Shows that once shone...

Wednesday August 28 2019


A performance at the Mutzig Beer Fest last year, PHOTO | Andrew I.Kazibwe 

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The Rwandan arts scene is a study of events. While some have emerged to prevail,many have disappeared.

What are these events which have vanished from the scene?

Happy People

This was initiated in 2004, bringing together mainly Rwandans and Burundians to party. It was last held in 2014.

Jungle Beach Party

First hitting the scenes in 2007, this was one of the most sought after event during summer and had cemented firm ground in Rubavu district.


It took a break in 2012, returned in 2015 then disappeared.

Nyama Choma Extravaganza

Known as a networking and entertainment event that brought together people in the spirit of enjoyment of grilled meat in Kigali, it was last seen in 2017, at its fourth edition.

However, shortly after its disappearance, Meet and Meat, an event with a similar concept took effect. It is still here.

Kigali Blankets and Wine

Started in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2008, before spreading to Uganda, this event entered Rwanda in 2017. It comes with live music performance, and enjoyment of wine and other refreshments. The Kigali Blankets and Wine’s first season left many awaiting its return to this day.

Organisers cited limited sponsorship.

Primus Guma Guma Super Star

Started in 2010 and organised by East African Promoters(EAP) with the sponsorship of Bralirwa Ltd, this event had top musicians in a competition but closed operations after its eighth season.

Over years it was accused of its unprofessionalism through live stage performances. Signs of its decline were shown when it trimmed its nationwide performances from 15 to five.

Mutzig Beer Fest

One of the biggest annual event when it featured, Mutzig Beer Fest brought people together to party and celebrate beer. When it held its last edition in 2017, it was a testament of its growth into a unique event.

Having incorporated local and guest performances by musicians and Deejays, it was a shock when the event’s organizers announced it was taking a break.

According to Bralirwa Ltd, who are the organisers, the break is tactical. In an interview with Rwanda Today, organisers refute claims that they had failed to sustain this event, but admit how it needed clear direction, which they are working on.

Hobe Africa Festival

With great dedication to the embrace of African talent through cultural exchange, this event made its successful entry in 2016 as Rwanda hosted the African Championship (CHAN). Though it promised to feature every year, it never returned.

First Fridays

This kicked off in 2016 and was staged every first Friday of the month at Impact Hub, Kigali. The event initiated by Kwanda Foundation featured cross-cutting exhibitions by photographers, visual artists, poets and musicians in the aim of bridging the arts. It was last staged in 2017.

Music Awards Rwanda

Dedicated to awarding of Rwandan musicians, Music Awards Rwanda’s launch in 2018 promised a lot - complete with a three year plan.

But that was all. Sources said the organisers expected funding that never materialised.

Other events are the Jumbo Beach Party and Black Party, which held two seasons till 2014.

Though these events have vanished, many are emerging to nurture various talents within the arts scene.

These include Iwacu Music Festival (2019), Kigali Praise Fest (2019), Kigali and Summer Fest (2019).