I imagine heading out for a performance whose artists haven’t been revealed. That is exactly what Simbizi Vibes presents.
Simbizi is a Kinyarwanda word meaning 'I don’t know'. The event's publicity evolves around creating curiosity and anticipation for the audience.
Simbizi Vibes comprises fully live performances by Rwandan musicians. Its recent staging at Kigali’s L’Espace unveiled its unique stage delivery.
As the audience took their seats, the emcee warmly welcomed them, briefly highlighting the event’s core motive of harnessing live stage performance amongst rising and established local musicians, but without revealing who exactly is to grace the stage.
Performers included Andersonne, a rising Afro Soul and R&B musician. He was followed by Peace Jolis, a renowned Afro R&B, Pop and Fusion act, who astonished many with his rich mellow vocals and collaborative assortment.
Also performing was Angele Mutoni, a renowned rapper and Afro R&B artiste who touches audiences through her poetic verses and articulate in stage delivery.
This edition of Simbizi Vibes presented an acoustic set, an alignment engineered by the expertise of a cozy band comprising of notables like Barrick, Deo Salvatore and Nichola, a producer.
Amidst the performances was a mild interaction through conversations on what inspires the musicians in their creation journey.
The event began in 2021, amidst the Covid-19 lockdown and ban on live events. The platform’s initial creation therefore involved streaming performances through social media channels, majorly YouTube.
“It was a new experience, which opened us up to unique approaches in delivery,” says Samuel Kamanzi, one of the founders and organizers.
Kamanzi says Simbizi does not necessarily target large spaces or audiences but rather the delivery of quality performances by artistes.
“It kicks off with rehearsals, as we guide artistes towards quality,” he explains.
The event presents an unimaginable aura of entertainment, which Rwandans have barely explored. Right from the stage alignment, to placement of lighting and artistes' positioning, to the sound production, this is another unique journey the industry is embarking on.
To Kamanzi, Simbizi Vibes goes way beyond the stage, walking artistes through training, stage alignment to the final show. It also incorporates the production team operating the cameras, lights and sound – who mostly are trainees – to emerge with a robust experience in stage delivery.