Rwanda’s annual Tour du Rwanda cycling race, scheduled for February 18 to 25, is set to add a unique session of cycling-entertainment, a convergence of music and sports. The 16th edition of the race is fast approaching featuring a lineup of diverse artists, including singer Bwiza, Mico The Best, Senderi Hit, Juno Kizigenza, rapper Bushali and many others yet to be announced. They will be performing every day of the competition across the regions. Music has always been an integral part of Rwandan sports, according to singer Bwiza, as it has the ability to increase motivation, which can lead to improved performance. ALSO READ: Music is medicine for body and soul The two – music and sports – must go hand in hand. Major sports events, such as the FIFA World Cup, typically commence with music performances that arouse people’s anticipation for the game, she said. While acknowledging the involvement of musicians in sports, the ‘Exchange’ singer claims that the relations between music and sports is substantial, likening it to the example of food and water, suggesting they complement each other in a big way. Rapper Bushali expressed the belief that music is a universal language and an essential element in the world, emphasizing its self-dependent nature and its ability to bring joy to people of all ages. The ‘Kugasima’ singer provided examples of mass sports events such as ‘Car Free Day’ and other large gatherings where music is always present, underlining the inseparable connection between music and such occasions. Jean Claude Uhujimfura, the founder and CEO of KIKAC Music Label and organizer of the ‘Tour du Rwanda festival’, emphasized the necessity of music during sports tournaments, while noting that both players and teams need breaks to enjoy music after such a heavy competition. He explains, “Hosting a sports tournament requires music because there are breaks between scenes. Their relation is evident; while music can serve independently, sports without music seem lacking one or two things.” Uhujimfura highlighted the contribution of sports to musicians that enhances their stage performances in terms of vocal delivery, energy, and physical ability. The event will take place in four main districts: Huye, Musanze, Rubavu, and the City of Kigali. ALSO READ: Choosing between Sports and Music Masai Ujiri, the Founder, CEO of Giants of Africa and president of Toronto Raptors, during the Rwanda Day 2024 held in Washington D.C, United States, while discussing the 'Economic Development Through Sports and Entertainment' also acknowledged the correlation between the two sectors. He said: “I am going to be shameless here a little bit and say, I am going to speak about sport and entertainment, and when we speak about sport and entertainment, the energy in the room changes.” “There is something about them that brings us together. It brings peace, makes us smile, happy, compete, and joyous,” he noted. Ujiri also commended President Paul Kagame for his commitment to sports investment in Rwanda, labeling it ‘revolutionary’ for the continent’s shift from leisure to business. He highlighted president Kagame’s vision in establishing the construction of the BK Arena in Kigali in 2016, a modern 10,000-seater venue completed in 2019. The arena has since hosted numerous events, including sports competitions like Giant of Africa, Basketball African League (BAL) and entertainment events such as Move Africa, Trace Awards, drawing closer people from all walks of life who appreciate both music and sports. ALSO READ: Singer Bruce Melodie invests in local basketball club UGB The Tour du Rwanda, now classified as a 2.1 UCI cycling race since 2019, draws UCI World Tour teams, professional continental teams, continental teams, and national teams. However, no Rwandan rider has won since it transitioned to the 2.1 UCI category, putting an end to their previous dominance in the 2.2 racing category. Eritrean Henok Mulueberhan of Green Project-Bardiani is the reigning champion of Tour du Rwanda which he triumphed in February 2023 after covering 1,054.6 kilometers overall in 58 hours 28 minutes and one second to beat second-placed Walter Calzoni of Q 36.5 PRO Cycling Team to the yellow jersey by just microseconds.