This has been a year like no other, what with Covid-19 and its impact. Andrew I. Kazibwe looks at some of the headlines that defined the entertainment and arts scene.
Alex Muyoboke, Oda Paccy and a crumbling empire
In August 2019, Afro-pop musician Pacifique Uzamberumwana alias Oda Paccy launched Ladies Empire, a music recording and artist management entity that targeted rising female talents.
In February, she contracted Alex Muyoboke, a renowned artist manager and promoter.
A few months into its operations, murmurs of dissatisfaction started with some saying the label was in financial doldrums to the extent of being taken to court. In November, Oda Paccy admitted that Empire Records, a studio that once belonged to the label, had branched out.
Musicians on the spot over Indecency in craft
Bruce Melodie's Saa Moya, Papa Cyangwe and Igor, Mabano’s Imbeba, Mico The Best’s Igare, Dede , Ifarasi and Micro by Davis D were lambasted for indecency, something that is contrary to Rwanda's mores. The media was on fire, so much so that Edward Bamporiki, the State Minister for Youth and Culture, threatened to quit if he couldn't stop them.
But the artists said they had practiced their artistic licence with no intention of defying cultural norms.
Miss Rwanda, management part ways but no reason given
In March, Naomie Nishimwe, the 2020 Miss Rwanda beauty queen, announced her separation from Rwanda Inspiration Backup, the company that officially manages the beauty pageant. However, she did not cite the reasons for this parting of ways.
Officials from Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture of the Ministry of Youth and Culture stepped in and urged them to reconcile but nothing came of it. Recently, Rwanda Inspiration Back announced the return of the pageant.
Pay artistes royalties, govt agenceis tell broadcast media
Rwanda Utilities Regulation Authority, Rwanda Development Board, and Rwanda Society Authors Union came to the aid of artistes and referred broadcasters to law no; 31/2009 of 25/10/2009 on the protection of Intellectual property, that requires them to pay artistes.
Since the law was enacted in 2009, artists have been urging the government to enforce it especially when it comes to broadcast media.
Covid-19 sends the national league back to locker room
A few weeks after sports activities were allowed to resume — but under strict health guidelines, it was announced that 11 players of Amagaju Football club, a Nyamagabe district team tested positive for Covid-19, forcing its training and games to be cancelled.
However, this did not affect Amagaju FC only. On December 12, the Ministry of Sports halted the national football league, due to the discovery of more Covid-19 cases within some staff and players of teams such as Rayon Sports and Rutsiro.