RWANDAN RAPPER, Francis Uwimana popularly known as Fireman has urged the Rwandan community and government to support Rwandan music industry, noting that it can make a big impact in its growing and getting international recognition. It is after the former member of Tuff Gang appeared on some of the trending hits in town like ‘Muzadukumbura’ and ‘Bafana Bafana’ expressing challenges musicians face in Rwanda. Talking to this publication, the renowned rapper said that what drives him to speaking out for the industry in almost all of his recent songs is that local music lacks enough support. He said that music has come a long way and is slowly getting to greater heights in Rwanda, something he believes that musicians did by themselves. Adding to that, Fireman stated that the Rwandan music industry can even make it to another level like Nigerian music if the government put more effort in it like other sectors, and also call private investors to invest in this industry. “These big countries in Africa all started like us. The Nigerian government called musicians who lived in other countries to return home promising them support. That’s how big names like Davido, Tiwa savage and Don Jazzy changed African music” he said, explaining how support played a big role in shaping one of the best genres of Africa, afro-beat. Another issue, in the second flow of Bafana Bafana, Fireman highlighted how foreign artistes are the priority in Rwandan events yet local artistes can also deliver the best. This was seen in the recent Drip City concert that took place last month in Kigali, where revellers wanted a local rapper, Ish Kevin, to stay on the stage instead of welcoming the guest performer, AV from Nigeria. Fireman further explained that these are the actions that stops Rwandan music from growing including other moves like parents stopping young children to study music, society viewing rappers as school dropouts, degrading everyone related to the music industry, media not giving a platform to musicians, and many others. “It is time to think outside the box. Many musicians in Rwanda are graduates who pursued music as a hobby and made it a career. We don’t do music as our last option, it is the love we have for it and the need to represent our country internationally that drives us,” he said. However, Fireman also noted that in the last two years the industry grew more than ever, and all that is left is support from everyone to keep it rising. He said that music is consumed by almost everyone, which is why it should be everyone’s assignment to play a role in uplifting it. Fireman further added that the solutions to all the problems he mentioned in his songs are what he described as music politics. He explained music politics as government intervention in music, where it can set various ways that facilitate young creatives to grow, investing in them, building more art facilities, creating more youth centres in the country, and many others. If provided with enough support like Made in Rwanda products or other sectors like Agriculture and tourism, music can be the next to raise Rwandan flag in places far from Africa, according to Fireman.