HUNDREDS of people flocked Kigali Serena hotel on Sunday evening for a live concert by Martin Maniraruta, aka Mani Martin. People of all age groups turned up in droves at the highly billed show.
How it went
After hours of waiting from 6:30pm, the dreadlocked Mani Martin got on stage amidst wild ovation from the charged revellers at 8pm. His back up was a seven-piece band, with each artiste wielding a musical instrument. The band also exuded a genuine likability and charm that griped the audience from start to the end.
Mani performed renditions of hit after another and executed unique fusion and effortless singing prowess. The rendition of Angélique Kidjo’s, We Are One, took the accolade, as the audience sang along with him.
He performed several songs including Mukamabano and late Rodrigue Karemera’s classic hit Kwibuka, before he belted out his own tracks Urukumbuzi, Icyodupfana kiruta icyo dupfa and Intero y’amahoro, among others. But his ultimate crowd puller was, My Destiny which got everyone asking for more.
Emcees Arthur Nkusi and Sandrine Isheja did a wonderful job, as they shared jokes to keep the crowd lively.
When Mani returned on stage, he couldn’t hide his excitement. "Hi everybody…thanks for attending the concert and hope you’re having fun. I love you so much," the crowd in response screamed out his name with a lot of applauses as a gesture of appreciation.
“I’m speechless,” said Sylvia Mutesi, one of Mani’s fans. “I’m literally in love with this guy’s voice. I have always enjoyed his performances including this one. He is a gifted artiste.”
Alain Mukurarinda, Prosecution Spokesman, said Mani has brought hope in Rwanda’s music industry. The prosecutor, who is also a musician, pledged to support the singer to record five albums.
Youth and ICT minister Jean-Philbert Nsengimana and Alphonse Nkuranga, Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council, (NYC) graced the event.
Nkuranga commended the Urukumbuzi singer for setting an example of true live music shows and urged other musicians to do the same.
Many popular musicians including Mighty Popo, Cecile Kayirebwa, Jean Paul Samputu, Intore Masamba, Alain Mukurarinda, Koudou, Aimable Twahirwa, Saga Assou and King James, were in attendance.
Local artistes who performed at the event include Ruth Nirere, alias Shanel, Ras Kayaga and Arnold Shema, aka Babu.
The concert was sponsored by MTN Rwanda.
Born in Rwanda in 1988, Mani Martin was the first Rwandan artiste to perform in one of the biggest African Music Festivals, Sauti Za Busara Zanzibar, during its 10th anniversary in 2013.
He has a number of awards to his credit, including Best Gospel Artiste of the Year 2008 in Salax awards and the 2012 Salax awards for Best Traditional Artiste of the Year.
Mani has shared stage with international stars like, Ismael Lo Lokua Kanza, Vieux Farka Toure and Femi Nkuti, among others.