Rwanda has had a variety of gospel artistes who have been instrumental in changing the Rwandan music industry, especially when it comes to live performing. However, today’s trend is changing, and gospel singers are chasing secular music that is perceived as more lucrative. Most of the big artistes and producers we see today have, one way or the other, been a gospel singer or even started their music career from church choirs and worship teams. In no particular order, we highlight the two biggest artistes that helped shape Rwanda’s gospel music industry and later left it to join the making of irreligious music. Mani Martin A few years back, Mani Martin was a household name when it came to gospel music. In his 2011 album, ‘Urukumbuzi’, Mani Martin mixed gospel, soul and R&B in his music. It was no surprise that he had made up his mind to go secular, despite his huge fan base in the gospel music industry. At the age of 11 years, Mani Martin had released his first two singles ‘Agapfa kaburiwe ni impongo’ and ‘Umuntu ni iki’, all which received massive airtime on local radio stations and were also played in Pentecostal churches. These hits, among others like Urukumbuzi, successfully crossed over to the secular market without watering down his message. In 2009 after earning for himself a big name as one of the country’s best gospel artists, he announced going secular, a move that left many talking. Despite the backslash he received, Mani Martin’s move to secular music was a success and helped him take his sound overseas. He has represented Rwanda on several occasions in international music festivals like AMANI (DRC), Bayimba international festival in Uganda, Fespaco (BurkinaFaso, Jeux de la Francophonie (France) Sauti Za Busara music festival Zanzibar and many more. With hit songs like Destiny, Akagezi ka Mushoroza, Jelasi, and most trackls on his latest album ‘Nomade’, proves that Mani Martin can produce in genre of music. Patrick Nyamitari Another blow on gospel music was in 2011, when Patrick Nyamitari, who had replaced Man Martin in the gospel arena, also followed in his predecessor’s footsteps. In 2007, two years after high school, he recorded his first song 'Uri Imana.' The song quickly attained hit status across the country. Two years later, he recorded another gospel hit titled Mesiya, which made him the shining star of the year 2009. In 2010, he released his first album Niwe Mesiya (you are the messiah), which won Best Local Gospel Album of the Year at the Groove Music Awards. Just like Man Martin, Nyamitari left the gospel music industry by featuring a secular song and did a chorus for local rapper Pacson’s all-star collaboration, before heading for the real romantic stuff. Ever since then, Nyamitari became a full time secular musician and made big moves in the industry like joining the Tusker Project Fame season 6, and being one of the vocalists of renowned band, The Neptune. Whether current big gospel musicians like Israel Mbonyi and Chryso Ndasingwa will go the Mani Martin way, or do evangelism....., only time will tell.