Dream Boys’ triumph at the Primus Guma Guma Super Star Season 7 finale came after a long wait. This was the sixth time that Platini Nemeye and Mujyanama Claude (TMC), the duo that make up the group, was featuring in the competition.
Their Guma Guma journey kicked off in 2011, the year that the competition debuted.
“We were the new kids on the block, but it was a new experience for everyone because even though we had many great musicians in the competition, Guma Guma was a new thing so we attended it for the first time like all the other artistes. We were like the kids in the competition but we got the experience like the other artistes did,” reminisces Platini.
After five previous attempts, the boys had decided to give it just one last try this year. The plan was to move on to other things if a win was not forthcoming.
“We always expected to win, but this time we said if we don’t win this we’re not coming back because we have so many other things to do other than keep on competing in something you are not winning,” Platini explains.
“So we had to put in a lot of effort in our performances and the results are there to show. We were the first on the judges’ list, and also in people’s votes because we invested more energy and more effort in this,” he adds.
The duo was announced winner at the grand finale at the Amahoro National Stadium on Saturday night, beating nine other contestants. Christopher and Bulldog emerged first and second runner up respectively.
Other contestants in the competition were Mico The Best, Queen Cha, Oda Paccy, Social Mula, Active, Danny Nanone, and Davis D.
“Of course it (winning) felt good because it’s been a long time that we’ve been fighting for this win, and when you want to be big you have to win this. So we feel like we’re now big and among the best,” Platini explains.
For TMC, the win was long overdue.
“We were very happy because it’s something we had been waiting for for so long. This is something that we feel should have happened long ago because as Dream Boys we always do a good job so this win gave us even more hope and determination to do music in the future. This was our sixth time to be in Guma Guma and every year there was a big difference in terms of live performance, singing, dancing, and interaction between the public and Dream Boys. So it gave us a certain maturity that made us believe we can do it not just in Rwanda but worldwide,” he says.
His colleague Platini chips in: “This year we tried to do everything we didn’t do before so that we could win but our motto was always to never give up. We didn’t win the first one but we were among the best. I don’t believe we were losers in the past because we have always been among the best -top two or top three but as you keep doing something you get more experience.
“I think all Rwandans needed us to win this, going by the feedback we are receiving. People wanted us to win this even before. People were thirsty to see Dream Boys lifting this trophy.”
TMC is convinced that their win came as a result of the cumulative experience gained from participation in the five previous editions of the competition, a combination of performance with crowd engagement and stage management.
“The result showed the energy that we put in, and the energy is based on the experience we have had in the competition so we knew exactly what the public wants from us,” he says.
The duo’s win comes after 17 years of knowing each other, during which they not only became best friends but also musical partners.
Platini says, “We’ve been neighbours since 2000 and we attended the same school so our friendship grew. Apart from that, we also discovered that we have the same passion for music so it’s those meetings we had as friends in the neighbourhood that brought us together as a group.”
This is their eighth year as a group, having paired up professionally in 2009.
First, TMC came up with a handful of singles while Platini completed school. After school, Platini too recorded a few singles and the stage was set.
“After some time we decided to make things happen. We started with a collabo and then ended up as a group and now it’s the biggest in the country,” Platini reveals.
In a competition where some of the participants grumbled and protested over the final result, TMC and Platini defend organisers and the criteria used.
“There are some regulations and rules in the competition and the winner has to follow all those rules. We did five road shows. Probably someone could have done well at the final, but when in other shows he was not good at all. So the voting public can’t know all the details in the competition but as artistes, we know exactly what we were supposed to do and that’s what we did. So for me, the results from the judges, from one to ten were very accurate,” says TMC, to which Platini concurs.
“I think when you don’t win you can’t be happy, but when you sign the contract it’s an automatic sign of trust in the organisers and the judges. So we believe in what they have shown us as the result. But if we hadn’t won I wouldn’t be happy so I understand that some artistes are not happy but we signed a contract with the organisers and I think they did their absolute best,” Platini says.
As we wind up the interview the duo reminds me that the public should not expect wild parties and lavish expenditure out of the Rwf 24 million winner’s bounty.
Platini sets the record straight.
“Normally as Dream Boys we’re not party people. We don’t go to parties too much so we’re not going to throw a party with the money. We received the money just because we do music and we owe our fans some good music. So the money we won we shall reinvest it in music. We still have so many years to give our fans joy and happiness through music.
“Besides people don’t like us because of money. They like us because we do good music so obviously we will be investing in good music. Right now we’re focusing on studio sessions -recording songs and shooting videos in order to wrap up our album this year so that next year we can launch it. It will be our seventh album.
“We thank our fans for being with us in this journey but we still need them because this is not the end of our career. Of course we won this time, but we need even more trophies, we also need to contribute to the society using our music so we still need our fans around us,” Platini concludes.