As the country was under a lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, some artistes never halted their activities, with some even implementing their ideas faster than they used to in normal times.
Joel Rumata, aka Ruti Joel, is one of the few ‘Gakondo’ artistes, who continued to create during the stay home period. He acknowledged that the trying times the world is facing call for prayers, and so he released “Rumuri rw’itabaza”, a song appealing to God to intervene for the world.
“The world is going through tough times, and so is our country. I mainly focus on Rwanda because it is where I come from. It is my country. The main purpose of the song is to request people pray for our country,” Ruti tells The New Times.
‘Rumuri’, which lightly translates to ‘light’ refers to God in the song. “God is light, so I am calling upon Him,” he says.
He said the song was made possible by the unfailing love of his friends and family. During lockdown, he recorded from the home studio of his producer friend who is a neighbour.
As for the video, another friend Jules Mugabo told him he had a camera and that they could shoot anytime. As such, he talked to his friends who he lives with, who are members of Ibihame by’Imana Troupe, and they shot the video right in front of their house. By this, he says the song did not give him a hard time at all.
“I never had challenges with it, I was lucky to have all this support from my friends and family,” Ruti says.
Ruti hopes that the song encourages people to pray and remember God in all that they plan and whatever they are going through.
“We can do all we want, but we must not forget God. Especially in this year where everything seems to be falling apart,” he says
Ruti says he has a lot more in the pipeline for his fans as well as everyone who follows his music, adding that this year, he will release more gospel songs.
The singer ventured into music in 2012, when he joined Gakondo group, where Jules Sentore and iconic traditional musician Intore Masamba were members. The group had other members including Teta Diana and Victor Rukotana, among others, who went on to pursue solo careers.
Ruti started off as a backup singer for different local artistes at concerts. He now has four songs to his name including ‘Diarabi’, a collabo with Jules Sentore and King Bayo, ‘La vie est belle’, ‘Rusaro’ and now ‘Rumuri rw’itabaza’. He is also a member of Ibihame Cultural Troupe, an all-male traditional dance troupe.Follow glory_iribagiza