Category: African Music

Lake Kivu to host Boat Cruise party this Saturday


by Bryan KIMENYI 22. August 2013

Photo: The New Times

A laid back Saturday full of music, free beer, food and fun — does that sound like your ideal party? If so, Lake Kivu is delighted to host you to its first ever boat cruise- dubbed the Barge Party on Saturday, August 24. 

It will be a time to let loose, float around and party. The barge is a 45m long transport vessel. The boat cruise is an opportunity for party goers to spend the day floating on the water.

The Barge Party starts at 10pm, at Primus Port in Kibuye and ends at dawn. DJ Gil Low and DJ Pang will be at hand to spice up the party mood.


“Nothing of a sort has been held there before. I want people to come together to share a unique experience aboard one of Kivu’s mystical barges and dance together amid a setting they have likely never seen,”

[Shawn Johnson, Party organiser]


For Shawn, the day is worth it and promises to be unique and interesting.

Shawn, who has lived near Kivu for almost five years, says that Lake Kivu is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. “I feel fortunate to have enjoyed this beauty for so long. It would be amazing to share this beauty with as many people as possible.

The Barge Party is a boat-only event.

 Photo: Lake Kivu (by CoxandKings)

Jacques Mudakikwa, one of the organizers said the barge party brings a new and innovative way for people to have fun.  “I have always thought that it would be great to do something with the old barges still working day and night on Lake Kivu. The burges on Kivu have a unique history and I thought they provide a unique setting to throw an all night dance party.”   Entrance to the Barge Party is Rwf15, 000.


Best Music Promoters Awarded

Candidates of the REMOAwards (Photo: Izuba Rirashe/ Ububiko)


06. August 2013

by Jean d’Amour MBONYINSHUTI

Rwandan Entertainers and Musicians Organisation (REMO), has awarded artistes and people who promote music in the Northern Province.

Musanze-based famous artiste, Franc Kay led the nominees going into the inaugural REMO Awards, with nods and he was all smiles on Saturday evening, after emerging the Best Male artiste.

Sister Jamy had a teary moment when she took home the award for the Best Female Artiste. Twelve-year Mucyo Gloire, also had a reason to celebrate after beating several young artistes in Musanze district to emerge the Best Popular Teen Artiste.

The Award for Best Modern Dancing group went to Jaba Workers and the Best Popular Song was “Ikibazo” by The Bless.

“I am so honored to receive this award. This has motivated me to even work harder to improve my career in music,” the excited The Bless told the crowd upon receiving the trophy.

Theogene Ntamukunzi won the Best Traditional Artiste and Impete y’umuco as the overall Best Traditional Dancing Group. The 1st annual awards ceremony also recognised journalists, music producers and film producers, among others. Some officials in the Northern Province were also awarded during the event for promoting and supporting the artistes.

Present were officials from various government institutions, including the Rwanda Governance Board, National Youth Council and senior police officials. The Governor of Northern Province Aime Bosenibamwe, said the government supports and encourages the youth to be creative and innovative. “Artistes are among creative and innovative people that the government recognises and pledge to support their projects as longer as they are in line with the government policy,” he said.

According to Francine Umutoni, the president of REMO, the event aims to promote artistes and musicians.

Read also:


Gahunda yo guhemba abahanzi muri “REMO Award ” yarahindutse (Kinyarwanda)

Ishyirahamwe ry’abahanzi n’abateza muzika imbere mu Rwanda (REMO) ku nshuro ya mbere ryateguye amarushanwa y’abahanzi bo mu Karere ka Musanze, gahunda y’igitaramo cyo guhemba abatsinze ikaba yarahindutse.

Mu kiganiro Umutoni Francine ukuriye Rwandan Entertainers & Musicians Organisation (REMO) yagiranye n’ikinyamakuru Izuba Rirashe, yavuze ko igikorwa cyo guhemba abahanzi bazatsinda amarushanwa yateguye cyari giteganyijwe ku wa 8, cyimuriwe ku itariki ya 29 Kamena 2013 kubera impamvu zitandukanye. [read all…]

The Rwandan Entertainers & Musician Organisation:

REMO (Rwandan Entertainers & Musician Organisation) is an annual award ceremony to acknowledge and honor musical excellence and entertainers creativity as well as provide a high profile and multi faceted celebration of the rich cultural diversity of Rwandan Music.

Our Objectives:

Celebrating musical achievements through the establishments of an institutional framework that follows, records and relays musical success stories on an ongoing basis (REMO).

