9 entertainment events to look out for in 2020

Ubumuntu Arts Festival will be back In July 2020. File

Rwanda’s summer season which normally starts from June through the end of the year is deemed by most like a party season. However, as the economy and exposure to the rest of the world through travel and technology continues to grow, it seems that every season has its own packed calendar.

Eddie Nsabimana digs into the most fascinating entertainment events that are likely to thrill Rwandan crowds in 2020.

Miss Rwanda 2020

This ‘beauty with brains’ contest is one of the most anticipated events on Rwanda’s social calendar.

Currently, the search for ‘Miss Rwanda’ continues as all the 54 constants who progressed from the just-concluded auditions are scrambling for their chance, through SMS and online voting, prior to the pre-selections.

The preselections will see the top 20 qualifying for the boot camp slated for February 9.

Out of the 20, 10 will proceed to participate in the grand finale slated for February 22.

The winner will walk away with a brand-new Suzuki Swift, courtesy of Rwanda Motors, a monthly salary of Rwf800, 000 from Africa Improved Food (AIF), and additional bonus and goodies from Miss Rwanda’s partners.

The sponsors will also support the crown winner in implementing her project throughout her one year reign.

Kassav’ live in Kigali

It will be all about ‘Zouk’ as the world’s most celebrated group in the history of the genre, ‘Kassav’, performs at the highly anticipated concert due on Valentine’s Day.

The performance by Guadeloupe-based group on Valentine’s Day will be their first gig in Rwanda, and couples and singles alike can only brace themselves for the best show from the veteran group.

The concert, dubbed ‘Kassav Live’, is organised by Arthur Nation, in partnership with RG Consult.

Iwacu Muzika Festival

After a successful music campaign last year, the annual ‘Iwacu Muzika’ Festival has already won a vote of confidence from players in the music industry and seems to be here to stay.

Festival organisers, ‘The East African Promoters’, have confirmed that the festival will come back later this year and a big international music act will headline the festival grand finale.

The organisers are also working on two more big concerts that will bring international performers to the Kigali stage.

Ubumuntu’ Arts Festival

In July 2020, the fan favourite Ubumuntu Arts Festival will be back with an aim to create an avenue where people from different walks of life can come together and speak to each other in the language of art.

First held in 2015, the annual festival is held following the last week of the 100 days of commemoration of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

It is held at the outdoor amphitheatre of the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre and brings together different artists from around the world.

Festival activities include but are not limited to performances, workshops, panels and genocide memorial site visits.

The festival is free and open to everybody and therefore relies on donations and sponsors for financial support.

Dîner en Blanc

 In 2013, Rwanda became the first African country to host Dîner en Blanc’, a Parisian tradition with an African flavor. The event promotes friendship, elegance, and a sense of community amongst participants.

Hosted once every two years, the event is organized by ‘Illume Creative Studio’, a local communications agency and creative studio.

Since its inception, the event became part of the country’s MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) events that are part of a tourism strategy aimed at pushing local businesses and entrepreneurs towards diversifying the tourism sector in Rwanda by developing products and services for business and leisure travellers.

This would in turn complement the country’s gorilla tourism, eco-tourism, and cultural and community based tourism.

The event is expected to make its comeback this year since it was last hosted in August 2018.

Fally Ipupa live’ in Kigali

Fally Ipupa has made a name for himself in Africa and the world over and his performance is one of the most anticipated this year even after his ‘no show’ that shocked and angered fans in equal measure.

His last-minute cancellation of his performance at the New Year Countdown was a huge blow for music lovers in Kigali but the Congolese music superstar is set to make it up for his disappointment.

The dates for the singer’s performance have not been revealed yet but organisers remain confident that he will perform in Kigali in 2020.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

It may still be a new fashion concept in Rwanda, but an exciting inaugural edition in Rwanda last year gives Mercedes Benz Fashion Week credit to shine once again.

Fashion enthusiasts already consider it one of the biggest fashion shows in Rwanda.

It is a matter of time before we see big international fashion figures coming to showcase their trendy collections in Kigali, one of the two African cities, besides Accra (Ghana), to host the annual Mercedes Benz-sponsored fashion event.


It took a pause last year but Rwanda’s premier Pan-African Dance Festival (FESPAD) is likely to resume in the summer of 2020, bringing different countries from across the continent to showcase their culture through music and dances.

The Ministry for Culture takes the festival as an opportunity to support and promote local arts and expose them to the international scene.

Kwita Izina

The annual Kwita Izina ceremony has become an event that is simply more than simply naming gorillas.

Each year, music enthusiasts wait with bated breath on who the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) will invite from the film and music industry to grace the ceremony and later perform at a sold out concert.

Last year, the invitation went to American supermodel Naomi Campbell and singer Ne-Yo.

Who will it be this year? Only time will tell.


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