New awards initiative to recognise outstanding local artistes launched

A new platform designed to recognise outstanding local artistes and quality Rwandan music has been launched.

The brains behind Music Awards Rwanda say this will be an annual event designed to promote local music talent.

The first event is slated for December 1 in Kigali and nominations will be unveiled in three weeks, organisers say.

Music Awards Rwanda comes to bridge the gap that was left behind by the collapse of Salax Awards a couple of years back, those behind the project say.

Dennis Nsanzamahoro, the awards project manager, says the platform is here to stay, given that the organising team has catered for aspects to do with its feasibility and sustainability. 

“Artistes work hard to ensure their music is liked and listened to. Their music plays an influential role in people’s daily lives; at weddings, home, work, in relationships and even hard times,” he said Friday during the launch of the Awards platform.

He added: “These awards seek to recognise artistes’ efforts and to motivate them to work even harder in the future. We are looking forward to a stiff competition among the local artistes in terms of quality music, which I believe will bring positive results to Rwanda’s music advancement.”

“It’s a pity to see our artistes give their all yet they continue to be seen as inferior compared to other regional artistes, mostly because no one is recognising their effort. We hope these awards will change that in one way or another. However, they have to work hard,” he added.

The Awards will be run by a team that includes,  Alex Muyoboke, the Awards managing director; Judo Kanobana, the chairman; Conrad Makenzi, the in-charge of marketing; David Bayingana, the in-charge of event management; Richard Kwizera, the media and communication coordinator; and Marie France Uwase, the Awards public relations officer.

Muyoboke says it’s a shame that Rwanda is the only country in the region, if not the continent, that does not have an awards platform to recognise and motivate artistes.

“If our artistes are scooping awards outside the country, why don’t we organise our own platform, or even more than one, like the other countries do?” he says.

Organisers say the awards will only be given to outstanding artistes, and transparency will be guaranteed.

Ramadhan Mupende, the chief executive of music label, The Mane, which manages a number of local artistes like Queen Cha, Marina and Safi Madiba, backed the initiative; however, he warned organisers against favouritism if they really want to motivate artistes and contribute toward the promotion of the music industry in the country.

“They shouldn’t be driven by feelings if this initiative is to have real impact on Rwandan music industry. They should just leave it open to the public and the artistes to decide,” he said.