He is arguably one of the fastest rising artistes on the continent with a number of major hits and collaborations to his name but that did not stop Harmonize’s show in Kigali to attract just a handful of people.
A day after entertaining Musanze crowd on Friday, it was Kigali’s turn to party with Tanzanian musician Harmonize but the show at Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village (Camp Kigali) did not attract as many people as it was expected to.
Born Rajab Abdul Kahali, the 24 year-old East African star however managed to entertain the small audience in the few minutes he was on the stage. The show was organized to officially launch The Mane music label, which has several artistes signed to its name.
The low turn up forced the organisers to put on hold the performances till late as they hoped that people would eventually show up.
The MC of the night, Kate Gustave, called up the first artiste on stage at 10pm as the few people who were at the venue were wondering whether the concert was postponed without communication, resorting to enjoying drinks and snacks as they waited.
By the time the show kicked off, there were few people in the VIP zone and organizers had no option but to invite those with regular tickets to fill up the empty chairs in the VIP area.
DJs Phil Peter and Omar tried to keep the small audience entertained with good mixes in between performances.
A number of artistes had been lined up to grace The Mane label launch and they indeed came but performed with playback.
Primus Guma Guma Super Star-bound artistes including Khalfan were on hand to perform.
The rapper performed ‘Nabo sibo’, Ibaruwa, a collabo with Yvery and Nabimenye Ugiye while Uncle Austin, who mocked the size of the audience sung ‘Najyayo’ and his collaboration with Meddy ‘Everything’.
The show was also an opportunity for aspiring rappers Fire Stone and Mukadaff, real names Gentil Leonce Niyitegeka, who were given an opportunity to show their talents to the audience, and they did just that.
After that, it was time for artistes under The Mane label to perform and it was Marina who went first and managed to perform three of her songs live, including ‘Just Like That’, ‘Decision’ and ‘Marina’ before Safi Madiba came on.
The former Urban Boys’ member showed up on the stage with rapper Riderman to perform ‘Come Back’, the duo’s collaboration before the former kept the crowd on their feet with the tracks he has done so far as solo artiste.
Backed by a dance crew, Safi performed ‘Fine’ a track he did with Tanzanian superstar Rayvanny, and ‘Got It’ which features Meddy and ‘Kimwe Kimwe’ before a largely young crowd which showed him support.
A few minutes to midnight, the Tanzanian star Harmonize came on stage and staged a very shot performance unexpected of a headlining act.
The performance lasted about 20 minutes and it was blamed on the show starting late. However it did not stop the bongo flava star from using the short time to entertain to show goers in a playback performance.
He performed some of his popular songs including Bado, Matatizo, 911 ft Yemi Alade, Shulala ft Korede Bello, Happy Birthday and Show Me ft Rich Mavoko and a quarter past midnight, the show ended.
There were murmurs in the audience as the show abruptly came to an end.
Although the show recorded an average turn up, Ramadhan Mupende, the label CEO, said he was positive and was impressed by the turn up for the label’s official launch.
“I am excited and proud that the show went according to plan. The turn up was good and I am thankful to those who came to support us as we celebrate launching our label,”
“For me, I can say managing a fast-rising female musician like Marina and Safi who is enjoying his solo career is a big achievement for The Mane so far. I believe more are joining our label in the near future,” he said.
Revelers blamed poor advertisement of the show and timing for the low turn up.