Burundian and Rwandan singers unite for a night of music

Burundian singer Christian Ninteretse and his Melodika Band thrilled fans this past weekend when they put up an energetic show at Umubano Hotel.
L-R: Musicians Pascal Niyonzima, Claude Mpozenzi, Lydia Niyonsaba and Omer Nzoyisaba dance during the event on Saturday.
L-R: Musicians Pascal Niyonzima, Claude Mpozenzi, Lydia Niyonsaba and Omer Nzoyisaba dance during the event on Saturday.

Burundian singer Christian Ninteretse and his Melodika Band thrilled fans this past weekend when they put up an energetic show at Umubano Hotel. 

Dubbed the Kigali-Buja Night Concert, the leader of the three months old band, stepped on stage at 9 pm opening with Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up.

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King James invited Ninteretse to do Yantumye.

He joked with the audience about how far his Kinyarwanda has come and promised them a fun filled night.

“My Kinyarwanda has improved. Together we will sing all types of music from Kirundi, Igisope, to rock and jazz,” he said, and sing them he did. He followed it with I won’t give up and Ndaje; the first song he recorded for his fans after winning Primusic, The Burundian version of Primus Guma Guma Super Star in 2014. He added his single Ndi Muri We, and went back to showing the crowd that he can also handle other singers’ renditions with songs like Jean Paul Samputu’s Ampora Kumutima, Sauti Sol’s Sula Yako Magic’s Rude and Twese Turi Abana b’i Burundi all which got the crowd on their feet.

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Aimable Ngendahayo surprised singer Jules Sentore when he called him on stage to wish him a happy birthday.

Ninteretse completed the Burundian side of the evening after inviting colleagues Pascal Niyonzima, Omar Nzoyisaba and Claude Mporezi who charmed the crowd with their selection that included old and new Burundian music and various renditions.

For the Kigali portion of the show, the guest artiste was the silk voiced King James who proved why he is a ladies’ favourite thanks to the support provided by producer Pastor P who played the piano. He took the audience through Niko Nabaye then Ntibisanzwe before Melodika Band joined to back him up as he sang Ganyobwe which also got everyone singing and dancing along. Nintereste joined him on stage and the two soul singers did Yantumye to the delight of the ladies before he announced that he had not rehearsed enough and was therefore calling it a night.

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Ninteretse engaging the crowd.

The crowd could hear none of it forcing the singer to do one last song Naramukundaga.

The night started off with cheeky emcee Phil Peter who jokingly promised to help the musicians sing but was no-where when band pianist and guitarist Doriane Hakizimana murdered Elton John’s Sacrifice during the sound check.

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Emcee Phil Peter kept the audience engaged as he cracked joke after joke.

After King James’ performance; the organizer of the event; Aimable Ngendahayo took to the podium where he said that the show was put together to support Burundians in “their new surroundings” to develop their music and promised a similar event next year.

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The fans had a treat of Burundian music.

Melodika Band was formed by Edouard Ngendakumana an Electro-mechanic and singer with Intatana Band back in Burundi but came to Kigali after the recent instability. In July this year, he gathered the artistes and players who had also fled to make Melodika.

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Christian Ninterese holds onto a young fan as he does the rendition of 'Ampora Kumutima'. (All photos by Teddy Kamanzi)

The band plays at Alpha Palace Hotel, Remera every Friday.

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