Artists take online platforms by storm as virus impact bites

Tuesday July 07 2020

Comedians 5K Etienne and Japhet during one of their past performances at Cap Kigali grounds. Photo | Andrew. I Kazibwe


Stand Up Comedy Duo 5k Ettienne and Japhet or Bigomba Guhinduka have deviced ways of staying afloat on online platforms.

Majority artists have capitalized on simplicity in arranging online set to tap into growing interests from revelers. Renowned comedians Etienne Iryamukuru, 26 and Japhet Mazimpaka, 25 are busy on their web series to keep in touch with their fans.

On YouTube Channel, the duo recently introduced Class Room, a drama series, which is becoming the talk of town.

Unlike its past two-minutes skits, which initially focused on one particular topic, which the duo could discuss and humorously pass on a message, Class Room takes a completely different turn — a story inspired by the ongoing lockdown, and its effects on Rwandans’ “In the past, we received a lot of encouraging responses, mainly from students after the past performances we held in some of the schools,” said Mazimpaka.

Starring Iryamukuru and Mazimpaka as main actors, the show depicts the lives of two brothers, who are sent off from town to the village by their parents as a means of spending the lockdown holiday there, as they get accustomed to the rural setting.

In line with the ongoing broadcast Ministry of Education schools learning programmes, the duo borrows inspiration by taking the audience into what students are facing in the wake of lockdown, following up on the broadcast lessons and helping out their parents.


Having premiered two seasons of Bigomba Guhinduka, the duo’s stage performances, which cemented them further into the local comedy fraternity, they were to stage the third edition in March, which was blocked by lockdown.

“It was a challenge since we were in the final preparations of our live concerts,” said Japhet Mazimpaka, one of the members.

But things weren’t all bad since they still had a source of income from their side jobs, “I work at a radio station, while my colleague also has a job at a communications Agency,” Mazimpaka added.

Having broken onto the scene last year, the duo first tasted online platforms and exercised its craft last year through recording short ideas, which it posted only onto its Instagram page.

These dubbed Bigomba Guhinduka (Things ought to Change) emphasized onto queer lifestyle within society and how services are delivered by both private and public institutions, which they found strange.

This gathered them not only a following, but further paving the away to performance stages.

Having parted ways with Day maker’s Edutainment, their management label, the duo set up its own YouTube Channel, where it is lately capitalizing more onto online platforms audiences

The duo further has Showbiz Live, a series, which evolves around the concept.