Rwanda’s most-influential artists of all time

‘…….things come and go but the word of God never…’ goes one quotation from the Bible. Similarly in the entertainment industry, artists capture fame by luck and when their term is done they leave the celebrity status and give way to the youngsters. Some artists have gone by this route though.  Those who ruled the airwaves of the one Radio Rwanda still have their music aired today-they had a lasting impression in showbiz.
Makanyaga Abdul performing before thousands .
Makanyaga Abdul performing before thousands .

‘…….things come and go but the word of God never…’ goes one quotation from the Bible. Similarly in the entertainment industry, artists capture fame by luck and when their term is done they leave the celebrity status and give way to the youngsters.

Some artists have gone by this route though.  Those who ruled the airwaves of the one Radio Rwanda still have their music aired today-they had a lasting impression in showbiz.

These artists led their lives as stars and even when they died, they remained in the minds of their fans.

The model example here is living the legend Cypriene Rugamba who is certainly only one of his kind, in the Rwandese music story. Even most of today’s local musicians and poets admit having picked their inspiration from him.

The music schools he founded to-date stand as supers in traditional ware. His death broke the hearts of many but at least they live consoled by the fact that Rugamba’s songs like ‘Nsigaye Ndumuzungu’ and his broad-spectrum impact never fade out.

All local music fans arguably miss the ‘Music mama’ Kamaliza for originality in her songs ‘Shinkanze Shenge’, ‘Ibyiyi Si’... The love literature in her music and the harmony she preached justify her earning a place in local music history.

Abdul Makanyaga who is also viewed as the grandpa of singers is the longest serving star in the Rwandan Music industry. His is proved hero by the realistic talent in his sweet blues and his often wonderful live band shows.

Along with the old age, some of today’s local famed artists have also to be hailed for their feat. We believe that even years after they have departed, they will always be remembered by the generations to come.

Singers like RnB star Tom Close may never leave the superstar status even after they no longer exist.

Ever since he broke onto the music scene with his ‘Kuki’ single in 2008, Tom has been steady on pace for as long as he has been famous. Unlike his fellow musicians, he has not let be silenced, not even by the fittest new comers.

His life outside music makes him special, perhaps being the fact why even the old timers believe in the 23year old. He is smart and thinks big both in music and his regular life go, believe me Tom is here to stay.

And does anyone out there remember what the Kigali Boys (KGB) did in the mid last decade?

They introduced today’s modern music, bridging old timers like Ben Rutabana and Sudh Mavengye to the young blood likes of The Ben, Paccy….  This accomplishment earns the trio an imaginary local Noble Peace Award.

Ruth Nirere aka Shanel find herself on the same mark with the self acclaimed ‘dancehall queen’ Miss Jojo for outstanding artist.

Shanel also an actress has been in many countries waving the Rwandan flag just because of her talent.

Miss Jojo on the other hand was the first female to taste her vocal match for modern music. She never ceases boarding plane to perform with music greats- why not be remembered?

Afro-beat artist Rafiki of the ‘Coga style’ fame is certainly the face of Rwandese music. He came to spotlight in 2006 with hot singles like ‘Icyaro’ and ‘Igicyosi’.

He can never go back with ease because of his matchless feat owing to the PAM awards he won, the Jamaica trip, and collabors with international stars.

Medard Ngabo, better known as Meddy is another potential history maker. The music he does, the way fans appreciate all his releases and like Tom, the life outside music makes Meddy a hero too.

His debut album ‘Amayobera’ is one of the best selling in our less rewarding music industry per now. Meddy’s Christmas Eve (‘Amayobera’) album launch was one of the best if not the best local concerts ever.

Ends

ADVERTISEMENT