Afrobeat and R&B singer Mani Martin has been selected to grace the forth-coming Amani Festival of the Arts in Goma, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The three-day cultural event is slated for February 10-12. The Amani Festival seeks to promote peace and reconciliation in the Great Lakes region. Amani is Swahili for “peace.”
It will be the third time that the Rwandan singer gets to perform at the festival. He was among the performers lined up for the inaugural festival in 2014, and the following year, in 2015.
“I feel so much humbled, I know there is something they like about my music which makes the committee of the festival to think about me again and again among all other artistes in my country, so I am doing all my best to deliver that uniqueness of my music,” an excited Mani Martin explained after receiving his invitation.
“My first two performances were really exciting as it was more the first time for most of the people in the audience to experience my music and Rwandan music as a whole, they loved it that first time until it made them invite me for the second time and now the third.”
The Amani Festival draws musicians and audiences from the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, and other neighboring countries. The festival seeks to cast a more positive light on the Eastern DRC town of Goma, which has borne the brunt of war for the last two decades.
The first festival, initially planned for 2013, was cancelled at the last minute after heavy fighting broke out between government soldiers and rebel forces.
The festival is organised by volunteers from the ‘Foyer Cultural de Goma’ in conjunction with local and international organizations.