Letter to Church Leaders and Christians


Dear church leaders , you who are considered shepherds of the lord’s flock, and to all Christians. It is with sincere actuality and  proof that I pour out these observations that artistes go through during their initial, and crucial days into their artistic careers.

To begin with, the lord most high has bestowed, and awarded all the living in different, special ways. We receive, and embrace these gifts (talents) with appreciation, and in so doing, we in turn use them for his glory.

In an article which ran in the East African Newspaper of November 26th to December 2nd entitled ;  Gospel Artistes ask Rwandan churches for support , gave a brief insight of what gospel artistes, and  particularly musicians.

Read it; http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/Rwanda/Lifestyle/Gospel-artistes-ask-Rwandan-churches-for-support–/1433242-3465424-eu2lbqz/index.html

Still wondering why most gospel musicians have fallen out with churches!…

With proof, it is from church choirs that the best world musicians are bred, though most haven’t been raised by churches, especially in Africa. In Rwanda, it is known how gospel musicians toil through day and night hustle of composing, recording,  releasing, promoting and branding of their names, but have been turned down by the church.

Most , if not all concerts organised in churches are free of charge, yet the artistes who perform toil it out till the concert is over- only to walk away with ‘May the lord bless you brother, the lord is using you tactfully sister, your songs are a healing brother, komeza ubutumwa muvandimwe (Continue with the message brethren)… ‘; same old words.

Words of wishes, and encouragement can not, and will never bring bread to a musician’s table, or pay for their studio recording sessions, or book him/her trips to world festivals for prosperity, but only a downgrade.

A gospel musician colleague of mine recently expressed fury and grief (silently) of how sisters and brothers in Christ are steadily  attacking him discreetly; claiming how he is sharing ‘un-holy content’ of his fellow secular musician-who is a closer friend to him. See, many believers will be out there on the watch, not in support of  of the rising, struggling talents, but to rebuke them.

It would be wiser for any christian or church leader who  helps pay for a studio recording, fund artistic activity, pay for a music video shoot or fully endeavors to manage a musician to in-turn be the one to point fingers on what gospel musicians shouldn’t do and do!

The church ought to be the first platform to not only verbally bless artistes, but physically stand out from this weird world and lead by financially supporting these flourishing inspiring talents. In doing so, that’s the real living word to empower more souls.

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African- Rwanda based Arts writer- curious about life, and as a learner openly expressing unfolding issues and interpretation about the Arts…

Andy’s Insight into Artistes’ journey- 01

A scene from a play at Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali 2015

To most African societies, Artistes still wail, with most carrying  quite a heavy load in a fight to sustain both their passion for talent, and themselves. Around us, most rising talented artistes are in between committing to education, their parents/families’ vision for them alongside building their talent.

Most talented artistes around lack direction, management, investment and others just a platform to prove what is within them. It’s quite a fight to get to the limelight, them further very challenging to stay up there (without being lost in the fame). With this, some have risked their talents in a bid to pursue other careers; since to society Art isnt considered ‘Income generating’ for one.

The challenging aspect is how passion is being drained out of the once young, focused and talented youth- then replaced by the mega mind of  survival. Its challenging- with these since times, nowadays the public still lags behind when it gets to vividly honoring artistic acts. For instance, if a musician, painter, dancer, writer, actor, instrumentalist, model, comedian, fashion designer, music producer or film maker set his price for a service or good they are to deliver, one would boastfully stand proud and say,”All that, for just a painting/ jumping on stage/ making people laugh…!”.

The public will blame it on ‘Poor, unprofessional artistic acts’, yet there is little or barely nothing to show in support of Artistry (Right from the Education structure, policies in favor of Art development and investment or even well-developed infrastructure to give rising artistes a shoulder).

To develop African Artistry needs real commitment and engagement- yet policies(from politics) are just a backup. May be the public needs to reconsider and focus on the wonders each talent would well play- when fit in well and recognized. Building on the little shred we possess is vital- before they all phase out, I think.

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African- Rwanda based Arts writer- curious about life, and as a learner openly expressing unfolding issues and interpretation about the Arts…

 

African Arts;a sector still at cross-roads- A


By Andrew I Kazibwe

Cross-roads!, yes indeed, comparing with how much the rest of the other sectors are developing.

A variety of rich creative acts fill the arts sector, yet a challenge still is in promoting and further developing them faces today’s governments.
Shame faces most governments as today the youth dominate in population-which wouldn’t be the problem (since to them and upon, nations rely ), but the growing unemployment, poverty and high crime gap.

Within our African education systems, the few countries whose learning institutions have introduced courses in Music, Dance, Drama, Music management, Theatre production, Film scripting and directing haven’t further defended these course- that is giving the public strong reasons to strive towards taking on such courses.

