Curtains fall on Christmas Cantata at CLA

On Christmas Eve, curtains fell on Christmas Cantata, the annual 1-hour and a half musical theatre production narrating the story of Christmas through various creative means.

The Cantata show came to an emotional end at Nyarutarama-based Christian Life Assembly (CLA), with some suggesting that the church should put an entrance fee given a lot of work which goes into its production.

“But why would such classy show come for free?” wondered Joshua, one of those who attended this year’s Cantata.

The stage setup, the costumes, the size of the cast, the choreography and the fact that it took the church four months to put up these shows, justifies why one would question why such a show would be free to the revelers.

Since 2015, CLA has presented Christmas Cantatas, as “a love gift” to the city of Kigali and the nation of Rwanda, attracting  over 12,000 people from across Kigali and beyond to this spectacular theatrical show.

However, last year, the church took a break and put on a different kind production during the Christmas season, “Heavens Gates and Hells Flames”, which was equally unique.

“We are glad that, you came in such big numbers to receive our gift to you Kigali,” Fabrice Nzeyimana, Director of Creative Arts at CLA, told the congregation.

“May you find joy, purpose and salvation through this show,” he added.

According to Nzeyimana, this year’s Cantata was crafted by a production team of over 150 people including actors, a professional band, a choir, costume designers, stage designers, sound and  light engineers, to mention but a few.

“This the team has been working for over 4 months to bring a world-class production with a feel of a Broadway Show. We thank the church leadership for availing the resources and allowing this unique kind of worship,”Nzeyimana said before commending each of the actors, directors, dancers and singers for the “sacrifice”.

About 10,000 people watched the four shows from all parts of Kigali, running from December 21st and 24th.

“Our aim was to tell the story of Christ from a heavenly perspective under the theme “LOVE CAME DOWN?” Nzeyimana added. 

In the recent interview, Nzeyimana also noted that the purpose of Christmas Cantata is to introduce to Rwandan a culture of well-produced theatre productions as both a means of entertainment and consistent storytelling to the generations and spreading the gospel of Salvation while reaching out to communities.

Pastor Hassan Kibirango, one of the Pastors at CLA on Christmas said that there was a lot of work which went into the production of the show and revealed that at least 9 adults and 15 children gave their lives to Christ after watching the show.

 “We are happy that the show had an impact on the lives of many. As CLA, it means a lot to us,” Pastor Kibirango said thanking the team that put it together.

The show was also recorded and televised by the Public broadcaster on Christmas.