Tom Close, who was recently named winner of the Primus Guma Guma Superstar 2011, was Wednesday presented with his prizes by the organisers of the competition, Sven Piederiet, Managing Director of Bralirwa and Joseph Mushoma, CEO of the East African Promoters - EAP, during a press conference held at Top Tower Hotel.
He was presented with a cheque of Rwf6milion and a trophy, in addition to signing a one year contract with Bralirwa as Primus Ambassador.
At the event, Bralirwa also promised to sponsor the album launches of King James, Jay Polly and Dream Boys, who came as 1st – 4th runner ups, respectively.
“We are very satisfied and overwhelmed by this competition. It is beautiful to see how both artistes and the Rwandan public have responded with excitement and passion to this competition. We wish the best to Tom Close, this year’s winner, and we are looking forward to the next edition,” Sven said.
He added: “Primus Guma Guma Superstar has enabled some of our young and talented local performers to grow artistically. Bralirwa and EAP are proud to give a platform to Rwandan music and delighted to bring fun and quality entertainment to all Rwandans.”
Among the 10 contestants nominated by the journalists, music experts and producers, Tom Close was chosen by Rwandans through SMS to be the first Rwandan artiste crowned with the most coveted title of Primus Guma Guma Superstar.
“As a mzungu here in Rwanda, I have seen a tremendous development in music over the past four years. I arrived in the country over the past four years and I think back then, the only artiste, who is still famous, was Dr. Claude and then I was dancing over his music each weekend in the clubs of Kigali,” Sven said.
He, however, noted that in those four years many things have happened.
“Of course I don’t know about these talented men seated here, but I can surely say that the music scene in Rwanda has developed tremendously and I think everyone in the country can be proud of it; thanks to the artistes, public and also the press for supporting the music scene in Rwanda.”
The initiative was to develop Rwandan music to another level by stimulating and motivating it more, increase incentives and bring it to the public.
“Rwanda has lovely music and I saw huge crowds during the road shows that had come to see the best performing artistes. It was a real competition as we have in football, for example APR FC vs Rayon Sport, Barcelona vs Madrid…e.t.c,” he said.
Sven said the competition is not for EAP or Bralirwa, but to bring enjoyment to the public, which is the core value of Bralirwa.
“I would like to wish Tom Close a lot of success in the U.S together with Sean Kingston, where he will be recording a song with the star,” he added.
The Marketing Manager of Bralirwa, Aline Asselot said that the competition was very independent and transparent, adding that Tom Close received the highest number of votes and automatically became the winner.
“I would like to insist again that the mechanism was that the artiste, who would receive the maximum number of votes, would be the Superstar. His voice, charisma, attitude and the intensive skills on stage is what in the end makes him a superstar,” she added.
“We are very proud of all contestants. Primus Guma Guma Superstar is a great adventure that we embarked on and shared together with the Rwandan artistes and the public,” shed added.
Aline noted: “But Primus Guma Guma Superstar 2011 is not over yet. We have many more surprises for the Rwandan starting with a live performance by Sean Kingston on September 17, alongside all 10 contestants and including a song featuring Sean and Tom.”
Tom Close thanked the organisers for promoting the Rwandan music scene and for giving the artistes an opportunity to reach out to their fans across the country.
“This is a day of happiness. I thank Bralirwa and EAP for giving us the chance to get closer to our fans. I also thank God for the talent and all my fans and fellow artistes for the support and inspiration. This is a beginning to my music career,” Tom Close said.