THOUSANDS of reggae enthusiasts descended at Kimisagara’s Maison des Jeunes, on November 13, for a Reggae concert dubbed ‘Jahcoustix, Jamal and Friends.’
Even the cold weather conditions did not deter large crowds from flocking the venue. Goethe-Institut, the organisers and sponsors of the concert, won the plaudits of reggae fans for hosting the concert that featured local, regional and international stars.
The artiste of the moment, Jahcoustix, told a news conference that the tour was for his musical memory lane.
“Reggae music has inspired me enormously throughout my career. Since I was young, I loved Reggae because it sends a powerful message. It brings people together,” Jahcoustix said.
He told journalists that he was curious to visit Rwanda.
“When I was in Kenya, I heard that the genocide was happening in Rwanda, and of course everyone was shocked to hear about what was going on at the time,” Jahcoustix recounted.
“So visiting Rwanda for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect. I was very anxious, curious and opened minded. Though, I didn’t have enough time to know much about the country, the impression I got was really…really positive!” he noted.
He continued: “We received a very warm welcome and the show was truly amazing. The performance with local musicians was great, and everyone was so happy.”
The Munich-based artiste added: “Kigali is a very beautiful city. Everything is very clean and well structured. That impressed me very much. And the people we met were very humble and open.”
So far, Jahcoustix and his crew have performed in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and Kenya. Their next destinations will be Ethiopia, Djibouti and Mozambique.
“I am going back home full of experience and new inspirations because everywhere I go, I learn new things,” he said.
The star, whose real name is Dominik Hass, thrilled fans with a massive eight-song one hour performance, including rousing renditions of Crossroads’, ‘Another Day’ and ‘Hot Stone’.
To ensure the audience went home in good spirits, Jahcoustix attempted a few words in Kinyarwanda, such as Muraho (hello), Ndabakunda (I love you) and Ndishimye kubandihano (I am glad to be here) –before finally ending the show with a medley of his tracks.
Jamal Wasswa performed his famous Oba Wuwo, Anavaawa, and Bazira tracks, but he impressed only a few due to difficulties with his voice.
Natty Dread, Holy Jah Doves, Kids Voice and Jack Chandiru did a great job on stage as they kept fans on their feet.
“Although I’ve highly enjoyed other concerts, this one was remarkably beautiful. The refined live performances and the energy on stage were utterly amazing,” Alex Gatera said.
Natty Dread said: “We have had reggae artistes from Africa, such as Alpha Blondy and the late Lucky Dube. But, we had never had anyone from Europe, or America.”
“People enjoyed Jahcoustix’s performance and acts from all the artistes. Generally, this was the best concert of the year,” he noted.
Natty warned artistes from miming and copying other artistes’ songs while commending Kids Voice band for their live performances.
He appealed to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to offer more musical instruments and venues where artistes can learn and nurture their musical talents from.
Verena Passing-Oulaï, the Director of Goethe-Institut in Kigali, said that the concert was free to the public, but mainly to the young population.
“Each year, all directors meet in Johannesburg and we discuss and decide on the musical tour to host. This year, we decided to have reggae because we promote all kinds of music, including Classic, Blues, Jazz and Reggae,” Passing-Oulai explained.
Goethe Institut also worked with Jahcoustix in 2009 during his West African tour.