Prayer House band launched

Praise, worship, and live gospel music rented the air at the Prayer House in Kicukiro on Sunday night, as the latest gospel band in the country was officially unveiled. The Prayer House, a youth centered Christian community unveiled the Prayer House Band, composed of members of the community, in a gospel concert that was headlined by Christian reggae band Christafari from the U.S.

The show defied a mild afternoon downpour, drawing a full house, including a slew of local gospel music acts that also performed. The same event saw the launch of Fourth Man Records, a new Christian music label under The Prayer House community.

The Christafari band kicked off the show shortly after 7pm with their reggae-inspired gospel songs, with band leader Mark Mohr occasionally chipping in with a sermon to the youthful crowd in attendance.

Later in the course of their performance, the band invited some of the new signings to the Fourth Man Music label, and they collaborated on stage. Olivier Kavutse, the founder of The Prayer House, and head of The Prayer House band, later introduced fast rising local gospel singer Nduwayo Columbus as the first signing to the Fourth Man Music label, which is also housed within The Prayer House.

Olivier Kavutse is the founder of The Prayer House, and head of The Prayer House band.

Kavutse explained that the Prayer House Band would exist side by side with the Prayer House's already established gospel bands -Beauty For Ashes, and Alive And Free. "Beauty For Ashes did not turn into the Prayer House Band. It is still a band on its own but its members are also part of the Prayer House Band as the community band."

He further revealed that the idea for the Christian music label came from Ishimwe Christian aka Chriso, the music director at the Prayer House, supported by his (Kavutse's) wife, Amanda Fang. He added that it would be open to all gospel leaning musicians.

Thereafter, the new Prayer House band took to the stage for its first public performance. The band was created by merging The Prayer House’s two bands, Beauty For Ashes, and the children’s band, Alive And Free. 

Beauty For Ashes band was formed in 2010, and three years later, another band Alive And Free, was born out of the Prayer House community.

“We kept growing as a community, then we realised that we need to do something to improve other people in the community who are very talented and gifted,” said Kavutse as he unveiled The Prayer House band on stage.

In attendance were a handful of local gospel singers, including Gaby Kamanzi, Aline Gahongayire, and Clementine Uwitonze, popularly known by her stage name Tonzi.

Kavutse called for collaboration and comradeship among the community of gospel musicians and gospel music lovers, with a view to creating a signature monthly gospel music event in the mould of the Kigali Jazz Junction.

The Christafari band flew out of the country shortly after their performance. It was the second time in months that the band was performing in Kigali. Their first performance was at the Unstoppable Concert at Camp Kigali in August last year, featuring the then Beauty For Ashes band.