Their constant clashes sometimes irritates to the point of not even wanting to listen to their music
There has been a considerable amount of unrest in Rwanda’s local entertainment industry. Squabbles, more popularly referred to as ‘beef’, have emerged amongst the artistes, putting at risk the gains made in the relatively new and upcoming industry.
Oliver Ndayisaba, founder of Proudly Rwanda, and a famous Radio 10 presenter, says he doesn’t understand why Rwandan artists adopted the wicked trend of ‘beef’ instead of joining hands together to develop the local music industry which is still wanting.
“I consider this immaturity and a nasty mentality in artistes thinking that popularity can be earned through beefing,” Ndayisaba says. “The hatred amongst themselves, which is growing in our society, is not only destroying the music industry, but also the entire Rwandan society.”
The ongoing conflicts are partly due to a desperate search for supremacy and popularity among muscians. But it is not conducive for the growth of the industry.
Alex Karekezi says he loves Rwandan artists, but hates the fact that they are now at loggerheads. For example after Dr. Claude, one of the famous local artists had successfully released his song “Igikara”, which became a hit on all radio stations, he was quickly confronted by a certain jealous local artist who thought defamation was the best way to demean him.
‘Rusacye’, a track by another upcoming artist, Riderman, was also decampaigned by his rival B-Gun. They composed a hit (Cishamacye), literally translated as Go slow—intended to demean and intimidate the singer not to release other tracks.
Conflicts in the entertainment industry are not unique to Rwanda. In neighbouring Uganda, beef has been reported between brothers Chameleon and Weasel.
Richard Gasangwa, one of the artists’ fans says the duo started off well and after realising that the ideal was too good, they started the beef. This led to their separation. “Chameleon quickly forgot that he struggled together with his brother and kicked him out of the business,” Gasangwa concludes.
Unfortunately, it is their adoring fans that probably feel the brunt of these squabbles. “Their constant clashes sometimes irritates to the point of not even wanting to listen to their music,” Dorothy Niyonzima says.
On the contrary, Jackson Ngarambe, 23, confesses that the hatred amongst musicians has never bothered him because since childhood, he’d heard about rivalry among musicians.
He is however quick to say, “But I am worried that if the problem is not solved soon, we shall be singing funeral songs for some of our beloved musicians.”
The Sun recently reported that pop sensation Rihanna cancelled a concert with urban pop singer Ciara when she learned that ticket sales rose by 11percent when it was announced that Ciara would perform alongside her.
Indeed, the entertainment industry worldwide is riddled with squabbles. But for a relatively new industry such as the one in Rwanda to fall into the same misfortune at its infancy is an even bigger disaster.
Our artists do not have the luxury to start fighting amongst themselves until the fight for international recognition has been won. Energy should therefore be channelled towards a more beneficial activity.