
Nkusi then asked the duo to sit for a surprise, which turned out to be a documentary on their journey since they joined the music industry.
It included earlier videos of the girls backing up artistes in the annual Primus Guma-Guma Super Star competitions before they crafted their own musical careers. It also included testimonies from their producer, parents and siblings, which got Charly and Nina emotional.
Then came the recognition time. Clouds TV recognised Alex Muyoboke for his role in promoting Rwandan music while MTN Rwanda awarded Charly and Nina with ‘MTN Prestige’ membership.
After that Ugandan diva Juliana Kanyomozi, who last performed in Kigali five years ago, was introduced.
She performed her popular songs like Diana, Woman, Kibaluma, Kalibatanya and I’m Still Here. Though her performance was playback, her fans were elated.
Burundian singer Big Farious then came on to close the show, performing his popular songs like Ndakumisinze, Munyana, Badjou and Urambabaza, before he invited Charly and Nina to sing their popular hit Indoro.
At a half past midnight, curtains fell on the show.