Eric Senderi, also known as Senderi International, is one of the most controversial Afrobeat artistes in the country. The singer-songwriter has in the past been embroiled in verbal battles with another dramatic musician, Mico Prosper, because each believes is the best Afrobeat artiste in the country.
The Nsomyaho singer talked to The New Times about his singing career and the ongoing Primus Guma Guma SuperStar 5, an annual reality singing competition sponsored Bralirwa's Primus lager, to help and grow music entertainment in Rwanda.
How did you manage to make it to the 10 finalists in Guma Guma music competition?
It was a rough evening on March 7 at the Gikondo Expo grounds; the venue for the show. Music lovers, friends and relatives of the nominees came to cheer their favourite nominees. My fans were there too to support me—that’s what encouraged me when I was performing at the elimination show.
All the 15 nominees were great and we all prepared for the competition. By the way, I was participating for the third time, so I had to do my best to sway the crowd and the organisers. I decided to come on stage in a humongous crafted primus bottle, which contributed to my chance.
I want to take this opportunity to request my fans across the country to continue to support me to win the competition.
Do you think Primus Guma Guma has been successful in promoting Rwandan artistes?
Yes. Take an example of me; I’ve been in this industry for a long time but all those years I was doing playback. But now I am one of the best live performers in the country— thanks to Primus Guma Guma Superstar.
In your opinion, who stands a better chance of winning the coveted prize of Rwf24 m this year?
Of course it is me! I’ve gained a lot confidence, stage presence as well as the fan base since the show started in March, this year. This competition is based on live performance, creativity and public voting—I think this year's coveted prize is mine.
When did you realise that you were passionate about pursuing a career in music?
My interest for music started when I was in P.4 at Nyarubuye Primary School in Kirehe District, Eastern Province. I started out in a cultural troupe, then after I joined the army where I was in charge of morale boosting in my platoon. When the war ended, I left the army and started singing Genocide commemoration songs, with songs about unity and reconciliation.