IN its fourth edition, Kigali Up music festival brought world class live music performances to the city dwellers. All ways were leading to Amahoro National stadium in the weekend of 19th to 20th. More than ten thousand people turned up to the annual music festival as renowned artists from all corners of the world entertained the excited public.
The festival was not only a time to enjoy music and dances performances but also an opportunity for visitors and tourists to discover what Kigali city has to offer in terms of art and music. Food and drinks were served all along the festival as visitors and tourists tasted to local as well as international meals. Rwandan arts were also on sale in different exhibition stands that were displayed inside the stadium.
The festival attracted renowned artists from the United States such as Joey Blake and Rhonda Benin, Didier AWADI from Senegal and Rwandan artistes from the Diaspora such as Ben Kayiranga among others local and regional artists. Rhonda Benin in collaboration with a group of young Rwandan artists thrilled the crowd with “Because I`m happy” performance.
Rhonda thanked the organizers of the festival for inviting her to perform on her continent of origin. Rhonda is an African American artist whose roots hail in Africa. She reminded the audience that her people suffered and perished during slavery and should also be remembered every time Rwandan pay respect to those who lost their lives during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. .
Didier AWADI is going home after having made a lasting impression in the spirit of many in the audience according to Social media comments. He organized a workshop with local hip pop artists and their performances would remain one of the key highlights in this year edition. Kigali Up is therefore playing an inspiring role to local artists by exposing them to international artists through workshops.
The director of Kigali Up music festival, Charles Murigande also known as Mighty Popo expressed his satisfaction on the overall success of the event. He said that organizing such kind of festival is a challenge in itself but that he is ready to take on. “This festival is growing from the grassroots and we will be growing up and up”, noted the Rwandan Canadian artist.
Mighty Popo stressed the importance of Kigali Up music festival in boosting the image of Rwanda as a growing tourist’s destination. The latter is the 15th festival accepted in Africa under the Africa Music festival network and Rwanda has been accepted into this network because of Kigali Up. The music festival is establishing itself as one of the events that tourists will be attending as they visit the land of thousands hills.
Murigande plays guitar and is an artist, musician, composer, and actor. He has performed in various Canadian folk festivals where he lived for 27 years. Now he is back in Rwanda and is managing the first public music school ever in Rwanda. He is one of many Rwandan in the Diaspora that regularly chooses to come back home and be part of a new RWANDA.