Utilizing music as a vehicle for cultural expression i.e. customs food and critical component in attracting tourism inflows to the country.

Selecting a team of industry specialists to act as adjudicators in the process of identifying and selecting musicians who must be acknowledged and honored :

Organizing an annual musical awards that effectively competes at country level,

For its first time we are gong to acknowledge and honor musicians & partners in the northern province of Rwanda for their achievements since 2010 to 2013.  LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK !

Rwanda and the UN Sign U.S. $400 Million Partnership to Help Implement Key Development Programs


25 July 2013


Kigali — The government of Rwanda and One UN Rwanda today signed a five year $400 million development assistance Plan (UNDAP) that will help the government meet the millennium development goals and Vision2020 targets.

The UNDAP funds will be finance economic projects worth US$ 82 million, governance initiatives worth US$ 42 million and human development projects worth US$ 276 million.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Ambassador Claver Gatete said that Rwanda is experiencing one of the fastest periods of economic growth in its history. This growth has translated in one million Rwandans lifted out of poverty.

“Our development results are due in large part to strong and innovative leadership and the support of our development partners as we embarked on widespread reforms guided by a bold vision for development,” Minister Gatete added.

UN resident coordinator Lamin Momodou Manneh pointed out that Rwanda continues to own and lead its development process in a particularly innovative and committed way, as underscored by consistently high policy implementation rates as well as raising the levels of aid effectiveness.

“As a result, Rwanda registered very positive results reflected in the high levels of inclusive economic growth, significant poverty reduction, and notable gains in human development, gender empowerment and measurable progress towards the MDGs,” Lamin Momodou Manneh said.

UNDAP is a mid-term five year consolidated plan of UN support to Rwanda’s in its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the second Economic and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) as well as Vision 2020.

The successful implementation of EDPRS 1 (2008-2013), which saw poverty levels drop by 12% was possible because of support by the United Nations Development Assistance Fund (UNDAF), which provided the strategic support in the focus areas of governance, health, HIV, nutrition, population, education, environment, and sustainable growth and social protection.


Source: Official Website of the Government of Rwanda

Hip-Hop Group Shortlisted for Global Innovation Fund

The New Times

12. June 2013

Photo: The New Times Courtesy

UP against stiff competition from various countries around the world, #Resilience 2 Climate Change, a local Hip-hop group asks Rwandans and music lovers to vote for them in this year’s Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund.

The group emerged among the finalists for the 2013 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF), an annual competition organised by the U.S Department of State.

More than 681 proposals from 119 countries were submitted but only a few made it to the final stage. The winning projects will be announced in early July.

The only proposal that made it from Rwanda was by #Resilience 2 Climate Change, which is an awareness and action campaign that aims at building resilience to climate change by inspiring and educating youth, using Hip-hop music and creating a youth hub of change agents working in communities in Rwanda.

The proposal was submitted by Landry Ndriko Mayigane, who is a U.S State Department Alumnus. He is also the founder and president of the Rwanda Youth Alliance for Climate Actions, (YACA), a new established network working to build resilience of youth and for the environment in Rwanda through capacity building and actions for climate change adaptation and socio-entrepreneurship with youth and amongst youth in Rwanda.

The choice of Hip-hop is strategic in a way that most youth in Rwanda and across the world identify easily with this type of music.

Mayigane said Hip-hop will be utilised as a valuable tool to channel the information amongst youth in Rwanda about climate change and to promote best practices for adaptation.

Many local artistes have been contacted to collaborate in the project and produce a quality song and video that will be broadcast nationwide and globally.

“We are encouraging local Hip-hop artistes to write a song and video on climate change. The video must highlight scenes of Rwandan youth demonstrating behaviors to conserve energy, protect the environment and mitigate climate change,” Mayigane told The New Times.

“The project includes educating Rwandan youth about the issue of climate change using Hip-hop music, establishing a network of Rwandan youth working on climate change and promoting a local Hip-hop group at the international level,” he added.

To vote for#Resilience 2 Climate Change, you must be a U.S State Department International Exchange Alumni and register with U.S Exchange Alumni website here:


Impressions of the Jamafest 2013

Culture plays a powerful role in human societies especially in their maintenance. When nations, or societies united by culture, share not only territories but values and belief systems, great strength results. It is easy to know who belongs and who does not; food, customs, clothes, symbols, language and other factors are readily identifiable member distinctions.

