Judging from the adoring screams from fans both from here and those who had landed in from the Diaspora, one is right to say that the local artists’ ‘One Dollar Campaign’ concert was not a disappointment.
The sell out concert held Friday at Petit Stade saw various notables mingling in the fray with the rest of the fans.
Among these, yes you guessed right, was the Minister of Culture and Sporta Joseph Habineza (fondly called Uncle Joe or simply Joe).
Others included the Director General of the Diaspora in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Robert Masozera, Diaspora head Gustave Karara, its Secretary General Dr. Steven Buchanan, government officials, among others.
For the Rwandan Diaspora Global Network (RDGN), there was no better way to accelerate achieving the campaigns target than by collaborating with some of the country’s best artistes, who are known by young and old alike.
The big word of the day was the ‘One Dollar Campaign.’ This was a brain child of last year’s Diaspora retreat on December 22. It’s aimed at constructing homes for the orphans of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The concert was opened by gospel artistes. And if you thought gospel was about just clapping your hands, you are dead wrong! Everyone got to their feet, danced, clapped, sung along or at least tapped their toes.
According to the organisers, the turn up was amazing! And why not? This is for a good cause, ait?
Although the concert was often disrupted by some technical hiccups from the sound system, one would rightly conclude that they did their best not to disappoint anyone.
The music played ranged from hip hop, dancehall, RnB, Afro-reggae, pop, salsa, and traditional blues.
“We are really happy about the way our local artistes have supported this project. Staging a show in the name of raising funds to construct homes for our orphans is a signal that they are part of the campaign,” said Robert Masozera.
They performed to thousands (adults and kids). Each artiste was limited to only two tracks though.
“We, as artistes are trying to collaborate with the entire Rwandan community, to raise more money to help Genocide orphans get homes to stay in,” said Gaston Rurangwa a.k.a Mr.Skizzy, one of the famous KGB crew.
Speaking to his massive fan base, singer Eric Senderi said that the orphans went through a lot and it was sad to see that they are still hurting. He called upon everyone to rally their support behind the One Dollar Campaign.
During the concert, Masozera dismissed rumours circulating that the organisers of the campaign have already started misusing the collected funds. He said that the funds are well managed and accounted for and that everything is done transparently.
With this splendid concert the musicians fulfilled their promise to turn the concert into a remarkable one. The crowd gave a roaring welcome to new hip hop sensation Tom Close.
Kitoko also received a rousing welcome when he sang his controversial track “Ikiragi” (dumb), which was recently banned from the local radio stations because of the possibility of it offending those leaving with speech impairment.
The crowd threw their arms in the air, screaming on top of their lungs, and dancing themselves half lame. With her wild dancing strokes, Miss Jojo gave her fans what they had anticipated for.
And at 12:40am—ten minutes past his one hit, the concert was closed by legendary traditional blues singer, Intore Masaba.
The enthusiastic fans were left yearning for more.
Entrance fee for the concert was Rwf2000 and Rwf3000 for VIPs.
The money collected at the concert which was attended to full capacity amounted to Rwf1.2 million. And at the launch of the campaign, over USD 50,000 was reported to have been realised.
Also related to the campaign, last week the musicians in a ‘walk of life’ which kicked off at the Union Trade Centre (UTC) sensitised the public to make their contribution.
The walk was down the main round-about, past the city’s taxi stage (Kwa Rubangura), then to the former premises of Nyarugenge Market and finally back to UTC.
Let’s all make our contribution to this noble cause. Adios.