What you missed at Iwacu Muzika Festival

The Bongo star promised another electrifying performance in Kigali and he lived to the billing. / All photos by Emmanuel Kwizera

Rwanda has over the recent years, hosted hundreds of international music stars, but Diamond Platnumz is arguably one of the best they have ever witnessed.

The Tanzanian music superstar, who is already considering Kigali his second home, stamped his name in Rwandans’ hearts with yet another exciting performance on Saturday, at Amahoro Stadium’s Parking ground, Remera, concluding Iwacu Muzika Festival in style.


The festival organised by East African Promoters (EAP) in partnership with Bralirwa, and the Ministry of Sports and Culture among other partners, aimed at promoting Rwandan music by bringing together different artistes in their respective age brackets on the same stage.


As the sun was setting down, several DJs took to their decks to entertain people with their best selection of music, as MC Buryohe warmed the stage. With Bralirwa drinks, snacks and ice cream on display at the venue, festival-goers had every reason to celebrate until they left their seats to comfortably enjoy every moment of the show.


Fast-rising artiste, Sintex, took to the stage at 7.30pm as the first performer of the night and managed to bring music fans to their feet through his songs Twifunze, You and Byina among others.

With each artiste on the stage lineup given a 15-minute performance, Rwandan artistes proved their worth, as regards entertaining the large crowds.

A good example was trending artiste Francois Nsengiyumva, fast-rising rapper Bushali whose performance left some comparing it to Diamond’s, and Bruce Melodie whose stage performance wowed the crowd, alongside Symphony Band that backed up all the artistes, throughout all the upcountry shows.

Diamond Platinumz as the headliner of the night, also thrilled his fans. He surprised revellers with his electrifying performances, together with his dancers, given he was in Bujumbura for another performance the previous night. 

The only thing that almost marred his performance was the sound system, which would have a big blow, if not for the singer’s experience in managing his stage and keeping his fans to their feet till the sound was fixed.

However, given that many of his fans at the fully packed venue were addicted to his songs, the singer quickly bounced back from the scare and run the show in a two-hour non-stop performance during which he staged a lot his hit songs like Kanyaga, Inama, his collaboration with Fally Ipupa, The One, Ntampata Wapi, Mbagala, Tandale, Alleluia, another collaboration with Morgan Heritage, Salome and African Beauty among many which sent his fans into frenzy.

Rwandan girls have always been hyped whenever Diamond is on stage, and this prompted him to invite a section of girls to join him on stage and dance along with his song ‘Sema Nami’.

Another highlight of the show was the artiste’s bouncers who appeared fully clad in military paraphernalia and got many people questioning the extravagance. Their show, however, was short-lived when Police called off their duties immediately and requested that they change uniform.

Diamond left the stage around 2.30am after revealing that this was not his last show in Kigali, expressing his wish to headline yet another one, sooner or later, at the recently inaugurated Kigali Arena which he had earlier toured. 

Kigali was one of the cities the music superstar had lined up for his world tour, which has been running from July through to December.  It was his third performance in Kigali in four years, having previously performed in 2015 at the East African Party, and shared the stage with Jamaican singer Morgan Heritage two years later during the Rwanda Fiesta show. He was also in the country last year for a business trip.

Overall, the Iwacu Muzika festival was an opportunity for local artists to boost their fan base by reaching out to their fans from across the country through roadshows and also give a platform for homegrown artistes to expose their talents at big shows. 

The fully packed crowd enjoyed the night with thrilling performances.

François of the Igisupusupu fame also did his part in cheering the crowd.

Bruce Melody was one of the local artistes that thrilled the crowd.


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