Lucky Dube rocks Kigali

The memorable wrap up event that was presided over by the Prime Minister Bernard Makuza, was also attended by the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame.

Holding a breath in anxiety and all eyes fixedly staring right in the middle of Amahoro Stadium, thousands of Dube fans who thronged this place to have a glimpse at the music legend ran wild with excitement when, adorned in white, he finally emerged.

In the two and half hour show that started at around 10:30pm, the composed artiste took the audience through a dozen of his famous songs, a moment that excited Rwandans.

Ranging from Freedom, One people, Do you feel highly and That’s the way it is, Dube, in his white match, provoked wild cheers as the fans including senior government officials that had turned up for the show danced along with him.

The frenzied crowd at the fully packed stadium swung shirts, caps and Rastafarian scarves to the tunes of Dube’s Jazz band throughout the performance.

Mesmerised by the excitement, Dube, in the intermission, rested to say: “I love you people. It is really interesting being here and I am sure you are having nice time.

“I must say I am also extremely happy that I and my crew are here to enjoy with you today (Saturday, August 13) because it is my birthday,” he announced, further challenging the animated crowd to sing for him birthday melodies.

More to Dube’s expression of his love for Rwanda, the latter sampled fans with some songs off his new album dubbed Respect. Apart from South Africa, the artiste’s mother country, Rwanda becomes the first African country to be entertained to Lucky Dube’s songs on this new album.

Highlighting the album, he said it was an innovation to add a vital component of respect for humankind in real life experiences, an element he confessed not to have highlighted in previous albums.

“In the past we were talking about peace, unity, love and togetherness and this time we want humankind to respect each other. You cannot love someone if you don’t respect them, not for what they are but for who they are,” he said amidst thunderous cheers. Off the same album, he performed Political game, a song in which he criticises politicians for their play games that end up in loss of lives and untold suffering to their subordinates.

This is the third time Lucky Dube is visiting Rwanda. The last visit was three years back during the inauguration of President Paul Kagame’s landslide victory in polls that saw him become the first democratically elected President of Rwanda.

Meanwhile, East African music icon, Ugandan born Jose Chameleone also flavoured the event, taking his fans by storm.

In what he termed as “a bonus for Rwandans” Chameleone, who was dressed in a navy-like attire unleashed a string of his most loved songs like Jamila, Mama Rhoda and Bombo Clat among others.

The show became even livelier after the exciting artiste performed atop podium pole about 30 meters up from the stage, which he climbed with a wireless microphone.

Reached immediately after the show, Chameleone, the 2005 Best East African Artiste award winner told The New Times that: “I am pleased about the way my sisters and brothers have enjoyed my shows. The encouragement has really made my performances a success.”

“I promise I will always be there to perform for any cause in Rwanda because I love Rwandans, its inspiring Head of State, President Paul Kagame and the entire country,” Chameleone said in an exclusive interview.

On behalf of the organisers, the Minister for Youth, Culture and Sports, Joseph Habineza could not hold his excitement over the successes of FESPAD 2006.

“I am very happy to see that this memorable event has been a success. The FESPAD 2006 has been a unique event because it has been graced by high profile local and international dignitaries including our President and thrilling but educative and informative performances from local and International prominent artistes,” the joyous Habineza recounted in exclusive interview with The New Times.

He also observed that the convergence of different people, dance groups and artistes from across the continent and abroad was a highly unifying factor that helped in sharing of cultural values for socio-economic progress of respective countries.

Organised under the theme: “Dense culture and Imaginations” the week long festival was an event initiated by World Cultural Organisation (WCO) and the African Union to promote Pan Africanism. ‘ New Times (Kigali).

August 2006
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