Events that did not make annual showing in Rwanda

Sunday December 10 2017

Revellers at a previous Isaano Festival. PHOTO

Revellers at a previous Isaano Festival. PHOTO | ANDREW KAZIBWE 

By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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Social events have become the heartbeat of the Rwanda's growing lifestyle and creative arts. However, a number of them are bowing out of the social scene. Here is a list of those that seem to have vanished:

  • Happy People

This was a must-attend event, dating as early as 2004 from Burundi. The event mostly brought together Rwandans and Burundians living abroad. Its tenth edition in 2014 was its last.

  • Salax Awards

Founded in 2008, this event provided a platform for local and regional artistes. Over time, top musicians started shunning it even after being nominated, while potential sponsors gradually pulled out.

The event ended in 2013. Ikirezi Group, the event’s organisers, had said it would make a comeback last year, but artistes like Diana Teta, King James and Christopher Muneza, pulled out from the event after being nominated.

The event was further postponed to January, but it didn’t happen even then.

The organisers say musicians are yet to understood the event’s concept, which is to appreciate the hard work artistes put in. They insist it is not a competition pitting one musician against another.

  • Black Party

Since its start in 2012, the annual event, which had a black theme, provided a platform for people to meet and celebrate through music and dance. The Black Party featured local acts like Young Grace, Tizzo, Ciney, Big Fizzo, Jay Polly, TBB and Danny Vumbi.

However, from its first edition to its third in 2014, the event didn’t attract a sizeable audience and struggled to get sponsorship.

  • Jambo Beach Party

Hosted at the shores of Lake Muhazi, the event was one of those that party lovers graced annually. It gained prominence between 2008 and 2013 with performances by Urban Boys, Miss Jojo, Dream Boys, Diplomate, Tuff Gangs, Tom Close, Meddy, Knowless, The Ben among others.

  • Bye Bye Vacance

This event started in 2009 and usually occurred in early January, before students returned to schools. It had started off on a high note, attracted huge crowds and top local musician. However, it has not featured for the past three years.

  • Jungle Party

This event was organised by Show Time Events and several editions of Jungle Party were hosted in Rubavu district since 2007. It featured top local and regional artistes like Burundi’s Big Fizzo, KS Alpha, Lillian Mbabazi, Cindy Sanyu, Radio and Weasel, Dj Fridah, Nameless and Wrye from Kenya, as well as international acts like Jamaica’s Brick and Lace.

The Jungle Party first stopped in 2012, then resurfaced in 2015. However, it did not return in 2016 or this year.

  • Hobe Africa Festival

Making an entry in 2016, the Hobe Africa Festival was a platform for cultural exchange. It kicked off in January 16 until February 7, which coincided with the African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament — hosted by Rwanda. The festival featured live performances in the evenings after the football matches.

For its first season, the festival organised activities in Nyarugenge, Rubavu and Huye. It featured performances by local musicians like Mani Martin, King James, Miss Shanel, the Ibihame traditional dance troupe, Stand Up comedians like Arthur Nkusi from Rwanda and others like Djasa Djasa from Democratic Republic of Congo. Though it was hoped to be an annual event, the festival hasn’t returned this year.

  • Isaano Festival

Organised by Isaano Events and Positive Production, in partnership with Rwanda’s French Institute, the festival hasn’t made a comeback this year. Since its entry years ago, the festival has grown into a unique annual platform for both local and international musicians.

After registering a low turn up last year, the event which usually takes place in the beginning of the year, didn’t occur this year.

In it’s past four editions, the event has attracted several local musicians like Miss Shanel Nirere, Riderman, Eric One Key, Weya Viatora and international acts like Nigerian Afro-Soul and Reggae musician Nneka Igbuna, Gael Faye, Mali’s Ally Keita and Habib Koite, Yvonne Mwale from Zambia, Ivorian reggae star Tiken Jah Fakoly among others. It is hoped the festival will return next year.