Traditional and cultural events have been finding it difficult to break into Rwanda’s entertainment scene, as modern music events continue to dominate.
This, however, could take another turn if Inkera Cultural Troupe’s new mission to bring traditional entertainment, through a new concept, ‘Inkera Twataramye’, is any indication.
The weekly traditional event is slated to take place every Saturday from 7pm to 10pm at Hotel Villa Portofino, Nyarutarama, with the official opening to be graced by the legendary Masamba Intore.
Ibrahim Cyusa, the troupe founder and the brain behind the concept, shared that the troupe intends to give bigger exposure to traditional music, mostly from the 70s and 80s through live performances.
“The idea to bring that concept was aimed at inspiring Rwandans to embrace music from the traditional generation. If people can largely be seen going to bars and hotels hosting karaoke performances, mostly focusing on foreign modern music, why can’t we take the same opportunity to entertain our audience through traditional performances?” Cyusa said.
“It is amazing that so many people, including the young generation, love traditional music, and that of the 70s and 80s, but it is a pity that they are short of venues they can go to and enjoy such music. That is what we want to respond to through this concept,” he added.
Cyusa performs alongside the troupe. / Courtesy
Cyusa’s troupe currently performs every Friday at Grand Legacy, attracting over 600 revellers.
He added that what motivates him to extend the traditional performances (gakondo) to more entertainment places is that he saw the love people are increasingly showing for it whenever they perform.
“So far, only those who come early can comfortably watch our performances, as latecomers never mind watching us perform from their stands. The venue is always full and that is an indication that so many people love traditional performances,” he said.
Inkera Cultural Troupe. / Courtesy
Inkera Cultural Troupe is made up of 10 members including seven vocalists, a guitarist, a pianist and an ‘Icyembe’ instrumentalist, all with different backgrounds in traditional music.
Since its inception in 2015, the troupe has been entertaining audiences at different hotels and their performances only focus on traditional and cultural music.
Cyusa hints that, if he succeeds, his troupe could extend the performances to more venues to a wider audience.
“So many people love cultural performances but only a few can find where to go and enjoy them. Some have been organising related events only to give up and this is affecting traditional and cultural music. I hope that through this concept, I can come up with more venues to perform so we can reach so many people,” he said.
Meanwhile, Inkera’s performances at Hotel Villa Portofino are free of charge.