2013: They came, performed and Rwanda danced

As the year comes to an end, we review some of the famous international artistes who graced the “Land of a Thousand Hills” in 2013.
                Malian artiste Habib Koité. Net photo.
Malian artiste Habib Koité. Net photo.

As the year comes to an end, we review some of the famous international artistes who graced the “Land of a Thousand Hills” in 2013.

The local entertainment scene has continued to see a stream of international musicians coming to perform. However, this year started off on a quiet note, with very few international stars gracing our stages—but it was not long before they began to trickle in.


During the 2013 Pan African Dance Festival (FESPAD), Rwandans were entertained by both local and international musicians—and the highlight was at the closing ceremony.

Kenyan-based Burundian singer Kidum was among the main artistes to grace the event, and he did what he is perfect at.

He claimed his moment on stage backed up by his queen dancers, and the fans too did not disappoint, showering him with love.

Nigerian superstar Ice Prince graced the closing ceremony at Amahoro stadium. Although, the BET-award winner didn’t sing live, he thrilled the audience with his club hit songs that included; “Oleku”, “Olofofo”, “Magician”, “Baby” and “Superstar,” among others.

Grammy award-winning Jamaican reggae artiste Beenie Man crowned the event in style. The “King of Dancehall” rocked his local fans with songs such as “Gimme Gimme”, “Who Am I”, “King of the Dancehall” and “Back It Up.”

In June, there was another concert organised as part of the Kwita Izina dubbed, ‘Igitaramo.’ The gig took place at Musanze stadium in the Northern Province and revellers were treated to a thrilling performance by Tanzania’s Bongo King Ali Kiba, and Vincentian soca artiste Kevin Lyttle, among other artistes.

KigaliUp Festival

In July, musicians from all over the world converged in Kigali for the 3rd annual Rwandan KigaliUp festival. The two-day music gala brought together a mish-mash of internationally acclaimed stars from Burundi, Kenya, Mali, U.S.A, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Rwanda.

Among the big foreign stars that performed were Habib Koite (Mali), Tony Osanah (Argentina/Brazil), Maia Von Lekow (Kenya), American Gospel artiste and composer Joey Blake, and Burundian Reggae band, Lion Stories. Rwandan-Canada based Nicole Musoni performed her “Chasin’ Dreams Short Tape Chapter” and her debut single “Rozay Sippin.”

Cultural Week

In September, Belgian-based Congolese singer Fredy Massamba joined local musicians to grace the Cultural Week and wowed people when he took to the drums and played them as he animatedly shook his head.

Fredy’s music is a fusion of modern and traditional music and the African drums synchronised well with electric guitars played by his European guitarists’ crew.

Gigs in the nightclubs

The month of October saw Kenya’s Lovechild Wyre perform at K-Club. The last international act to perform in Rwanda was the German-Lebanese group MASSA. It was an eclectic evening at Serena Hotel, Kigali, as the group blended different genres, surely thrilling the audience.



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