The one week long Panafrican dance festival (2013 Fespad) has ended Saturday. Rwanda has organized the continental event for the 8th time. Friday at Amahoro stadium cultural groups from 6 African countries that took part in the festival were competing for different categories. Drummers from Burundi took the award of best performers in a competition that was tight whereby all performers did really well.
The stadium was packed with jubilant spectators and were clapping for the cultural groups as they were performing. The festivities started around 2 PM with the performances of dancers from DRC that were successively followed by cultural groups from Egypt, Burundi, Namibia, Uganda and Rwanda that received most claps from the public.
Rica Rwigamba, the head of tourism and conservation at Rwanda Development Board mentioned to me that she was satisfied with the overall organization of the festival. “ Today we are having continental competition and it is quite exciting to see all countries showing their best performances and we are expecting all Rwandans to show up at the closing ceremony”, said Rica Rwigamba from RDB that is the organizer of this festival.
Sebastian Frasier, a dancer and drummer from Namibia said that it is his first time in Rwanda and has fallen in love with the country of thousand hills. He went on saying that they are just praying to come back to Rwanda. He pointed out that they went to the Eastern province and Northern province and have performed in all those places.
I spoke with Kanyombo Ley, the coordinator of “ folk intercommunautaire pour la paix” in North Kivu , DRC and said that he wished the members of his group could all come to Rwanda to enjoy the good welcome they have received from Rwandans. “ We are very happy to be here and see first hand how it is in Rwanda ,” Asked what kind of message he is taking back to DRC, Mr Kanyombo emphasized that people from Rwanda and DRC are just brothers and sisters and events like Fespad are good to reinforce their brotherhood.
As cultural groups were performing in front of the public, a group a three judges was carefully watching theIR performances. At last the group from Rwanda performed and the judges went away for 30 minutes to decide which country presented the best performance. Elisabeth Spackman from USA who was one of the judges told me that they had six categories and they wanted to make sure that they acknowledge something good in every group
She went on saying that the category of performance, they wanted to see who was really in it in terms of energy , presence, looking at the audience and Burundi was really good at this. Drummers from Burundii “ Ruciteme Karyenda culture de Buyenzi” was proclaimed as best performers. Gasabana Maurice who is the head of the drummers from Burundi told me that they are happy with the result and are looking forward to receive the award at the closing ceremony that is scheduled on Saturday at Amahoro National stadium.