Belgian-based Congolese singer Fredy Massamba, along with several other artistes, including Mighty Popo, Shanel, Riderman, Mani Martin, Babou, Cubaka and Patient Bizimana, among others impressed during the opening of the cultural week dubbed, Isano.
The week-long event which will feature cultural performances and dance fused with modernity was organised by the Rwanda Academy for Language and Culture at Petit Stade Remera.
The concert that was slated to kick off at 6p.m, began an hour later as sound technicians were still busy setting the stage. However, when it was all fixed the first to grace the stage was Sick City Dance Crew followed by a trio of Ghetto Control consisting of Bin G, B. Chris and Fal. J
“This musical extravaganza was supposed to be held in Goma but because of the volatile situation there, it had to be switched to Kigali,” said B. Chris.
Massamba partnered with the winner of Primus Guma Guma Superstar 2013 Emery Gatsinzi, aka Riderman to entertain guests at the opening ceremony. Massamba, who has since ditched his trademark short dreadlocks, exhibited his skills on the drums and other African instruments.
Not intimidated by singing with the iconic, Riderman sang two songs, Horo and Abanyabirori and he didn’t disappoint. Even those who had previously sat down in the terraces as other musicians performed before couldn’t resist getting on the dance floor and shaking their nimble legs.
Then the star performer of the evening arrived on stage to tumultuous reception by the crowd. He proceeded to perform songs from his latest album dubbed, Ethnophony, like Ethnophonyk, Zonza, Ntoto and Lobelanga.
The crowd once again went wild when he took to the drums and played them as he animatedly shook his head. Massamba’s music is a fusion of both modern and traditional music and the African drums synchronized well with electric guitars that were being played by his mostly European guitarists crew. While the turn was not very good, despite the event being free, it is expected that people will gradually start trickling in for the remaining days of the cultural week ending September 8.
The singer who hails from Congo, Brazzaville has made a name as one of the most outstanding African traditional singers in Europe but singing in his local dialect.
Apart from music and dance, the cultural week will also feature fashion shows, poetry, comedy and drama as well as traditional Rwandan games like high jump and archery but done the traditional way.
More performances are expected through the week with artistes including Blessing family, Mico Band, Christopher, Gakondo Group, Hyacinth, Gasake, Rick Password, Comedy Night and Ingenzi International Band among others.