Not many gospel musicians give their praise and worship songs a traditional touch, or headline their concerts in traditional way. But fast-rising gospel singer Yvan Ngenzi proved otherwise, as he launched his maiden album dubbed, Ntahemuka, on Sunday at the Kigali Convention Centre’s outer ground.
The concert, which attracted a huge number of Christians from different churches, caught Ngenzi by surprise, as his audience which encompassed various age groups,
danced alongside the singer for over an hour.
The singer revealed to initially being skeptic about organising the launch with fears that the culture-themed concert would have a low turn-up. The support he got from his organising team, however, boosted his confidence that the concert would go on.
Yvan Ngenzi’s concert album launch was characterised by traditional themes. / Courtesy
What surprised him most was the way concertgoers were chanting and dancing along every song he performed; from Ntibikabe, Uri Umwami, Ibendera ry’Agakiza and Tumuramye to Ntabiriho, Garuka, Atanga Amahoro, and his album cover song, Ntahemuka.
“To be honest, I never imagined that I would get such massive support. I was afraid that my concert would flop and, sometimes I even thought of giving up on it before getting prepared for it. But I had a team that supported me and, finally, we made it,” Ngenzi told The New Times after the concert.
The concert was traditionally themed, from the dress code of the entire team including the ushers, backup band and the singer himself, to the stage setup and the performances.
The singer performed many of the songs that make up his nine-song album ( audio and video).
On the other hand, renowned musicians Masamba Intore and Jules Sentore, who are regarded as Rwanda’s cultural music icons, and gospel singer Aime Uwimana, were among those in attendance to support the singer.
Revellers enjoyed authentic traditional Rwandan performances by folk dance troupes. / Courtesy
Although a member of Zion Temple, the singer said that he never limits himself from composing songs that bring a cheerful atmosphere as he sometimes performs some Catholic Church popular songs like Nibuhoraho, Ni Wowe Mugenga and others to keep the audience on their feet.
“My music style has no limits, but this time round, God is directing me to do gospel music in a traditional style. I was really surprised by the way Christians reacted to my concert and get entertained at this level. The success of the concert has gone beyond my expectations and I am so excited with the support from my team and the audience in general”
Besides being a Zion Temple member and former member of Rwanda’s top traditional troupe Urukerereza, Ngenzi has a singing talent he inherited from his mother who has also made a name as a traditional dancer for Indahemuka Cultural troupe.
Following the successful concert, Ngenzi now has his heart on preparing more such shows to further link culture and gospel in different worship occasions.