One Voice Rwanda, Hope Irakoze in social impact collaboration

Some of the artistes that feature on the song.

Wowe, is a new Rwandan all-star song, with a gripping social impact message. The project is the brainchild of fast-rising local video producer Louis Udahemuka, the owner of Fine Productions, an audio and video production company based in Kiyovu, a city suburb.

Wowe,  meaningYou),  is sung by One Voice Rwanda, a multi-disciplinary artistes’ collective founded by Udahemuka in January, this year. The song features a guest appearance by Hope Irakoze, the biggest name on the song, as well fast-rising rapper Siti True Karigombe.

Udahemuka, who started out as a singer in 2012, is the song’s executive producer, songwriter, music and video director.

Hope Irakoze takes a selfie during the video shoot at Kigali’s Car-free zone. /Courtesy photos.

Written in English and Kinyarwanda, the song is a cacophony of youthful voices reaching out with messages of humanity, love, and mutual respect. Shot from different locations around Kigali city, the song’s video features scenes of young people carrying placards with messages like; We are one, Love is my religion, You are not alone, One love, and Say not to hate and jealousy.

The song’s opening verse goes thus:

“You with whom we share this journey

Your presence strengthens me

There is a lot we share

That make me honor you

I don’t care who you are

How you look like and where you come from

When I stare at you, I see myself …”

“The idea came from a discussion we had. Nowadays people mind their own business and looking for riches by all means. In the process we forget humanity. I wanted a song that would remind people to love each other, no matter how busy we are and whatever we are pursuing. Today people call each other because there is a deal. We no longer call each other just to say hi,” Udahemuka explained the song’s inspiration.

 “When I say wowe (you), I mean someone else, not me. It means that there is you because there is I. I am because you are. You are someone I have to respect, to love, and take care of because you are a human being like me.”

Lousi Udahemuka is the brains behind One Voice Rwanda and the song,Wowe. 

Asked how he managed to put together the large team that featured in the song, Udahemuka explained: “I found the team members through friends. I used to sing, and from the friends I know, I just told them I have an idea and was looking for people to be a part of the project. One friend came with another and soon we had a team.”

Most of the members of One Voice Rwanda are students, some from Nyundo Music School, while others are from universities scattered across the country. A few others are from Christian worship teams.

In all, the group has about 20 members who hail from diverse art disciplines like music, dance, poetry, visual art, and acting.

The track talks about appreciating the differences between people and treating one another with respect.  

“We want to use whatever avenue will be required to push our core message of love and humanity across.  We are so many because we want to send out a strong message,” Udahemuka further explained.

He has been doing music since 2012 when he graduated in Film Production from the Kwetu Film Institute.

“I decided to do music but I resolved not to sound like others. I wanted to do something that the society would remember me for, hence my decision to do social impact music. I found out that if I was alone my message couldn’t reach that far.”

Presently, he is preoccupied with looking for connections both in the country and abroad, so that the song can tour both locally and abroad, especially at music festivals.

“I want this song to reach as far as it can. We want the future generation to grow with humanity, with love and with this message.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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