Sometimes weekends in Butare can be a little boring, especially that students do not have where to hang out or dance from.
And, in this case, if you are not the kind that frequents Melo twist and Safari nightclubs, then your bed becomes the only alternative.
Thanks to Tom Close, the weekend of 16 May was an exceptional. The singer proved it clearly to the students that the boring place can one time become lively by the power of music.
His really name is Thomas Muyombo, though commonly known as Tom Close by his fans. He is one of the country’s most renowned upcoming singer stars.
The RnB and hip hop singer launched his debut album, on Friday at the main auditorium of the National University of Rwanda (NUR).
The event which was attended by a fine number of local artists attracted a sea of people from all the parts of the country.
“The budding singer star, presented a big package to his fans and the show was just colourful and amazing,” said Jackson Murenzi, one of his fans.
“The intelligent and self-styled singer”, who is also a student at NUR, in the faculty of Medicine, combines both his studies and career sensibly.
At exactly 9:00pm, a sea of people was already crowded in the campus’s main hall, fans waiting anxiously for the long-waited concert.
There was no single seat for the late-comers, not even a small space. And at that moment what could only be heard were voices roaring in different tones, in the already noisy vicinity.
There was no sight of any ‘watering hole’ around. No one was ready to swallow this insult of staying with thirst the whole night.
For those who knew the town for some time and therefore knowing the ways around the campus corners, they ran to the guild canteen, just to cool down the throats that were burning down their throats with a hope that Tom Close would be on stage by the time they returned. But it took somewhat long time.
MTN was the main sponsor of the event, announced the company’s Promotions Manager Allen Numa. No wonder everything was in abundant and the show was successful.
As usual, they promoted the brand. We had the chance to know more about the MTN Gonga, a lovely youth product. It is simply a special package with low rates for idlers and students who want to chat with their sweethearts.
The MC, Tino really had a day off. And when everything else failed, he sang his own song. Why he loves singing this song, only the Seer knows. And the crowd watched him as he rapped himself hoarse.
A bunch of struggling artists did some comedy. But of course the audience enjoyed the group Testament, Sergeant Robert and the crowds favourite Frank Joe and then the Manyobwa.
For once, the crowd that was seemingly not warm and dosing a way came to life when Sergeant Robert hit the stage. The flamboyant Rwanda Defence Forces Sergeant bellowed out his much loved hit song; Majeshi ya RDF. The crowd was up and dancing, there was no sitting from then on.
At the stroke of midnight, it was another RnB star Frank Joe who took the stage with his famous single “Igendere Bwiza” and was followed by Miss Channele and later Miss JoJo.
The crowd was still longing for more, until the Choga Style somersaulted on the flow, and the already thrilled crowd could not help it out. People started dancing themselves half lame as the Chaga man fed them with his lyrics.
Meanwhile before Tom Close’s turn, MTN staff threw to the audience free mobile phones and airtime which people grabbed.
“This was one of the most exciting moments in my life,” Peter Karenzi, one of the attendants at Tom Close’s launch confirmed.
Later, Tom Close jumped on the platform and his fans had the really thing of his hits. He unleashed the hits “Kuki, Mbwira” as the night became shorter. And then fatigue set in. The crowd mellowed and one by one they left and the launch was over.