What you missed at the Celebration of Heroes concert

Sangiza abandi

On January 31, the City of Kigali hosted a ‘Celebration of Heroes’ concert, at Kigali Conference and Exhibition Center (KCEV), an energetic moment for celebration and reflection, reminding everyone of the heroes who have shaped Rwanda’s history and the collective journey towards a brighter future.

The event set the stage for National Heroes Day on February 1, drew numerous revelers, including government officials and a big number of enthusiastic youth eager to explore into the stories of heroes and understand the importance of celebrating them.

The concert featured the Rwanda Defence Force Military Band, Urukerereza, Rwanda’s national ballet, Senderi Hit, Alyn Sano, gakondo singer Esther Niyifasha and Indatirwabahizi, Kigali’s cultural troupe.

As the clock hit 7 pm , Urukerereza, Rwanda’s national ballet, kicked off their various performances celebrating ‘Ubutore’ – Rwanda’s core values and ‘Gumamiriza’ – warrior dance.

While on stage, the group performed traditional dance to convey the Ubutore (heroes) message, while paving the way for next artists to come.

Next was the Military Band comprising young men and women who took the stage, performing songs inspired by the battlefield and liberation war, mostly those praising the bravery of the ‘Inkotanyi’.

The New Times

The atmosphere in the house shifted as officials and young men alike were very supportive to the men in uniform’s performance while some showcased a special dance, adding to the overall meaning of the show.

Among the popular songs performed were ‘Iyambere Ukwakira’ and ‘Ibigwi by’Inkotanyi’.

The band’s patriotic and energetic spirit, expressed through their songs, left an impression on everyone.

Senderi Hit, a seasoned musician with over 18 years in the industry, maintained the mood while receiving overwhelming love at the show. Joined by his dancers, he passionately conveyed messages through his songs, encouraging the audience to participate.

The ‘Twambariye Gutsinda’ singer got everyone singing along and expressed gratitude to heroes categorized as ‘Ingenzi’, ‘Imanzi’, and ‘Imena’, particularly urging the youth to appreciate their contributions and live that legacy.

He performed hits like ‘Ibidakwiriye nzabivuga’ and ‘Nzabivuga’, as he involved officials and everyone around in dancing.

The New Times

He also premiered his latest track, ‘Turate Intwari z’ u Rwanda,’ aligning with the event’s theme of civic engagement and preserving Rwanda’s accomplishments and ongoing collective nation-building effort.

Indatirwababizi, a Kigali-based cultural troupe, simultaneously presented their performances centered around poems and praises highlighting the achievements of those who liberated Rwanda.

Besides the dance performances, children conveyed patriotic messages, emphasizing the nation’s accomplishments, acknowledging individuals contributing to the cause, and encouraging everyone to contribute to a brighter future.

Next up was singer Alyn Sano, adorned in full white, ready to grace the dance floor, urging the youth to demonstrate bravery, a reminder of Rwanda’s heroes.

Sano, along with her dancers, gave her all to the audience, while performing popular songs like ‘Kamwe’, ‘Bonane’, ‘Biryoha Bisangiwe’, and ‘None’

She said: “Let’s use our unique weapons to build Rwanda, for me, I use music and I encourage everyone to play their role.”

Emphasizing the nation’s progress, she said, “30 years ago, many of us weren’t here. Let’s use our weapons and shape the country in honor of those who sacrificed their lives.”

As the concert reached its end at 10 pm, Urukerereza returned to the stage, closing the show with Umuhamirizo performance. The event marked the 30th anniversary of National Heroes Day, providing a memorable celebration and setting the stage for future commemorations.

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