It was a vibrant night of cross-cultural music, dance, and networking at the Ikaze Night Party on Thursday night at the Kigali Cultural Village.
Ikaze Night Party was organised as a welcome event for the three-day Ubumuntu Arts Festival that kicks off at the Kigali Genocide Memorial amphitheater today, July 14.
It is the fourth edition of the annual event, organized by the Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company. Since its inception in 2015, entrance to the festival is free.
This year, organizers introduced the Ikaze Night Party as a way to raise funds to facilitate the festival and keep it free for all.
For Rwf10, 000, guests had the opportunity to get a sneak peek into some of the performances that will grace the festival stage.
The night was dominated by musical performances by local musicians, but in the end the night’s crowning moment was American pop musician Alexander Star, who was the main act.
In attendance was Sports and Culture minister Julienne Uwacu, who underscored the critical role that Art has played toward building bridges of humanity once shattered in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“As you are aware, our recent past let us down in our fight for humanity, but we are adamant in our resolve to rebuild our nation. Art has continuously proved that it can and has played a major role in this resolve,” the minister explained.
She implored festival goers to learn from the various performances lined up for the festival:
“Ubumuntu Arts Festival stands for being human together. My take on this is that the organizers understand that we can do so much when we are united; united for a positive outcome. The idea of converging here in Rwanda for the last three years and sharing our personal stories through art, highlights the fact that we are not alone in our daily struggles.”
There were musical performances came from Andy Bumuntu, Deo Munyakazi, the dancer Hilde Cannoodt from Belgium/UK, while the Rwanda National Ballet (Urukerereza) closed the performances.
In the end, the star performer of the night was Alexander Star, as he worked up the crowd into a dancing frenzy.
He closed his performance by inviting a few local musicians on stage for a showcase of the theme song for this year’s festival, on which they collaborated.