THEIRS has been a long journey. While other bands had put the microphones and instruments down, The Brothers is still going strong year after year, grabbing fans from cities and small towns in Rwanda.
The group was founded in 2003 by Victor Fidèle Gatsinzi (Vicky) and Daniel Semivumbi (Dany), who were then students at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).
“We’re actually not blood brothers but just a household name,” Vicky explained. “Dany and I decided the name after we were nominated in a competition, organised by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), in a campaign to fight against Genocide ideology in the country.”
He added: “From then, we started recording our own songs and organized performances until 2006, when Fikiri Nshimiyimana joined the group.”
With three great artistes, including Ziggy 55, the leading vocalist, The Brothers immersed in the country’s music scene for many years, and brags being among the best bands in Rwanda.
Even with the invasion of new bands, like, Dream Boys, Just Family and Urban Boys which emerged Best Group in the 2009 SALAX Awards, The Brothers holds a big audience of youngsters and adults.
‘We don’t mind about the awards because we don’t want to prove anything. After all, at the moment, the awards and prizes offered to the winners are not worthy competing for. Our only concern is to give our fans the best music,” Vicky assured.
Songs like: ‘Bya bihe’, ‘Ikirori’ and ‘Ni wowe wenyine’, were among their first recordings which gave the audience something to dance to, with tight lyrics.
However, Vicky said it has not been easy to run the band for all those years as it needs too much work and commitment because their daily life does not depend on music only, as each member has another job.
“The only thing that has fostered our sustainability is our unity, support from our fans and the passion we have for what we are doing,” Ziggy 55 said.
“Whenever we think we are going down we sit down and set a strategy and, among others, the main strategy is to compose new songs so that our audiences get a chance to get new flavors from us,” he added.
The band’s dream is to export their music to the regional market. Their two hits ‘Nsibiza’ featuring Prince Kid and ‘Nyamuneka’, featuring a Canada-based Rwandan singer/model, Frank Joe, are expected to earn massive airtime.
The Brothers participated in various concerts, including Rwanda’s biggest biannual music festival, Pan African Dance Festival (FESPAD), and won two awards; Best Group Rwanda (2006 Pearl of Africa Music Awards) and Best Group (2009 SALAX Awards).