He was the face of the group and arguably the most talented of all three and his relocation to South Africa left the once revered group in shambles.
However, news making rounds indicate that Croidja, the Just Family member who moved to South Africa to focus on his fashion business five years ago is now back in the country and will be reuniting with his two colleagues to resuscitate the boy group.
In 2016, the remaining group members Juma Shema aka Jimmy and lead singer Jean Baptiste Habiyambere, also known by the stage name Bahati, brought on board Chris to fill Croidja’s gap.
Indeed, they managed to bring the group back to life and it seemed to work after they earned a call up to take part in the just concluded Primus Guma Guma Super Star season 8. For the fans however, it was not the Just Family they knew. They finished last in the competition of 10.
As fate would have it, few days after the competition, Chris controversially quit the group, a decision which ‘surprised’ the rest of the group members who were desperate to continue pushing forward to endear Just Family to the fans once again.
But just as news of Chris’ exit still made rounds, it was revealed that Croidja was back in the country and that he had reunited with his mates.
“It is so sad for us to see Chris who we struggled together go the way he did but I am also happy to have our brother Croidja back to the group,”
“As a group, we have really been missing a vocalist like Croidja. Of course we kept doing good music in his absence but his comeback gave us strength to dream bigger for a better future,” Bahati told The New Times.
Croidja, also a fashion designer, said he has been in touch with his group members while on business duty abroad until he decided to return to the country and reunite with the group which he says remained in his heart for the past five years.
“I have been abroad focusing on my fashion business but now I am back and I am here to stay. I can do both fashion and music in a good to ensure that both talents don’t clash. Fashion is a business I have been doing for so many years. I cannot let go of both talents. Music and fashion are complementary,” he added.
The return of Croidja, real name Rajab Kibikiratorwa, is a huge boost for Just Family. On Monday, they released a brand new song ‘Nta Gikuba’, with a video, in a bid to win back their local fan base.
“I returned with a new song project which was ready for release. Bahati and Jimmy only had to add their inputs before we out it,” Croidja explained.
“Whenever I was in a recording studio, I felt someone was missing in our song,” confessed Jimmy, one of the group members, in reference to Croidja’s absence.
“We missed him. He is a brother. His departure was a big blow although we kept pushing without him. We are happy to have him back. People should now expect the Just Family they used to hear years back,” said Jimmy.
Just Family is one of the most popular groups on the local music scene having released several songs including Bareke, Nyorohereza, Hummer and Mureke Agende among many other songs