WHOEVER doubts that Rwanda has music talent hasn’t attended local musician’s Kizito Mihigo’s live performances, or heard about his music.
On Easter April 24, all roads led to Gikondo’s Expo Ground for Kizito’s free gig and his smoldering renditions kept the crowds on their feet for two-hours.
At 6 p.m., the venue was jam-packed and Kizito’s fans were on the edge of their seats, as hundreds camped outside, as security personnel stopped them from streaming into the packed huge tent.
Kizito emerged on stage smartly dressed in black suit matched with a white shirt as he performed ‘Twanze gutoberwa amateka’‘Twanze gutoberwa amateka’ (the official song of 17th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi), which appeared to be the biggest hit of the evening.
With barely a spare second between songs, Kizito dazzled his way through his biggest hits, including ‘Iteme’ (about forgiveness), ‘Inuma’ (about peace) and ‘Arc en ciel’ (the rainbow), and more.
One overriding message was now clear on his journey, which was to promote peace, unity and reconciliation in the country.
As Kizito graciously bowed out, his straight face transitioned into a smile, suggesting that despite the hard times Rwandans experienced during the Genocide, which claimed a million lives, there is a brighter future.
Kizito was not collecting a big paycheck from his concerts because they were free, including his recent VIP show at Kigali Serena Hotel, which gives him a resounding confirmation that he has carved out one of the most distinctive and loyal subcultures in the modern music world.
The singer, who is expected to return to the Belgium Capital, Brussels, sometime next month, has left a mark in the country and in Belgium where he has been living since 2003.
The 30-year-old singer and his back-up choir served up a repertoire among diehard fans, but with a scaled-down production and a cozy stage presence that gave it all a warm informality.
“Even if I am a Christian musician, my music connects people from all religions because the main message is to promote peace, unity and reconciliation and the word of God,” Kizito told The New Times.
Some of the high-ranking government officials who attended the show include Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza, Minister of Trade and Industry Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Minister of Gender and Family Promotion Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.
Others dignitaries were Executive Secretary for the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) Jean Baptiste Habyarimana as well as Private Sector Federation President Robert Bayigamba.