Last year’s Kigali Intercultural Festival was a success, and organisers have promised that this year’s event will even be bigger, with over 12 countries from across the world confirmed to participant.
Slated for June 28 and 30, at Kigali Car-Free Zone, it will be a hybrid event mixing dances, theatre, book exhibitions, handcraft, painting, and cuisine, among other activities.
The annual festival is organised by Iriba Veinticuatro Horas, in partnership with the City of Kigali, with the objective to promote cultural exchanges between participating countries. It also aims at giving local artistes a platform to showcase Rwanda’s cultural diversity towards an efficient promotion and exposure of Rwandan culture to the world.
Themed, ‘The world is my homeland’, the three-day event will give festival-goers an opportunity to enjoy traditional and modern games, such as igisoro, playing cards, martial arts, and modern games like; play station among others.
Participants will come from various communities living in Rwanda, such as DR Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, and China. Participants will perform popular dances music genres like salsa, tangu, bachata, merenge, which is initially of South American origin, especially in countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Bolivia, and Argentina.
Other activities will include exhibitions, visual arts besides screening of culture and history-based movies, among others.
Speaking to The New Times, Chris Muhire Mpezamihigo, director of Iriba Veinticuatro Horas, said the festival is a platform through which participants and the audience will have opportunity to exchange the culture diversity of their respective countries besides preserving culture and give it protection from being forgotten or lost in the communities.
He explained that the entertainment at this year’s festival will focus more on cultural activities.
“The festival is built around the culture. It will not only be about entertaining people but also exchange cultural experiences among participants. We hope to welcome people of all generations at the venue as we will be having a lot to showcase,’ Muhire said.
“There is a lot in store that people should not miss, from dances, theatre and other cultural entertaining tips to the foods prepared in cuisines from different countries,” he added.
Muhire noted that they also intend to have an exhibition for Made-in-Rwanda products, as festival-goers from different countries can visit cultural products made by local manufacturers.
Thidee Bulakali, the commissioner in charge of Culture, Sports and Leisure at the Congolese Diaspora in Rwanda, said that Rwandans and other participants should expect the best Congolese music performances and cuisine.
“We have a lot to showcase but a simple example is performance of Lumba music, which has given a special identity to the Congolese music,” he said.
Registration is ongoing for interested performers and exhibitors. The festival is free, and runs from 5 pm to 10pm, with some great prizes up for grabs.