Gikondo grounds was the venue for Kigali City’s new Year bash. One of the biggest cast of stars drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda in the spirit of things truly East African, had been assembled by event organizers to mark the crossover to 2009.
Following closely on the heels of the RwandaTel and MTN concerts, Bralirwa S.A moved in to support the local entertainment sector by sponsoring this event which was aptly dubbed the East African Party.
Party like never before
Amenities were good enough. There were refreshments and drinks and a very wide area to cater for a huge fan base. An impeccably planned stage arena with 4 giant TV screens was mounted and like the RwandaTel and MTN gigs we had serious back up teams-sound and light engineers as well as professional Djs were on hand to give the bash the truly East African touch.
East Africans are apparently party animals and those who live in Kampala and Nairobi love showbiz. The event organizers were keen to import and impart to Kigalians this kind of feeling.
Thus prior to midnight 8,000 or so people gathered at the Expo Grounds where according to somebody’s pockets tickets went for Rwf 15,000 for VIP section or Rwf 5,000 for the commoners.
Michael Ross got onto the stage at 11.45 where he delivered an electric performance with his back up singers. ‘Tell me’ sent the fans wild. He implored the fans to sing along with him as he sang his popular track ‘Yoyo’. That was the time the fans got down to the floor.
Asked after Micheal was through, Carey from USA observed, ‘It was a fantastic act. I am in love with Michael’. Another fan remarked, ‘Sound is just fantastic. The Dj was fabulous and the stage was indeed a VIP act’.
Shortly after Midnight Burundian born Kenyan based artist entered the stage. His live stage worked up the crowds. The 7 member ‘Boda Boda’ band kept the fans on their feet as they sang along the Burundian star’s tunes.
Kidumu created a direct connection with the crowds. One could actually feel the chemistry between ‘Boda Boda’ and the crowds. After a couple of singing his tracks such as ‘Tisha’, ‘Boda Boda’ performed the Bric and Lace ‘love is wicked’ track.
Kidumu jumped onto the drums as he left centre stage to his female back upsinger Sheila. Kidumu displayed his varied music artistry as he worked on the drums as ‘Boda Boda’ played ‘Vulindlela’ the late Brenda Fassie’s afro-beat hit.
At quarter past midnight Ugandan female artist Juliana jumped into the stage. She confessed to the fact that Kigali offered her a huge fan base second only to Kampala.
Miss Jojo and Rafiki
Miss Jojo checked in at 1.30 complete with an 8 member crew. In a well choreographed act Miss Jojo worked up the crowds with her acts.
‘We love Miss Jojo. As a Rwandan she is giving us a local touch to the music at the party’, a fan said.
Miss Jojo’s famed hit collabo with Rafiki Mazimpaka ‘tukabyine’added more fire to the party where Rafiki dashed into the stage chanting his trademark Coga style lyrics.
‘Danger De Mort’ followed as the duo continued with performing what one could say was a perfect combination. Rafiki took over the stage proper immediately after Miss Jojo’s exit. He did his coga style act with the kind of psyche that that kept fans on their toes throughout the time he was on stage.
‘Icyaro’, ‘Igikosi’ and a host of other coga hits kept Rafiki’s fans craving for more.
At some minutes after 2.00 p.m Nameless checked in. He performed ‘Ninanoki’, ‘Beer Party’, and his other tracks such as his famed collabo with the late Kenyan artist Esir ‘ Boomba Train’. Nameless then called up his collabo partner Kidumu to perform ‘Karibia’.