THREE lucky artists will represent Rwanda at the annual Chinese New Year Festival 2015 in Beijing.
After three days of auditioning by a cross section of artists, musician Joshua Pinji emerged the winner. Visual artist Willy Karekezi who impressed the judges with his painting of Intore dancers came in second place while the third place was taken by singer and guitarist Victory Ngarambe and Snipers dance crew after a tie.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges at Family Television headquarters in Kigali over the weekend. The judges included renowned gospel artiste Patrick Kanyamibwa, former Miss Rwanda 2014 contestant Merveille Uwase and Family TV presenter Gerald Innocent Nkubiri also known as Bac–T.
This year’s Chinese spring festival gala commonly called Chunwan is the most important cultural event in China, it is celebrated for fifteen days and there are many customs relating to food, decorations, greetings and gifts that are performed.
It brings together participants from different continents to showcase their talents in music, dance, drama and poetry composition on New Year’s Eve in the Chinese capital. This is the first time Rwanda is being represented at this event.
Olivier Kayitare, Family TV communications officer, told The New Times they decided to get involved after learning that Rwanda might miss out on participating in the competition.
“After being told that Rwanda won’t be among the other East African countries that would audition in Kenya, we immediately contacted the hosts, CCTV and Star Times, to ask if we could partner with them and give Rwandans a chance. After advertising on various websites, we received a total 40 applications,” he said.
The auditions that started on Friday saw twelve contestants go through various stages with the final three revealed on Sunday after a tie for the third spot.
The four best videos will be awarded prizes; first place contestant with the best video will walk away with a flat screen worth Rwf 300,000 while the second, third and fourth winners will each be given CCTV decoders.