Karaoke as a form of entertainment is fairly a new trend in Kigali’s nightspots. Unlike in some other countries like, Kenya and Uganda, where the trend has been a common phenomenon in almost all nightspots, in Rwanda people are still uninformed about its significance in the entertainment sphere.
Traditionally, karaoke is a form of entertainment, where people mime recorded songs (play backs), using a microphone and sometimes dance along.
However, as the country’s entertainment- industry advances, new trends to enhance the field have been adopted.
In Rwanda, karaoke was first introduced in Nyira Rock, then Sky hotel and has now spread to many night spots in town.
Hotel des Mille Collines and Novotel hotels are among the top hotels that have followed suit to introduce Karaoke.
I recently had a privilege to hang out in car wash during their popular Karaoke night. The night is livened up by people taking turns to sing along their favorite songs as others cheer and clap making the atmosphere more cheerful and interesting.
It does not matter whether the person sings well or not. When the singer is off tune it sparks endless laughter. According to Francis Wahome Carwash owner Tuesday nights are dedicated to carwash and the turn up is overwhelming.
Wahome explains that before introduction of karaoke night many customers had already approached him about it.
Wahome says “people really pushed me to introduce it. Karaoke is a great means of relaxing and switching off from your work or daily routine. It can make you feel a lot better and rejuvenated. We want our customers to be able to lay back and enjoy their night away.”
Wahome points out that this is a new phenomenon in Rwanda and hopes that more clubs will introduce karaoke because the customers should be able to receive the best when they visit clubs.
I caught up with one of Car Wash customers Maria Muthee she told me that from the introduction of the night she has faithfully attended it.
She explained that although she loves to sing many people say her voice leaves so much to be desired and hence she has had to conform to singing on karaoke night.
“I love UB40 songs so on Tuesdays I get to sing them. Its also very relaxing especially after a hard days work” she said happily.
Her sentiments however are not shared by Tony Musamali who says that to him karaoke nights are both boring and annoying.
Musamali says that he avoid clubs karaoke nights.
“My friends and co-workers love karaoke. I guess it’s something about being able to pretend you are a star. I know I can’t sing and hence I wouldn’t want to do it in a bar full of people” Musamali explains.
Entertainment is subjective and different people will always enjoy different things. So why karaoke well it is fun, it’s an inexpensive night out, the music videos are absolutely hilarious, and -- most of all -- because we need a break once in a while from a world of perfectionism.
So if you get a chance to sing out without caring about key board notes then do it after all we live once so make it fun…