It is believed that names determine the destiny of a person. In Kinyarwanda there is a saying, “Izina niryo muntu” which literally means “there is always a name to a person.” So why do people adopt new names or change their original names? This is word from Rwanda’s very own celebrities who have changed their names.
“I chose a name that I think will keep me high in the music industry. When you are riding you keep on doing it until you reach where you want to go, so to choose the name “Riderman” I wanted to always be ahead in the music industry.”
Emery Gatsinzi, alias Riderman, Local Rwandan artist.
“The music industry requires many things that attract people to your music. Among these are your names. If your name is too long like mine, even when presenting on stage, it becomes very difficult and problematic while introducing your song.”
Claude Mujyanama, alias TMS, Local artist.
“There are many James’ so as a musician I wanted to make a distinction from others. Secondly, Martin Luther King as my role model so I preferred to use one of his names because it would also help me make a difference in my career.”
James Ruhumuriza, alias King James, Local Rwandan artist.
“The reason why I decided to make a slight change to my name was to attract the public. When you use your real name fans usually don’t like them even your close friends start calling you by shortening your name as an indicator that it is too long for them to mention.”
Olivier Habimana, alias Olili, Local artist.