FEATURED: MTN to host 3-day music festival next summer

MTN staff with local artistes during the official launch of ‘Sawa Sawa Music Festival’ slated for next year. Courtesy

MTN Rwanda, the country’s biggest telecom operator, on December 5, announced the first-ever 'cashless' music festival— during which concert-goers will be able to make cashless payments to attend the shows.

Dubbed, ‘Sawa Sawa Music Festival’, the event is largely targeting the country’s youth, which it believes are innovators, and therefore considers them as progressive, passionate in their struggle, creative and highly inspirational.


Dates for the festival are not confirmed yet, but the telecom said it would take place in the summer of 2020, presumably in July or August.


The three-day festival will bring together local and international artistes, deejays as well as some of the top bands in the country. The event will also feature talented visual artists.


Speaking at a news conference, Richard Achaempong, the MTN Chief Marketing Officer, said the festival is going to be a co-creation between the telecom and its customers— whereby the content and everything regarding who performs at the festival will be determined by Rwandans.

“In 2020, we want to co-create with Rwandans the biggest music festival ever to ever happen in Rwanda, where we can bring the best of African artistes, DJs alongside top Rwandan artistes, DJs and MCs together in the same festival,” he said.

“And to achieve this, we shall let Rwandans decide which artiste or performer they would wish to see on stage, and the food or drinks they would like to have at the venue,” he added.

MTN Rwanda Chief Marketing Officer, Richard Acheampong, speaks to the press about the festival on December 5. / Courtesy

The telecom, however, has the artistes it works within its different promotional activities, including Bull Dogg, Buravan and Active among others, but Achaempong noted that they will feature in the festival only if the audience chose them.

“The artistes we are currently working with might be part of the concert or not, because we want Rwandans to decide who they want to see,” said Achaempong, before adding: “We shall take ample time to interact with our customers and Rwandans in general so they can pick their favorite artistes and DJs, local or international, who they need to see performing at the festival before we announce our final lineup.”

“At MTN, our vision is to lead a digital world and we believe that everybody deserves to be part of a connected world. We want that Rwandans get used to make payments using any of our digital payment platforms like MoMo Pay as we are looking to support the government of Rwanda’s cashless economy policy. We need people to experience how a digital life can be,” Acheampong explained.

By the end of the first quarter, after putting public feedback together, the telecom will unveil the lineups, entrance fees, the venues of the festival and the dates during which the festival will take place.


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