The magnificent Kigali Arena on Saturday hosted its first-ever concert, the Kwita Izina show headlined by none other than American R&B superstar Ne-Yo.
Ne-Yo, who had earlier joined a long list of celebrities to give names to the 25 baby gorillas named during the 15th edition of the annual Kwita Izina event last Friday, did not disappoint.
For an hour he delivered a memorable performance, with thousands of revelers passionately singing and dancing along all through.
It was a fitting icing on the cake in a concert that saw several Rwandan stars, including US-based singer Meddy, Bruce Melody, Charly na Nina and actress and choreographer Sherrie Silver entertaining the crowd earlier on.
The Grammy Award winner, songwriter, and producer was evidently touched and impressed by the warmth he received from thousands of fans packed inside the arena, at one point breaching the barricades to join in the euphoria in the crowd and giving away several of his personal items to lucky partygoers.
With President Paul Kagame also in the house, revelers danced the night away and at the end of the day, everyone looked grateful at how the show had gone.
The sheer number of the people that turned up for the concert (many were unable to enter because the tickets had been sold out) and how enthusiastic the crowd was all through is testament to the fact that Kigalians and Rwandans, in general, are ready to play their part in taking the local entertainment scene to the next level.
Indeed, as Rwanda’s status as a top tourist destination grows by the day, thanks in large part to government efforts through such initiatives as Visit Rwanda and Kwita Izina, more needs to be done to make the nigh-time life and social life equally appealing.
Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the world and this itself offers a firm foundation upon which the entertainment sector can be unleashed. But, beyond security, there are other prerequisites and investments like Kigali Arena will go a long way in unlocking this potential.
Government should work more closely with the private sector to make this a reality, as it will not only make the country’s night-life economy a major contributor to the economy through offering more business opportunities and jobs but will also improve social life in general.