For some time now, inanga musician Deo Munyakazi has been trying to expand the reach of this musical instrument beyond the confines of traditional folk music circles.
He has had several musical collaborations with many visiting foreign musicians, mostly in a bid to create unique and hybrid musical sounds as a way of marketing the inanga in particular and Rwandan folk music in general.
Izabikora, a gospel single that was recently released by the singer, follows in this tradition. It is Munyakazi’s first gospel song, although he hastens to add that “the message is for all people, just to stay focused”.
“But as we got to know him, no turning back. We’ll keep going forward, we’ll never give up.
He who said He is together with us, He’ll keep his promise,” goes the song’s opening lines.
“Izabikora simply means He (the Lord) will keep his promise,” he explains the song’s title.
“I realised the way sometimes we get discouraged facing challenges, and give up on our dreams yet it’s better to move on and God promised to be on our side. Even when he is silent he is there for us to make a way and perform miracles,” Munyakazi explained.
He recently uploaded a lyric video of the song with English subtexts on his YouTube channel and it’s steadily gaining viewership.