Hundreds of music lovers turned up for the start of the week long Isaano Arts festival at Petit Stade in Remera on Sunday. The festival was graced by international renowned musicians including Habib Koite (Mali), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Ivory Coast) Thias Diarra, (Swiss) and Cissoko Noumoucounda from Senegal.
In a two-hour performance, Koite, who performed with his band Bamada, mesmerized the audience with his unique voice.
Koite performed a number of songs, such as, Deme, Diarabi Niani, Soo and Bolo Mala that comprise his 2014 album called, Soo. The album is said to have earned a lot of success within Africa and beyond.
“Habib Koite’s smooth vocals and his great guitar skills were worth my time. I enjoyed the performance,” said Christine Amanda, one of the fans.
Swiss diva with roots in Mali, Diarra, performed on Tuesday, and treated festival goers to her sweet vocals in French, English and Bambara from Mali.
She sang her hit tracks, Africa dieye, Who I am, Afro soul, Thais ne na, and Mali, among others, with the assistance of Senegalese Kora maestro, Noumoucounda.
Diarra’s performance was followed by the concert’ s most sought after Tiken Jah Fakoly.
Wearing a stylish African outfit, bubu, Tiken Jah Fakoly exhibited pride in his African roots, alongside a spirit of Pan-Africanism.
Fakoly, who performed with his band, belted out his popular tracks, Dernier Appel, Afriggggcan Revolution, Je dis non, and Quand l’Afrique va se reveiller, among others, and received a standing ovation from the charged crowd.
The singer had a message for the young generation.
“Young people of Africa,our place is here. We must remain here and fight for our continent. Who will develop this continent if you all choose to leave Africa?”
Local artistes also put up great performances at the festival. Those who performed include, Hyacinthe Niyigena and his band, Didier Kayihura and Mike Kayihura, among others.
“We have much more concerts and arts displays in store. I have no doubt that arts and music lovers will enjoy over the next few days we will spend together” said, Konabana Roman, aka Judo, one of the coordinators of Isaano Arts festival.
The festival features activities that include a fine-art exhibition, art workshops and a literary gathering, among others. Aimed at promoting Rwanda’s artistic industry, the festival will wind up at the end of the week.