In many traditional cultures, tribal cohesiveness is maintained through a calendar of ritual events in which the village frequently dances from dusk until dawn. Many people join in, so there is usually a lot of call and response with people singing in answer to the drums or other percussive instruments. These events are about celebrating together, as a tribe, a clan, a village. (read whole article)

a few impressions of the JAMAFEST 2013 (Mo.11.February – So. 17. February 2013)

Photo: Full escort by police and MTN bikers (newsofrwanda)

Photo: Burundians perform at the carnival dance fiesta in Kigali (

Photo: Tanzanian cultural group went wild and thrilled on viewers in style (newsofrwanda)

More info: JAMAFEST

Time to Enforce Intellectual Property Laws

National singer Cécile Kayirebwa acuses six radio stations of playing her songs illegally.


Photo: The New Time

The New Times, 18 February 2013

The recent partial victory by Rwanda’s celebrated songbird, Cecile Kayirebwa, in her legal suit against several local radio stations for infringing on her copyrights, is a legal eye opener.

She had accused the stations of playing her songs without her permission, thereby flouting the existing 2009 law regarding Intellectual Property Rights.

Even though the law had been in place for many years, before the recent amendments, the public has largely ignored it, either through lack of awareness, greed, or the absence of active enforcement.

While the law was set up to protect scientific, literally, artistic or industrial inventions, debates on how to enforce it have been ongoing but without clear mechanisms to curb the vice.

Nowhere is the practice more rampant than in the recording music industry, where counterfeit copies are openly sold on the streets, an issue musicians have tried to fight to no avail. But owners of the property rights are also to blame.

There has been an unwritten code between musicians and radio presenters; that broadcasting an artiste’s songs is helping to promote them. Musicians even beg to have their music played without considering the legal implications.

Police in the past have cracked down on music stores that illegally copy CDs and sell them cheaply, but the culprits go back to their old habits and reopen their businesses immediately.

Kayirebwa did not open a can of worms, she rather jolted authorities out of their sleep, that there was need to enforce the law.

Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda


“Hunting Fdlr” A Shabel reportage “Responsabilities of genocide in Rwanda have to be shared, beetween hutu and tutsi. The new UN report, published the 1st october 2010 is a step in the right direction. We ask for justice, we ask to make clear what happened in Rwanda. Until that, we will continue to fight to protect our people”. We meet Mister Laforge, the spokesman of FDLR (Democratic forces for the liberation of Rwanda) and his general staff, after two days walking in the forest, in a little thatched hut. The long path starting from the little village of Niabyondo is sometimes like a river because of the torrential rain. The front line, a part of an impenetrable forest, is disputed by the congolese Fardc and the Mai Mai militias, allied with the Fdlr. We are in the Masisi region, north Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. On the “Goma – Walikale” axis, many military operations are leaded by the governemental forces Fardc. The target are the Fldr forces, and the hutu rwandan refugees. Especially now, after the Un Report, they are a serious threat to the geopolitical stability of the entire region. So dozens of Fardc platoons with tutsi commanders are moving on the axis, with no veichles, no food, no water, no logistics. By foot. In this axis, the villages are every day under attack of unknown militia: rapes, killings, robberies. Mass rape is the new trend here. The victims are women. It is hard to understand who are the responsibles. Here, every armed or bandit group 

Read more…



Rwanda Prime Minister Challenges UN’s Drones Use In DRC

Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, (Rwanda’s P.M)

The United Nations (UN) has been challenged over its recent proposal that it would use aerial Vehicles in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a suggestion that Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Pierre Damien Habumuremyi said; it would be illogical.

While commenting through a public social media Twitter, The Prime Minister said “….UN in DRC does not need drones to do what it is supposed to do. Instead of spending on surveillance drones, it is more logical to invest in supporting the region’s peacemaking efforts”

Bottom of FormDr.  Habumuremyi also stated that the use of such military technology will not help the peace process in the country nor in the region and added that more issues should be considered in solving the conflict in the Eastern Congo.

“DRC need good will from leadership, good governance, respect of human rights for all citizens, including Rwandaphones not the use of drones” he noted.

The Prime Minister’s comments come only  three days after the government  of Rwanda opposed a proposal that the United Nations had tabled on Tuesday 8th January 2013 to deploy a unit of surveillance aerial vehicles also known as Drones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, arguing that “Africa must not become a laboratory for intelligence devices from overseas”

UN suggested that it intends to modernize its peacekeeping operations, and may deploy a fleet of its own drones both in Central and West Africa peacekeeping missions for the first time, only few days after Rwanda took its two year seat in the UN Security Council (UNSC).

