Meet Nel Ngabo, fast rising music star

Nel Ngabo. / Craish Bahizi

Just 10 months ago since he launched his music career, Nel Ngabo, who was once a ‘wannabe’ singer, is now considered among the fast-rising artistes in Rwanda. 

The 22-year-old R&B singer, born Nelson Byusa Rwangabo, is proving he is the new kid on the block, with five singles under his belt—thanks to his dedication and passion for music. 


Ngabo is a first-year student in business management at the University of Tourism Technology and Business Studies (UTB), in Kigali.


While in high school, Ngabo would perform songs by other artistes—both local and international wondering whether he would one day become professional singer. 


“I loved singing since I was young, and had a dream that I would one day would become an artiste,” he said.

Rewinding his musical journey, Ngabo said that it was in 2017 that I entered the studio and recorded the first single.

After graduating from high school in 2017, Ngabo decided to go to the studio and record a song.

“It was my cousin’s idea that we go to the studio and work on the song together. I thought the idea was great since it’s something I had always wanted to do. I loved the feeling of being in the studio working on my own songs…the feeling was just incredible,” he recalls.

It was not long ago that he embarked on his musical career, and hopes that he would one day become one of the most famous Rwandan artistes.

However, like most aspiring artistes, Ngabo said the journey into the industry has not been a smooth ride.

“The beginning was hard, because my music was rejected quite a lot by radio presenters,” he said, adding: “I can’t forget the day I took my CD to one of the local radio presenter, and I begged him play it. He looked at me and said he couldn’t, that my music wasn’t good to be played on their station. I begged him, but he refused. I returned home feeling so hurt and disappointed,” he said.

However, Ngabo said that did not stop him from chasing the passion. He grabbed every single opportunity that came his way. And one of them was ArtRwanda – Ubuhanzi, a nationwide talent search, which was a golden opportunity that opened the doors for him.

The singer is now under Kina Music, and has since released five singles, including ‘Byakoroha’, ‘Nzahinduka’, ‘Why’, ‘Gake’ featuring Igor Mabano, and ‘Ya Motema’, with Platini Nemeye.

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