Mzee Sentore urges artistes to take on cultural music

Legendary Rwandan singer, Mzee Sentore Athanase Rwagiriza, has called on local artistes to concentrate on ancestral music and embrace the Rwandan culture.
Legendary Rwandan singer, Mzee Sentore Athanase Rwagiriza during an interview this week. The New Times/John Mbanda.
Legendary Rwandan singer, Mzee Sentore Athanase Rwagiriza during an interview this week. The New Times/John Mbanda.

Legendary Rwandan singer, Mzee Sentore Athanase Rwagiriza, has called on local artistes to concentrate on ancestral music and embrace the Rwandan culture.

In interview with The New Times, the 76-years-old singer said that local artistes have diverted from the traditional music to the Western genres, saying that this has no significance to the country’s growth.

“It’s not bad to practise Western music because we live in a modern world; but they [artistes] should not forget their cultural music. It would be important for them to master both western and cultural,” he advised.

He challenged current musicians for relying on prerecorded musical instruments instead of using their own voices to sing, adding that this has distorted the music industry.

Sentore, a former close aid to King Rudahigwa Mutara III, pointed out that he managed to win different trophies in different countries because of his original and unique compositions.

“I went to Spain, America, UK, China, Germany, and other Western countries, where I won various trophies. Therefore, if these artistes can do the same, our music industry would develop,” he noted.

The 75-year-old singer, who was recently admitted to Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, after suffering from poor blood circulation, is expected to travel to India for further treatment.

He promised that upon his return, he would organise concerts to help artistes to improve on their live performances and develop Rwandan cultural music.

Although Mzee Sentore may seem too old to perform on stage, he still possesses strong vocal prowess.

Some of the famous musicians Mzee Sentore has trained include his own son Intore Massamba, Cecile Kayirebwa, Muyangu, among others.

eric.kabeera@newtimes.co.rw 

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