By Charles Mgbolu
Rwanda has hosted thousands of music fans for a concert tagged ‘Move Afrika', which aims at showcasing the best of Africa to the world through music and attracting foreign investors to the continent.
This is the first leg of what organisers called a 5-year international tour across the continent.
The event, which took place on Wednesday night at the multi-purpose indoor BK Arena in the capital Kigali, was headlined by iconic American rapper Kendrick Lamar.
There were also stunning performances from Tanzanian singer and songwriter Zuchu, Rwandan dancer Sherrie Silver, and duo collaborations from Rwandan acts DJ Toxxyk and Ariel Wayz.
The energy from the stands soared powerfully when President Paul Kagame came on stage to deliver a rousing message.
“There are many things we can address together. Working collaboratively, our continent can stand strong and overcome most challenges,’’ Kagame said to a loud ovation.
There were also messages from organisations such as the United Nations (UN) on mounted stage screens, all charging young people on talent development and contributing to a prosperous Africa.
‘'Our hope is that people in each community where Move Afrika takes place experience skills training and job opportunity in the entertainment industry,’’ organisers said in a statement
Lead act Kendrick Lamar, who ranks number two on this year’s list of the top 50 greatest rappers by Billboard, performed for 75 minutes, pausing mid-song to thank Africa for hosting him.
“This is a special occasion tonight. It’s my first time on this stage in front of my people. We came all the way from Compton, California, to party with y’all,’’ he said, barely audible as fans drowned him out with cheers and applause.
Rwandan singer Bruce Melodie also swayed the crowd with an energetic performance of his hits 'Katerina', 'When She's Around', and 'Henzapu, while Rwandan poet Fred Mfuranzima treated the audience to a spoken word performance of his poem, 'The Unstoppable Sea', a glowing tribute to young Africans everywhere overcoming obstacles.
Organisers say the Move Afrika concert is a 5-year large-scale international music tour that would be hosted by different African countries, with Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa already in sight as future hosts.
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