‘I have a drum’, Ingoma Nshya’s 15th anniversary

A past Ingoma Nshya event. (Courtesy)

Formed in 2004, Ingoma Nshya, an all-female group of drummers, is celebrating their 15th anniversary, with the launch of their new project, “I have a drum.”

The event will take place on Friday, November 22 at former Camp Kigali, from 7pm. Entrance is Rwf15,000.



Ingoma Nshya, a Kinyarwanda word for "new drum" or "new power", is the first Rwandan female drumming group found by Odile Gakire Katese, an actress, playwright and former deputy director of the University Centre for Arts and Drama of the former National University of Rwanda.


They play traditional Rwandan rhythms, as well as Burundian and Senegalese rhythms, with different types of drums, and over time, have developed their own new rhythms. Their performances also include Kinyarwanda songs and choreography.

The group was formed because of a dream that art would heal and inspire the country, and was initially mostly comprised of orphans and widowed Genocide survivors, wives and children of Genocide perpetrators, were depressed and poor at the same time. Their first attempt at self-sustainability was the opening of an ice-cream parlor, Inzozi Nziza, in Huye District, where most of the members are employed in different positions.

Since they started, they have been performing in different parts of the world, promoting the Rwandan culture.

Other highlights of the event will include: drumming workshops for kids, a photo exhibition on Ingoma Nshya's journey, a gala to recognise 20 female drummers as pioneers, and drum performances. There will be a conference with different stakeholders to discuss culture, gender and development.  

The objectives of Ingoma Nshya are; to preserve, restore, develop and enrich Rwandan traditional heritage for the next generations, to professionalise arts and culture crafts, to promote local female artistes at the international level and to offer a secure environment for Rwandan female artistes to develop.



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