…and the PGGSS 3 winner is RIDERMAN

It had been expected that he would emerge the winner of Primus GumaGuma Superstar season three. There were no surprises. He indeed triumphed over his fellow contestants to carry home a grand prize of Rwf24m.The moment Emery Gatsinzi, known by the stage name Riderman, walked on the stage to crown the grand finale performances, he seemed confident enough that he would be the one to win.
The winner Riderman receives a dummy cheque and the trophy from Minister Mitali and the Bralirwa MD Jonathan Hall
The winner Riderman receives a dummy cheque and the trophy from Minister Mitali and the Bralirwa MD Jonathan Hall

It had been expected that he would emerge the winner of Primus GumaGuma Superstar season three. There were no surprises. He indeed triumphed over his fellow contestants to carry home a grand prize of Rwf24m.

The moment Emery Gatsinzi, known by the stage name Riderman, walked on the stage to crown the grand finale performances, he seemed confident enough that he would be the one to win.

As he clasped the microphone to open his performance, Riderman who was clad in military-like camouflage fatigues, asked the bustling Amahoro national stadium, who they think the winner would be and the whole crowd resonated in unison ‘Ibisumizi!’

At this moment, a wave of excitement and anxiety swept through the whole stadium as the rapper made it clear to the judges and management of Bralirwa that even if he doesn’t win, the public would have spoken and that he deserved it.

He then went ahead to do Umurashi, Abanyabirori, Horo before crowning it with Bomboribombori-these are the same hits that he has performed throughout the competition. And boy oh boy, they have been crowd movers and Amahoro was not exceptional.

The evening started off well, save for a small power glitch, but from start to finish, the stadium was bustling with excitement and celebration as thousands filled the stands and the playing field in anticipation of the outcome.

At around 8pm, the show went live. Thousands more were watching from home. Social networks were busting with comments.

The MCs Anita and Tino together with DJ Bissousso kept the crowd on its feet before Mashirika opened the evening performances with acrobatic movements on stage. At this stage, Lion Imanzi took over as MC.

Urban Boys were the first contestants to hit the stage performing Sipiriyani before they were joined by Ama G The Black to sing Ibitenge. They then performed their latest song, Barahurura before crowning it with Bibaye and Kelele.

One would say their performance was not their best. They seemed demoralised just like Knowless, perhaps to suggest that they knew they were already losing out to Riderman.

Riderman’s influence and effect on the public have been overwhelming not only to the judges but also the organisers and fellow contestants. From the start to finish, he was the man to beat.

Knowless, clad in an Indian sari, had a low key performance of Nzabampari, her latest Follow you, Warurihe before winding up with Rubanda the remix. She quickly left the stage.

As the only female singer in the competition, Knowless had been touted as one of the possible winners but at this particular time, she seemed to be aware that not even a miracle can save her from the impending win for Riderman.

Credit, however, should go to Dream Boys who despite knowing that they had a slim chance of winning the title but went ahead to put up a great performance.

As Platini Nemeye would put it, the boys knew there was only one winner and hence decided to entertain the crowd through their performance of Kanda Amazi, Data Ninde, Urareaharyana, before crowning a lively performance with No one like me.

The same applied to Mico Prosper, who was just thankful enough to have made it that far. The Umutaka singer said he was ‘content’ and hoped to do better next year if he makes it through.

No doubt he was a good performer but he was up against the best. The Afrobeat singer crooned out his singles Nakwimariyemo, Bissou, Sinakwibagiwe and perfectly wound up his performance with Bye Bye.

As if it had been planned, Riderman performed last, sending the whole stadium into pandemonium. Even the VIP wing could not be left out. The Minister of Culture and Sports ProtaisMitali and the Bralirwa top brass cheered on the rapper as he brought the roof down.

After Riderman’s performance, the five finalists joined the panel of judges consisting of Kenya-based Burundian crooner Kidumu, Canada-based Rwandan musician Mighty Popo Murigande, Aaron Niyitunga and Aimable Twahirwa to perform a theme song for Primus beer.

The song titled ImaraIcyaka is about the country’s oldest and most popular beer brand, which is also the sponsor of the music contest.

At about 10:30pm, the time everyone was waiting for arrived-the announcement. PriceWaterHouseCoopers senior manager Samuel Kariuki delivered the envelopes.

The first to go out at No.5 was Mico, perhaps as expected. The Afrobeat singer walked away with Rwf1.5m.

Dream Boys emerged No.4, taking home Rwf2.5m, while Knowless who came out as the second runner-up won herself Rwf3m.

The battle then at this point remained between Urban Boys and Riderman. The winner of the first season Tom Close performed but at this point the whole stadium was waiting for just one thing-the winner.

Minister Mitali accompanied by the Bralirwa Managing Director Jonathan Hall announced the winner Riderman and the stadium broke into wild celebrations. For the first time it seemed the winner met the expectations of the public.

As he sang a song in praise of the Lord amidst a flurry of fireworks, Riderman knew he had come from far but most importantly that his win had been endorsed by the public.Urban Boys, who emerged first runner-up walked away with Rwf4m.

In an interview with The New Times, Minister Mitali said that Riderman deserved winning the trophy.

“He deserved it from the start. He has been very popular with the public and I am glad he won it. This has been a very good edition of Primus GumaGuma,”

“I can comfortably say that this year’s competition has been free and fair especially with the introduction of the judges. I commend Bralirwa for this,” he said.

At around 11pm, curtains fell of the PGGSS 3 and as everyone walked home, there was an air of contentment and celebration. Until next year, Riderman will remain the most popular and most adored artiste in Rwanda.

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