The events that marked 2021

Friday December 24 2021
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Music lovers at the "10 Years of Bruce Melodie Concert". PHOTO | FILE


Public events got a green light in October, reviving the social culture. Notable events included the Trappish Concert at Canal Olympia Rebero, which featured a variety of upcoming youthful talent.

It was followed by the Movember Fest, hosted at the same venue, and which featured Nigerian Artist Adekunle Gold and Rwanda’s Keny Sol and Gabiro Guitar.

The Fantasy Music Concert hosted Nigeria’s Ric Hassan and Rwanda’s Mike Kayihura.

Lighting up the scene also was the Kigali Fiesta, which featured Nigerian Afro Pop and R&B Star Omah Lay.

The Kigali Live and Unplugged Concert was another big event, and it featured Nigeria’s Nneka Igbuna and Rwanda’s IN_KI and Andersonne.

In November, the Kigali Arena hosted Ten Years of Bruce Melodie Concert, an event that attracted many enthusiasts.


Despite pushback from activitsts over his gender-based violence track record, the Ko­ Olomide Live in Kigali Concert prevailed, but with mixed reactions.

Annual events that made a comeback included the Ubumuntu Arts Festival in July, the Hamwe Festival, East African Nights of Tolerance Contemporary Dance Festival, the European Film Festival, and the Kiss Summer Awards in November. Recently the Mashariki African Film Festival returned as a physical event held at the Rwanda Theatre Festival.

Global ­ lm awards

In October the spotlight was on Rwanda as three fi lmmakers scooped awards at the 2021 Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco), an annual event hosted by Burkina Faso to recognise and award African fi lmmakers.

The festival, which this year attracted more than 50 countries, saw Rwandan producer Mutiganda Wa Nkunda win the Best Screenplay Award for his fiction film Nameless.

Kantarama Gahigiri’s 2019 film Ethereality was awarded the Poulain d’Or, while Alliah Fafi n scooped the 2021 Fespaco Silver Foal Award for her 2021 fi ction fi lm Amani.

Death of art icons

On August 20, Rwanda was shocked by the sudden death of the country’s former Minister for Sports and Culture, Ambassador Joseph Habineza. Habineza had traveled to Nairobi for a visit when he fell ill and was admitted to hospital shortly before passing on at the age of 56.

 Habineza was in 2004 appointed minister for sports and culture, a position he held for seven years, before serving as Rwanda’s ambassador to Nigeria until 2014.

Other sad news was the passing on of prominent rapper Joshua Tuyishime alias Jay Polly. Tuyishime, 33, died on September 2 at Muhima Hospital, where he had been admitted due to health complications following his incarceration at Mageragere Prison in Kigali over gender violence, according to a statement released by the Rwanda Correctional Services.

Belgium returns artefacts

In November the Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy received more than 4,000 songs and sound recordings from the Royal Museum of Central Africa of Belgium.

The recordings, taken from the 1950s to 2000, will be kept by the Ethnographic Museum in Huye District and will enrich the country’s heritage and research and inspire the arts sector.