According to UN officials in the Peacekeeping Department, at least three unarmed surveillance drones may be deployed in the eastern region of Congo, and such information has been communicated to DRC, Rwanda and Uganda governments.

Olivier Nduhungirehe, a Rwandan diplomat at the United Nations cautioned over such Hi-tech military use, saying the Drones could be used to collect intelligence information from “Kigali, Kampala, Bujumbura or the entire region.”  It is even feared that the unmanned drones might be armed, despite UN Officials assurance that there is no intention to arm the drones or to spy on countries that have not consented to their use.

Various governments from developing world in which Rwanda belongs fear that, the drones will open up a new intelligence-gathering front dominated by Western powers and potentially supersede African and Asian peacekeepers who now act as the United Nations’ overseers  on peace related missions.

The action is the first step in a broader bid to integrate unmanned aerial surveillance systems, which have become a standard feature of Western military operations, into the United Nations’ far-flung peacekeeping domain.

In the 1990s, the United States and other major powers infiltrated the U.N. weapons inspection agency to surreptitiously collect intelligence on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s military; one of the reasons why Developing countries shun from any attempt of Drones hovering above their territories.

U.N. military planners say they see a need for drones in many other missions, including Darfur, Sudan and South Sudan, where the United Nations monitors tensions along the border of the two countries. But they acknowledged that they have little hope that Sudan would permit them.

The organization has ordered a feasibility study into their use in Ivory Coast along with the pending deployments in the Congo.

The said aerial vehicles equipped with infrared technology can detect troops hidden beneath forest canopy or operating at night, allowing them to track movements of armed militias, assist patrols heading into hostile territory and document atrocities. They are about 150 miles and are able to hover for up to 12 hours at a time.

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs that are used by military in various ways including missile testing, air strikes, aerial refuelling, surveillance, transporting cargo, live-fire exercises and long-range bombing.


Source: News of the Rwanda , 15.1.13

Tributes Pour in for Fallen R’n’B Artiste Hirwa


HUNDREDS of fans continue to pay tribute to the late Henry Hirwa of the KGB (Kigali Boys) music group, who drowned in Lake Muhazi last Saturday.

The singer, who died on a day he had gone on a picnic with friends, will be laid to rest tomorrow at Rusororo public cemetery after a requiem mass at Regina Pacis in Remera at 1p.m.

Fans, friends and celebrities alike have taken to Facebook and Twitter to honour the 27-year-old artiste.

Emotional tributes continue to pour in on Hirwa’s official Facebook fan page.

On Sunday, Miss Rwanda 2012 Aurore Kayibanda Mutesi, the sister to the deceased, wrote, “There is always a reason for everything. I thank you Lord Father for everything and especially for giving me a special brother, Henry. Cherie, as you always said, Rasta never dies.

“I know you will always be there for me as you promised and I will do my best to do everything you wanted me to do. I love you and for me you’re still alive”.

Austin Tosh Luwano, a local singer, wrote, “I don’t know want to say…Henry I even don’t want to say R.I.P because I don’t want to believe it.”

Jean de Dieu Ndahiriwe, a fan, posted, “RIP Henry Hirwa, praying for strengths to those left behind.”

Gaston Rurangwa, a.k.a Skizzy, a member of KGB, the R&B group, which Hirwa joined in 2003, wrote, “Henry, my young brother, you were always there for me, fed me when I was hungry, gave me water when I was thirsty, you clothed me in the cold. There is nothing you ever failed to provide me with when you could.”

You were there for me when I was admitted at King Faysal Hospital after I had an accident and you made sure I received the best treatment and attention from the doctors.

“You’ve left too soon. Your family was expecting a lot from you and I’ll never forget all the good things you did for me.”

R&B sensation Tom Close, wrote, “Rest in Peace brother. We’ll all take that journey one day, may the Almighty receive you among His own children.”

Music producer Davydenko, also posted, “H-Wow, you’ve left us. It’s really sad because I had plans of working on a song with KGB. Now we’re going to do it without you. R.I.P”

The singer, known by his stage name H-Wow, had travelled to the Eastern Province for a picnic with his friends but hell broke loose when they decided to play volleyball in the lake.

“Initially our plan was to play volleyball in the playing field but we ended up taking the game to the shores of the lake,” said one of the 17 colleagues who had gone for the picnic with the deceased.

“When we went to pick up some drinks, Hirwa stayed behind and we didn’t realise he was missing, until someone asked where he’d gone,” added another.

