I was greatly disturbed and disappointed the other day after reading an article in the Daily Monitor entertainment news with a headline that screamed, “Rabadaba rocks Rwanda.’
The article went ahead to make it clear that Rabadaba fetched more attention and cheers from the crowd than local singer Tom Close whom they shared a stage.
He is not the only foreign artist worshiped like a god, others like Jose Chameleone, Radio & Weasel, and Bebe Cool all, from Uganda pull even much bigger crowds when in Rwanda.
Ugandan music gets more airplay on local radio stations in Rwanda than homemade music.
This brings me to the unanswered question in my mind which is: Why should Rwandans opt to sing praises and support foreign musicians while abandoning their own?
Frankly Rwanda has greater music talent than Uganda; Rwandan music only lacks public support and recognition.
Young gifted artists like Meddie, Tom Close, King James, Jojo, DaBen among others are a great promise; they have good quality videos with excellent graphics, awesome vocals and sound.
Here Ugandan music does not come even an inch closer in comparison.
Additionally, the winning of the Tusker Project Fame in 2009 by Alpha Rwirangira is another manifestation of how big Rwandan music can get.
But why have Rwandan artists been denied recognition in their own society despite their credibility? Is it the lack of patriotism among the citizens?
Or is it just an obsession for anything foreign by the people.
Domination of foreign music does not only serve to suffocate the development of local talent but is also an embarrassment to Rwanda as a nation.
So Rwandans have got to appreciate and value what belongs to them, music to begin with.
If Rwandans ever have the wish of seeing their music industry grow powerful, then they should start supporting this new breed of gifted artists through for example, attending their music shows or concerts , establish awards to reward best performers, music schools can also be instituted to facilitate in identifying and promoting talent.
This will take Rwandan music to new heights.
Gone are the days when South African and Congolese music used to dominate the rest of Africa. Today, most countries produce and subscribe to their own music.
It is so saddening that it is Rwanda which has chosen to get enslaved to foreign music up to now. Something must be done about this!
The author is a student at Uganda Christian University