A scene from a play at Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali 2015

A scene from a play at Ubumuntu Arts Festival in Kigali 2015

Most governments have made it plain for public to predict their next moves. For instance, a government will act quickly in its interest at levying any field that has proven lucrative-even without supporting its roots (or evolution), this further scares of the few budding sectors, since a creation of insecurity is vivid.

African governments would further create or further support job creation for these fields, if they fore see the potential creative arts sector hold. Potential not only in beautifying through fashion and architecture, not only in entertaining the stressed CEOs but promoting the nations’ images, heritage and more is the creation of employment for the youth.

Ever imagined how many jobs can be created under each sector under the Arts?

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African Rwandan-based freelance Journalist , a learner, Arts enthusiast and advocate. Passionate about what goes on within lives, he shares whats within, around and closer to you. Its an Insight!!!

Arts- a sector worth saving, investment


By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

What comes to your mind when the word ‘ART’ is sighted or said? With vast explanations and definitions, somewhere along the search, ‘Creativity’ emerges, which I strongly fall for. Though our indigenous identity-cultures of course, have over time been succumbed to anonymous traits we barely can define, but with pride we continuously grow them, a lot we fall prey of. What does the world refer to as ‘primitive’? To an African, look around you; food, dressing, architectural, livelihood… anything indigenous, say local is generally backward, unfit and not worth holding onto or nurturing! But why!?… There seems a hidden secret in the power of Arts. Most fame and wealth is derived or inspired through arts. Talk of music, film, technology, fashion…things we can’t do without. In an interview with Carole Karemera, an Artistic director of Ishyo Arts Centre in Kigali earlier last year, she paused a phrase, “Imagine how the world would be, without Arts!” With no terms like fashion and design, entertainment…This means separations of it from ‘beauty’. However, such beauty, all roots from the arts, and these derive inspiration from home. An Art is initially inborn, it is undeniably unquestionable, sprouts with wild curiosity that with good inspiration and nurturing, an embrace to the public it turns out to be!!! Even developed countries (in the west) hold arts industry as leading among income generating sectors, so why not, borrow that ‘art’ from them! Africans and African countries need to recognize, cherish and nurture the local arts and roots. Rarely do we proudly acknowledgement homegrown initiatives, politicians and leaders need to, since they are influential today. With honest recognition of an art, an inventive mind of investing in it emerges. Think of investing in something that ignites society into fun and relaxation, yet not harming it!!! Today investors are on a rise, but a challenge of arts recognition and nurturing is up. We need to unearth the buried art in us, recognize and nurture talent right from infancy, as through this, all that we long for will thrive, which is growth and developments.

Andrew Israel Kazibwe is an African Rwandan-based freelance Journalist , a learner, Arts enthusiast and advocate. Passionate about what goes on within lives, he shares whats within, around and closer to you. Its an Insight!!! 

Kigali Cultual Fashion Week


By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

It was the Kigali Fashion week 2014 brought together fashion designers from Rwanda and Burundi, under the organisation of 1000 Hills Films Pro in conjunction with Ministry of Sports and Culture who displayed fashion in dressing from ancient hair styles to traditional and modern dressings. The event also involved live painting activity and African craft display

A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of Crafts (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of Crafts (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

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A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

A display of traditional dressing (Photo by Andrew Israel Kazibwe)

Closing March with the ‘Knights’


By Andrew Israel Kazibwe

Amidst the vast entertainment corners Kigali had on Good Friday, Ishyo Arts Theatre Hall was a spot to spend an evening as the Comedy Knights gave a unique treat to revilers.
The fun packed evening excited revilers as the Knights pulled it off with hilarious ‘rib cracking’ jokes that left many craving for more, living no room or a chance for boredom.
With drolling jokes through conversations in; Ikinyarwanda, English, French, Kiswahili, Luganda and Kirundi languages by prominent comedians; Herve, George, Arthur, Babu, Michael among others which were all depicting daily living and situations in society- involved the entire audience as they were all touched; with too an ‘icing to this performance’ was by Junior- one of the group’s new members who perfectly ‘mimicked’ the president pulling out all laughter from each reviler as no one could contain it as he did it on stage.
The ‘Sick City’- a prominent dance group in Kigali, put up a great performance in between the break; their electrifying dance moves left the crowd warmed up.
Closing the show’s curtains was a performance by Tom Close, a musician who too didn’t disappoint. Through some of his songs like; ‘Ndacyagukunda’, ‘Baza’, ‘Umutima Wange’ among others touched the audience to which they joined in as they too sang; And alongside The ‘Comedy Knights’, on stage, only time was the limit.
It all ended at 11pm, living no doubt in all; Good Friday was indeed ‘Good’.