Volume too low on the local music scene

Just when most of us thought that the Rwanda’s music industry was headed for the skies, things seem to have taken a different turn. This is evident from the fact that for over a month we have heard nothing new from our local musicians or “celebrities.”

Just when most of us thought that the Rwanda’s music industry was headed for the skies, things seem to have taken a different turn. This is evident from the fact that for over a month we have heard nothing new from our local musicians or “celebrities.”

A perspective of a great number of youth who had taken up to local music is now considering shifting their interest and energy to other things like soccer.

The artistes are largely to blame for this, many of whom make promises they cannot deliver.

In 2008, the entertainment scene was blazing hot when Rwanda’s giant telecommunication companies, Rwandatel launched its 3G and GSM mobile services technology, and MTN/Rwanda celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

During both celebrations regional and international celebrities performed including Jean Paul and Shaggy. Local artistes were greatly challenged to ‘up their performances.’ 

The pressure made some make promises which they have found hard to keep and have even reduced on their performances and creativity.

A case in point is self-proclaimed Choga style artist renown for his hit track “Ikikosi.” He is also two-time winner of Peal of Africa Music Awards, as the “Best Male Artiste Rwanda”, in 2007 and 2008.

Last year the singer tried to maintain his award winning status and performances. This time round however, he lacks the oomph and with the nominations for 2009’s PAM Awards round the corner, we haven’t seen anything that may swing the vote in his direction.

What we now see is postponing of dates for release of albums, and concerts. For example Dr. Claude, also known as Jean Claude Yamuremye was supposed to in Nairobi, working on his new video “Yebabawe.” But he has been postponing his trip for the last couple of months.

However, congratulations go to Tom Close for living up to the expectations of his fans, and for his artistic quality. As a matter of fact, he is busy organising for a mega concert to launch his website and release his debut album called “Nibeza”, scheduled for early June.

It is our great hope that he follows through with the plans failure of which will place him right with the other disappointing artistes.

Miss Shanel and B-en (Tom Close’s young brother) also deserve big thumbs up for keeping it real and representing Rwanda to the fullest all this time.

Their new hit track “Wowe Gusa” (You’re The Only One), is no doubt this year’s hottest track. Currently, radio stations are left with no option, but to rely heavily on foreign tracks.

Artistes from the neighbouring countries, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are releasing albums in great numbers, yet our local artistes are even having problems to even release a single track.

As for the Miss Universities annual beauty pageant, a lot remains to be desired. Once these beauties are crowned, nothing is heard of any social activities the queens engage in, if at all any.

Once they do the catwalk, the seem to walk off to their ordinary lives forgetting that for the one year they are crowned, they are expected to visibly work towards social transformation.

My hope is to see Rwandan celebrities doing things out of self-initiatives and not waiting for the government and big companies to sponsor them.

Ends

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