How Sangare, Shanel performed at Hamwe Festival

Malian songstress Sangaré (left) performs with her band during the ‘She matters’ concert at Camp Kigali, Sunday night./ Photos by Dan Nsengiyumva.

First initiated by Globe-athon, a movement dedicated to building connections with leaders on every continent to help women talk about below the belt cancers, the first... ‘She matters’ concert was held in Rwanda over the weekend. Its aim was to celebrate women, who have used their creativity to advocate and improve the health of other women.

The concert at Camp Kigali, was organised by the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), and was headlined by Grammy award-winning Malian musician, Oumou Sangaré, and Ruth ‘Shanel’ Nirere, a France-based Rwandan singer and actress.

The concert kicked off with performances by Daniel Bangura, a Sierra Leonean singer and a pharmacist student UGHE. He was cheered by the crowd when he performed his single, ‘The guy from Sierra Leone’, that is  ‘She matters’ campaign.

He was followed by Clarisse Motho, a Congolese singer, who got the revellers singing and dancing to ‘Mon amour’.

Shanel thrilled revellers during her live performance. 

When the MC announced Shanel as the next performer, people were on their feet before she was even got to the stage. She got to the stage with Neema Rehema, a Nyundo School of Art graduate as her back up singer, whose vocals were applauded.

Shanel introduced herself with her songs, ‘Abiwacu muraho’, and ‘Inshuti’, and when she started ‘Ndarota’, the crowd sang along in excitement, which was followed other tracks like, ‘Nakutaka’, ‘Igisingizo’, and her other oldies.

Her final song, ‘Atura’, was the audience’s favourite, as she blended in some testimonies of women, who were coming out for the first time, to share their stories about domestic violence.

Shanel introduced her band, and gave stage to Rehema, who performed, ‘Ihorere’, a song based on a story of a child victim of domestic violence.

The event was graced by Princess Dina Mired of Jordan (left), Minister of Health Diane Gashumba and Vice Chancellor of UGHE Agnes Binagwaho.

Things got hotter when it was Sangare’s turn to perform on stage. Her performance started with two of her choreographers dancing with traditional decorated baskets with agility and excitement.

Clad in a white dress with gold embroidery, the seemingly excited Sangaré effortlessly sang her high vocals, while dancing gently to the blend of traditional and modern instruments.

The crowd couldn’t keep, still as revellers got closer to the stage and danced to her music. The singer, who is famously described as ‘Songbird of Wassoulou’ poured her heart before the concertgoers, and drove the crowd wild with her songs, with some joining her on stage to dance.

The concert was well attended.

Among the attendees were the Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba, Peter H. Vrooman, US envoy to Rwanda, Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, and the Vice Chancellor of UGHE, Agnes Binagwaho.

The festival runs till November 13, with programmes like, ‘Hamwe talks’, where experts will be discussing how art can contribute to the  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as dance and global health night, that will showcase how dance has and can be used as a tool to improve physical and mental health issues.

Oumou Sangare on stage

editor@newtimesrwanda.com