Afrobeat singer Martin Maniraruta, better known to his fans as Mani Martin, is back to the music scene after recovering from a freak accident when he swallowed a piece of toothpick that left his vocal cords damaged.
The accident happened on December 19 as Mani Martin was having his lunch before he could go to the studio to record his new single Valentine.
The singer’s studio plans were ruined after he lost his voice and was instead rushed to the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK), where he was admitted for nine days.
“The accident almost ended my music career and I cancelled very many plans and gigs because I couldn’t speak for nine days,” the singer told The New Times, before adding, “I was so terrified because I was unable to speak and resorted to sign language and writing chits.”
Among the concerts he canceled due to the damage include a Christmas concert with local artiste Ricky Password, a video shoot with a Tanzanian producer on December 28, and a trip to Japan.
Amani Music festivals
Meanwhile, Mani Martin, 27, is looking forward to attend the second edition of Amani Music festival due February 12-15 in Goma, DR Congo. Amani is a Swahili word for peace.
The event is aimed at advocating for peace and security in a region that has been plagued by violence for decades.
“I love to be an instrument of positive change in society and I usually try to achieve that through my music which often focuses on peace and love,” says Mani Martin.
“It’s a great pleasure for me to perform at the Amani Festival at its inauguration last year. I received a very impressive reception by music lovers over there and I am happy that I have been invited once again, it’s an honour,” he added.
This year’s event will feature prominent African musicians such as, Bill Clinton Kalonji (DR Congo), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Ivory Coast) and Habib Koité (Mali).
Mani Martin’s music reflects a blend of Afro-soul and traditional Rwandan music, and features lyrics in Kinyarwanda, Swahili, English and French.
His singles, Intero y’amahoro and Icyo dupfana kiruta icyo dupfa are some of his songs that carry deep messages about peaceful coexistence in society.
He has previously performed in restive Darfur and South Sudan and was the first Rwandan to perform at the Sauti Za Busara Zanzibar music festival – during the festival’s tenth anniversary in 2013.
Mani Martin said he is also organising a concert to take place in Rusizi District in March.