Salax Awards brings back legends to the stage

AFTER DECADES of missing on the music scene, two of Rwanda’s legendary musicians Pascal Bushayija and Gerard Shyaka will eventually be back on stage thanks to Salax Awards.
 Liza Kamikazi  set to perform at the Salax Awards. The New Times/File.
Liza Kamikazi set to perform at the Salax Awards. The New Times/File.

AFTER DECADES of missing on the music scene, two of Rwanda’s legendary musicians Pascal Bushayija and Gerard Shyaka will eventually be back on stage thanks to Salax Awards.

The two music historicals will perform alongside other artistes, such as, Alioni, Kamichi, King James and Liza Kamikazi, during the Salax award ceremony at Kigali Serena Hotel this evening.

Bushayija remembered for his classic ‘Elina’ and Shyaka for ‘Delira’ will be the surprise act at the ceremony during which the best Rwandan artistes will be awarded in different categories.

According to the organisers, Ikirezi Group, the objective of bringing the two legends back on stage is to give them their place back in society as respected artistes whose much loved work from the past should not be forgotten.

The award organisers say remembering the legacy of legendary performers serves as an example for upcoming musicians to emulate. Last year, the late Athanase Sentore, one of Rwanda’s much celebrated traditional singers, was recognised with a posthumous award.

“The reason we decided to bring back these legendary artistes is because you find that back in the day they were really loved and their songs such as ‘Elina’ and ‘Delira’ were hits but today no one attaches value to these classics because they are not heard anywhere,” Mike Karangwa, one of the members of Ikirezi Group, told the media ahead of the awards ceremony.

“Our duty is to ensure that the legacy of these legends lives on,” he added.

‘Elina’ was a huge hit around 1985 while ‘Delira’ was popular between 1987 when it came out and the early 90’s. Even todate these classics could be heard on different radio stations during the ‘oldies’ shows.

Even after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the two men remained relatively popular but they were eventually to get off the music scene when modern technology set in, even though they have not quit music completely.

Today’s ceremony is expected to be colourful and several established and upcoming artistes will be given the opportunity to perform.

A Grammy-style red carpet event will precede the main event where artistes and guests alike will appear before the cameras upon arrival at the venue.

Despite several big names pulling out this year, Salax Awards remains the biggest annual event on the music calendar in Rwanda.

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