When his friends noticed he was missing, they embarked on a search and later discovered that he had already drowned in the lake. They tried to save him but with little success. He was then rushed to Rwamagana Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Shortly, news of his death spread on the social networking sites, as tributes to the fallen singer flooded Twitter and Facebook.




UN Report Finds Evidence of Arbitrary Killings in Eastern DR Congo, Prompts Calls for Action

Photo: HRW

Rebel groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arbitrarily executed at least 264 civilians, including 83 children, over a five-month period this year, according to report by United Nations human rights investigators, released today.

Many victims were hacked to death with machetes while others were burnt alive in their homes during more than 75 rebel attacks on villages in southern Masisi Territory, located in north-eastern DRC’s North Kivu province, the report notes, according to a joint news release from the UN Joint Human Rights Office (UNJHRO).

“Investigators found that the victims were often those least able to flee the attacks, largely children and the elderly,” added UNJHRO, which was established in February 2008, and comprises the Human Rights Division of the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and the local operation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The investigators conducted more than 160 interviews with victims and witnesses during six missions – their findings have led to calls for action from the head of MONUSCO and the UN human rights chief.

In the news release, UNJHRO also warned that the actual number of atrocities could be “considerably greater” because security restraints prevented the investigators from being able to confirm “many more” reports of human rights violations.

“The figures noted in the report reflect cases documented in only some parts of Masisi over a relatively limited period of time, and are thus far from presenting a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation throughout eastern DRC,” it said in the news release.

Violence has long plagued the area, particularly the provinces of North and South Kivu, where armed groups – some predominantly made up of one or another of the regions’ various ethnic groups – have systematically targeted the civilian population, while also combating the DRC army, itself weakened by desertions this year.

“The ethnic dimension of the attacks is of particular concern in eastern DRC where tensions over the past 15 years, while fundamentally rooted in competition over land and natural resources, have resulted in cycles of violence committed along ethnic lines,” UNJHRO said.

The investigation additionally conformed four cases of sexual violence involving the rape of 12 women. Other human rights violations outlined in the report include mass forced displacement and large-scale looting and destruction of private property.

Noting a “significant increase” in human rights violations throughout the Kivus this year, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for DRC and head of MONUSCO, Roger Meece, warned that the security situation could worsen.

“The risk of intensification of this ethnically charged conflict is real, and gives rise to serious concerns for peace and for the security of civilians in the region,” he said.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, called on the Congolese authorities to take immediate measures to protect civilian populations and to combat what she called “persistent impunity,” which she said “only serves to embolden the killers.”

“The systematic human rights violations committed by these armed groups, including the slaughter of so many children, are the most serious we have seen in recent times in the DRC,” she added.

The human rights chief also said the UN was ready to offer support to DRC’s recently launched judicial investigation into the atrocities, noting that these “must lead to the prosecution of those responsible for these acts and ensure justice for the victims.”

In DRC, MONUSCO peacekeepers have been supporting DRC army deployments to the affected areas, including during the July-September period. The peacekeeping mission also sent several protection teams to Southern Masisi in order to evaluate the needs of the population and recommend action, which included establishing three temporary military bases and deploying 15 helicopter-supported foot patrols in the most volatile areas.

The UNJHRO investigators found that an armed group known as the Raia Mutomboki was responsible for most of the documented killings, while the opposing Nyatura group carried out others.

The report notes that the Raia Mutomboki was helped by allied community-based Mayi Mayi groups as it targeted mainly ethnic Hutus, a group that has long lived in eastern DRC, but whose numbers increased by the arrival of Rwandan Hutus in 1994 in the wake of power shifts that followed Rwanda’s genocide that year.

The report goes on to note that the Nyatura group, sometimes in collaboration with the mFoundainly Hutu group known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), mainly targeted people of Tembo ethnicity.

Many armed groups, according to the report, have stepped up their activities since the DRC army shifted its focus to pursuing a group of renegade soldiers who, after deserting this year, formed the 23 March Movement (M23) – a group whose own atrocities have been condemned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others in the international community.

“Important progress in tracking down the FDLR made early in 2012 by the Congolese army has been reversed since their redeployment to M23-threatened areas,” UNJHRO said in the press release.

“Many armed groups,” it added, “have taken advantage of the security vacuum left by the redeployment of army units to expand their own areas of influence, often carrying out violent attacks against civilians and exacerbating interethnic tension, already heightened by the M23.”

Source: Un News Service,