Covid-19 has taught us many lessons. One of them is to value and cherish social life, something many took for granted until the virus-induced restrictions, including lockdowns. Concerts are one of them. They are back, albeit with some guidelines. We are thrilled and are grateful. For the better part of the last two years, it was nearly impossible to envisage the return of the partying culture Kigali. At least not soon. Yet, here we are. Omah Lays Kigali Fiesta show, on Saturday, November 13, is one of the latest to take place in town. I was in attendance, the first time ever I was at a concert. The Nigerian musician, as expected, wowed his audience. Yet, I didn’t feel that he outshined our local artistes who also performed on the night, ahead of Omah Lay. Inside the glamorous Kigali Arena, the atmosphere was electrifying. Covid suddenly felt like a distant thing – at least momentarily. You felt like Rwandans were finally in love with their music stars, and with our music. Since this was my first concert, I took a pocket full of criticisms, ready to hurl as soon as I became bored or disappointed by the performances. However, my surprise began as soon as the MCs took to the stage. MC Buryohe and Bianca Baby were a fantastic duo. They made the entire night feel great; from their outfits, moves, energy, to how they connected with the audience. But there was much more that I liked. Whod have guessed ten years ago how incredible a show in Kigali might be with the right DJ? For the early birds like me, before the performances even started, we were entertained by an incredible DJ. With DJs increasingly making their mark in Rwanda, we should recognise that this profession has flourished over the years. Young people used to claim that the reason they disliked local artistes was that they were not as excellent as their international counterparts. Well, I think our local artistes deserve more respect. Previously, the foreign act would pull the most memorable performance. Not anymore – well at least not always. Seeing our artistes perform live, accompanied by either the Target Band or Symphony Band (both local), tears could come to one’s eyes. For instance, take a look at how the audience exploded with enthusiasm and vibes during Ariel Ways performance, or how the audience went insane when Juno Kizigenza joined her on stage to perform their mega-hit Away. See the love and adoration that Rwandans showed the Trappish gang, as Ish Kevin and Kenny K Shot and others who performed their bangers, including Amakosi, which had the crowd ecstatic. Ish Kevins birthday fell on the same day, and it was celebrated by everybody who was there. Bushali Bushido, Lord of Kinyatrap subgenre, dazzled the crowd with his rap and trap music. Everyone sang along with him, from his first to his last song, especially ‘Tsikizo’. Davis D made a triumphant return and acquitted himself admirably. He must have earned himself more fans that night, through songs like Itara’ and Micro. Now, Platini Ps dancers choreography was an amazing performance. My girlfriends and I were dancing along, looking at them in their sophisticated outfits and nailing every trendy new dance. It was clear that this day had been meticulously planned; kudos to the organisers and all the performers. I can’t help but wonder what this could mean for the future of Rwanda’s music industry in particular and creative sector in general. With the public’s growing interest in concerts and music in general, as well as our local stars passion, teamwork, and creativity, its clear that Rwandan artistes have got what it takes. It is up to them to continue doing things professionally and they will keep winning. I hope the enthusiasm around the local music and artistes is not a flash in the pan, triggered by the excitement related to the easing of the Covid-19 restrictions. The writer is a journalist and podcaster with The New Times.