Zambia's Roberto promises electric performance

It is “electricity, fire and explosion on stage” tonight, as Zambian R&B sensation Roberto Chindaba Banda headlines the highly anticipated “Arthur Amplified” comedy show at the Kigali Serena Hotel.
L-R: Comedian Arthur Nkusi, and Roberto and his wife pose for the cameras. (Photos by Doreen Umutesi)
L-R: Comedian Arthur Nkusi, and Roberto and his wife pose for the cameras. (Photos by Doreen Umutesi)

It is “electricity, fire and explosion on stage” tonight, as Zambian R&B sensation Roberto Chindaba Banda headlines the highly anticipated “Arthur Amplified” comedy show at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

Known for his smash Afro-R&B hit, Amarulah, Roberto jetted into the country on Thursday, to a warm welcome from the media, fans, musicians and members of the Comedy Knights, led by Arthur Nkusi. 

He touched down at exactly 1:15 p.m at Kigali International Airport, aboard a RwandAir flight from Lusaka, Zambia. He was accompanied by his wife, who the musician revealed he has known for the last six years. The two tied the knot three weeks ago in Lusaka, Zambia.

The “Arthur Amplified” show is comedian Arthur Nkusi’s biggest gig ever since he returned from the Big Brother Africa Hotshots competition in South Africa last year.

 It will also feature performances from other members of the Comedy Knights like Babu and Micheal Sengazi, and Ugandan R&B singer Ray Signature of the Kasenyaku fame.

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Zambian hitmaker Roberto speaks to Rwandan press on arrival at Kigali International Airport.

Speaking at a press conference organized by Bralirwa Breweries, one of the sponsors on Thursday evening, Roberto described as “mind-blowing”, his second coming to Rwanda.

“The first time I came here was in 2010, as a back-up vocalist for my elder brother Gen. Ozzy. Now I’m here as Roberto, and I thank the Comedy Knights and Rwandans for picking me out of the many. I will do my best to make the show go as planned, or even better,” he vowed.

Patricia Garuka, the Senior Brand Manager at Bralirwa described comedy as an interesting and growing niche market in Rwanda, the reason the brewer’s Mutzig brand chose to be a part of the show.

“Comedy is engaging and intellectual, it makes us laugh but it’s serious business. A lot of work goes into it for them (Comedy Knights) to pull off such a show,” she added.

Asked if his visit will spawn off possible musical collaborations with local musicians, Roberto did not rule out the possibility:

“The first time I came in 2010, I and Gen. Ozzy actually did a song with Tom Close. Maybe it’s the reason it has been easy to gel and blend in this easy. Maybe it’s the reason I have a song, Amarulah that many Rwandans can identify with,” he said. “I wouldn’t mind doing it again, because it’s a form of intercultural exchange,” he added.

Asked if Amarulah is bigger than him, Roberto said: “You can’t be bigger than your song. That’s impossible,” adding that “I respect it for elevating my career and taking me places.”

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