Hundreds flocked Kigali Serena Hotel to celebrate the life of music legend Kamaliza on Saturday evening.
The show, dubbed ‘Umurage Nyawo Kamaliza Concert’, was organised by the Rwandan Diaspora students in partnership with Easy and Possible, a local youth non-profit organisation.
The tribute concert started a few minutes to 7p.m, and featured an evening of traditional Rwandan songs that were performed by the fallen star’s close friends Masamba Intore, Suzane Nyiranyamibwa, Maria Yohana, and many more. The artistes performed both their songs and Kamaliza’s tunes like Shira Iyo Ntimba, Kunda Ugukunda and Naraye Ndose, among others.
The event was hosted by renowned local standup comedian Diogene Ntarindwa aka Atome.
Kamaliza, born Anonciata Utamuliza, died in a road accident in 1996. She is considered among the icons of the liberation struggle and a patriot.
The organisers said the concert was in recognition of the singer’s contribution to the Rwandan music industry and to nation building in general.
Her music portrayed a positive future for Rwanda, and helped a lot to boost morale during the liberation struggle.
Music duo Pamela Bamureke and Ange Ndayishimiye, who said that their passion for music was inspired by Kamaliza, belted out a number of the singer’s tracks like Shira Iyo Ntimba, Kunda Ugukunda and Naraye Ndose, among others.
Masamba and his Gakondo Group performed songs like Ziravumera, Shira Iyo Ntimba, Wirira, Inzovu and Kigali, while Maria Yohana belted out her moving hit Intsinzi, among others, to which the crowd sang along at the top of their voices.
Maria Uwanjye, Kamaliza’s elder sister, thanked the organisers of the concert and the people who came in large numbers.
“The fact that many of you left your businesses, weddings and came to join us is something worth appreciating. I thank everybody who attended, not forgetting organizers who came up with the idea,” Uwanjye said.
Uwanjye received a prize of appreciation for taking care of the orphans that Kamaliza was looking after before she passed on. Indahemuka Family, led by Maria Yohana was also recognized.
Egide Nkomeje, one of the 17 orphans that Kamaliza was raising before she died in 1996, thanked Kamaliza for the love and support.
He said, “We really thank Kamaliza for her heroic act of love she showed us. We are better off with the parent she left us with because we have been and are still being shown parental love and affection from her.”
A short video documentary highlighting Kamaliza’s life journey as a musician and as a Rwandan patriot was also screened.
The concert proceeds will go to the dependents left by Kamaliza.
The concert ended at 10p.m.