Poetry finds home at 'Ndi Igisigo' cultural show


Ndi Igisigo cultural show provided revellers with an unparalleled showcase of the best in Rwanda’s traditional music and dances.

The second edition of the cultural show Ndi Igisigo took place over the weekend at Roots House, Kacyiru with poets using the platform to mesmerise their audience.

Ndi Igisigo (loosely translated as ‘I am a poet’) is an evening inspired by the traditional Rwandan cultural practice known as Inkera, during which people came together to share stories and experiences all night.

Nd’Igisigo seeks to promote Rwandan culture among young artistes, mainly through live poetry and other cultural arts all performed in a traditional style.

In the Rwandan tradition, people would gather to perform different talents, especially at the King’s palace, spending all the night singing, dancing and performing poems before the king in what used to be called Inkera.

At a well decorated Roots House, Kacyiru, a variety of cultural performances were showcased during Nd’Igisigo on Saturday.

Traditional poetry, contemporary dances and traditional music were at the heart of the show, which attracted cultural enthusiasts.

Performers at the show did their best to prove that Rwanda’s culture has not been forgotten, reciting poems and singing traditional songs as it was done in the past.

During the performances, different traditional musical instruments like Inanga, Ikondera, Umuduri were used to provide the rhythm to the performances.

There were classical one-on-one poem conversations between poets Olivier Tuyisenge and Ferdinand Munezero, also a traditional singer, whose band made a spectacular performance, before the Real Singers, an upcomingband, whose mastery of Umuduri made an impression.

Poetess Carine Maniraguha, who stars in the TV-Series Seburikoko, proved that away from the silver screens she possesses great poetic skills.

Inanga’ star Deo Munyakazi put up an impressive performance, proving he’s mastered the traditional musical harp which has taken him places.

Highlights on the night included the the moment when Munyakazi played his Inanga for poet Eric Ngangare, known by the stage name Eric One Key, as he presented his composition.

The spoken word artiste fluently mixed English, French and Kinyarwanda in his presentation to the delight of the audience.

To wind up a wonderful evening, Nina Ruth Harris, an American contemporary dancer, gave the audience ‘a happy sendoff’ in the form of contemporary dance skills.

The show also featured a number of traditional artistes like Ikome Group, Pascal Solo, Sengabo Jodas and visual artiste Celestine Munezero, among others.

Olivier Tuyisenge, the show organiser, says Ndi Igisigo is a platform through which he and his partners will continue to use their talents to create cultural awareness and keep Rwandan culture alive among young generations.

“I am very happy that people are coming to support us. It is all going well and meeting our expectations. It is open not only to Rwandans but to the entire community of the world who want to experience our culture,” said Tuyisenge, who said the show will be held every three months.

“I am confident our show is going to be a bigger concept in the future given how Rwandans are getting more interested in its content, despite our limited resources we will continue to show Rwandans that our culture is rich and we should be proud of it,” he added.

The show ended at 10p.m.

American contemporary dancer, Nina Harris delivered a great performance.Eddie Nsabimana.
Contemporary dancers on stage.
Deo Munyakazi performs Inanga.
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Ndi Igisigo cultural show provided revellers with an unparalleled showcase of the best in Rwanda’s traditional music and dances.
Nina Harris(R) and her partner during a contemporary dance.
Olivier Tuyisenge (R) on stage alongside another local traditional artiste.
Poet Eric One-Key (L) shared the stage with Deo Munyakazi.
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The cultural show at Roots House attracted traditional music lovers from all walks of life.
The show included poetry, traditional and contemporary dance performances. All  photos by Eddie Nsabimana.
Traditional artiste Ferdinand Munezero gave a great performance.
Traditional artistes take to the stage during the show. Eddie Nsabimana.