Ikaze Night ushers in Ubumuntu festival with a bang

Rwandan traditional dancers were also part of the entertainers for the night. / All photos by Craish Bahizi

The Ikaze Night that happened on July 11 at Kigali Cultural Village at the Akagera Hall, officially ushered in the Ubumuntu Festival, which kicked off yesterday, and will run through Sunday, July 14.

The event was a precursor to the event that is free and all funds raised from the show were meant to facilitate whoever is interested in attending the show have access to the venue at a zero cost.

Gates were open at exactly 6:30pm and by 7pm, the show had already kicked off with a Rwandan traditional artist entertaining the crowd with his ‘gakondo’ melodic tunes which left revelers wanting more by the time he left stage.

Unidance, a local performing group, sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Rwanda’s Minister for Sports and Culture, Esperance Nyirasafari attended the show. She emphasised the importance of art in the development of the country, mostly the economy and preserving culture. She also hinted on the government’s support towards such ventures that promote art and related activities.

No sooner had she left the stage, than the MC of the night Fola from Nigeria, stepped on stage and welcomed everyone to the event before announcing the whole line up of performers that the crowd was waiting for.

The concert was attended by a diversity of age groups, mostly the youth.

With three stages at the venue, revelers were able to follow the proceedings from all the three, one at a time, a unique expression given the fact that this is not usually the case at the events people were used to, as a one Nadine Kayitesi, one of the revellers said.

“All the shows I have been to have only one stage and that is what we are used to but seeing an artist or dancers moving from one stage to another, with the same energy is such a nice experience for me,’’ she said.

American artiste Alexander Stan, who is performing  in the country for the second time, entertains partygoers.

The lineup included a number of performers from different parts of the world including Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, United States of America, and the Netherlands. The show was electrifying, as one of renowned local rap music groups, Green Ferry, pulled off incredible dance moves that made everyone pull out their phone to record.

Generation25 from Rwanda, the Anika group from Kenya, Alexander Stan from the USA and Andy Bumuntu also performed for the crowd which was evidently having an amazing experience.

Soul songstress Lillian Mbabazi performs with her backup dancers during Ikaze Night at Kigali Cultural Village on Thursday night. 

Minutes before the show ended, soul music songstress Lillian Mbabazi from Uganda, the headliner of the show, stepped on stage clad in a blue long skirt and a black top and poured out her soul as many members of the crowd joined her in singing most of the songs.

She sang Virunga, Ddagala, vitamin among other songs before she finally stepped off stage whenit was time for everyone to go back home.


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