Gakondo group to honour Athanase Sentore

A tribute concert celebrating the life of fallen Rwandan traditional artiste, Athanase Sentore will take place at Ishyo Theater Hall Kacyiru on Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 pm.
Mzee Athanase Sentore.  The New Times / File.
Mzee Athanase Sentore. The New Times / File.

A tribute concert celebrating the life of fallen Rwandan traditional artiste, Athanase Sentore will take place at Ishyo Theater Hall Kacyiru on Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 pm.

The free concert is organised by Gakondo group in partnership with Positive Productions and Goethe-Institut.

“We have organised a concert to celebrate the life and legacy of Mzee Sentore who passed on last year,” the deceased’s son, Intore Massamba told The New Times.

The Gakondo group headed by renowned traditional musician, Massamba is the most prolific guardian of Rwanda’s musical world heritage.

Consisting of eight musicians, Gakondo group has invited more nine local artistes including, Jules Sentore, Daniel Ngarukiye, Sofie Nzayisenge, Michel Ngabo, Emmanuel Habumuremyi, Lionel Mulinda and Jean-Paul Samputu, among others to grace the concert.

Before the concert starts, a short film dubbed “Athanase Sentore” by Patrick Lefebvre and Nadine Uwampayizina (Imitoma Productions) will be screened.

Sentore, a beacon of traditional music and Rwandan culture, died in March 2012, aged 80, in Fortis hospital in Mumbai, India. He is survived by eight children.

During his career, he performed in different countries including Spain, America, UK, China, Germany, and other Western countries. In Rwanda, Sentore was considered the undisputed king of Rwandan traditional music.

He is remembered for a string of songs like Ndabakunda, Ibihangange, Nyirabisabo”, and Inkotanyi, among others.

Discover the musical treasures of Rwanda’s provinces

Apart from the tribute concert, Gakondo group is organising the musical journey that will start from the northern part of the country, with Ikinimba from Byumba, Inanga z’urukiga and Ikinyemera from Musanze/ Rubavu, followed by the poésie pastorale and poésie guerrière” the igishakamba from Mutara, music and dances from the royal court, Intwatwa from the Batwa, Ku Nkombo music (Cyangugu region) and a great variety of ritual music.

Rwanda’s musical heritage belongs to the most precious of its kind in Africa. However, the custody over the old traditions is still a challenge, and with every old master of Inanga who dies—like Athanase Sentore, a whole library of musical knowledge and wisdom disappears.

“We encourage the young generation to play our traditional instruments like Inanga, ikembe, umuduri, umwirongi, ingoma, iningiri and ikodera,” he added.

Luckily, a young generation of musicians follows their call to save the music of the ancestors.

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