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…

 

Africans harnessing forced marriages (i)


Much as African- which was not long ago (though even to date) is referred to a primitive, backward society, and to a much more extent we’ve embraced modernity through ‘civilization’, marriage is  quite an institution that we’ve ignorantly tarnished with blunder.

Among the primitive habit still creeping through many is how the older generation is shaping the current- through which results are to be emulated by the next generation.It’s quite peculiar, weird, or interesting the issue of marriage get; as more emphasis has been place onto preparations for the ceremony (I mean walking down the Aisle) and may be yes- binding it legally- all the way to Divorce Issues(which are a trend too). But we’ve always looked up to and upon the older generation for inspiration…

One female friend of mine came out honest with me by whispering that, “Marriage is a business today…”-which she complemented with a wink of an eye.

Forced marriages is a growing custom eating deeper into African society today. Noticed how young men and women will in a nick of time flash out a wedding invitation (same manner as if its ‘just’ a business card), then next we’ll hear is how they are ‘happily married.’

Strange is that- even that best friend of yours, whose fiancée isn’t well versed with his or her mother-in-law’s both names is crowned mister or misses a month later.

Well even when buried, truth is how culture is remembered on realization that a girl or young lady is pregnant. See- families then gear up wedding preparations, further sealing it up all before the almighty ‘Till death do us apart’.

In religious ways(just as it is amongst most African traditions), its forbidden to first of all sin through fornication. Am just wondering how further it gets for an action of officially religiously  wedding a couple-which is expecting!

Forced marriages have since edges been amidst society, maybe not for the case of violation of ‘human Rights’, but for actually crucial reasons.

From the African ancient cultural point of view, customs were a core value, from which society was built. Norms and taboos were a focus; for instance boys or girls were trained to be real men and women through hard work (activities like hunting, cooking to marriage and parenting), while with age; as early as their teens, any lad or lass was seen ripe for the marriage institution-and so trained or shaped for it.

Though most parents and families have claimed not to face the ‘shame’ that comes from the taboo of teens giving birth before marriage and rather of leaving a couple to think it through by themselves), events following up forced marriages are toxic- a cancer eating up societies today. Why Divorces are a trend, broken families a lifestyle, yet domestic violence a repercussion too today all majorly roots from the fact that young, lost couples are wedded, then left out to embark on Marriage- which isn’t a piece of Cheese…

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

Black Shootings- Isn’t US Setting Pace?!


The US has always taken a lead, in standing out in crafting and implementation of numerous policies. Among the multiple, the Gun and fire arms laws as carried on amongst most US states are a bit tricky to understand though.

Legalization of Fire Arms by the country is one issue, then keeping up or sustaining the laws too is another era proving tricky-even for the ‘Law enforcers’ themselves.
See, much as its plain for all to see that police is guilty here, the US police department is facing real threat too. Am sure and I quite predict how the next generation will quite be scared of joining law enforcement agencies-even with the increasing unemployment burden- since police live a day-to-day risk and threat for their lives.
Legalization of Fire Arms has sparked much more…

I quite believe how any law enforcement authority will formally come out to state how ‘I acted out of self-defense’- as a ‘defense’ for shooting at a civilian, though this won’t be perceived the same way on the side of a civilian!

Truth is that the ‘Legalization of Fire Arms’ is proving more of a threatening policy to all (law enforcers and the the general public). See it this from a perspective that, ‘A law enforcer halts a civilian-to prove they aren’t criminals.’ This situation yields two incidences on both sides- tension for each feeling insecure, in fear of being shot at.’

Its happening even in other continents too(as Africa too still suffers from tribalism too), but it gets worse, it is worsening among law enforcers in the US as shootings are now a routine, worst being of Black- Americans. Is US as a ‘Super Power’ setting a pace- that will soon trend on?

Like the out going US president Barack Obama stated in his speech on 7th July, this issue has been recognized, racial indifference and treat among Americans and how law enforcers have been slow on curbing deaths, am afraid more might still boil up- similar deaths rising, but will be shadowed…But for how long, and what generation is America raising?, Isn’t History arising?, Will Africa once again welcome ‘Whites’ with really ‘Open arms’ anymore?

The Writer;
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!!!

So the Oscars- now a platform for addressing Racism!


By Andrew I Kazibwe

Racism is more on the spot this week than ever before in years!. Yes, this week- why?, because this topic has been shone on by the famous legendary Oscars, which are quite a overtimes and high ranking awarding event.

Currently trending right from #Oscarsaresowhite, which has run viral via twitter, a campaign literally which has this year attracted a growing number of celebrities right from the Smiths, Spike Lee, Lupita, 50 Cent, Tyrees to the trending topic of ‘Should Chris Rock Quit hosting the Oscars?!’

See, much as the Oscars are being pointed at- they are gaining a lot of prominence, so are the businesses around them. Whoopi Goldberg’s reaction towards this whole heated debate is a unique one too- why does this issue surface and all of a sudden disappear!- Whoopie suggests that the public shouldn’t boycott the Oscars, but the movies themselves!. Could this be the therapy of approaching this issue from its roots?!- maybe!

Its surprising that #Oscarsaresowhite issues has for years been into existence, but it re-surfaces towards the vent, and disappears again!, Is it a marketing tool?, a platform for prominence for either sides or an irony?!

Actor and comedian Chris Rock is on the spotlight-since ‘his own’ are poking him off the idea of not hosting the Oscars. They do have an issue-which can clearly be pointed out if well looked into, but not hosting the event would rather seem not the solution. Wouldn’t hosting the Oscar by a black (sorry using it) more pass on a message to the world how racism should be put to an end?

As an artiste, if Chris Rock goes ahead to host the Oscars-which I hope he will (not because of the cheque, but the spotlight and the representation he holds currently), am sure he is to pass on a message not only to the Oscar’s committee-the selection team, the whites (sorry I used that again!), but to the world, which has for ages been haunted and scavenged by ‘Racism’.

Much as the platform is currently lucrative, Chris Rock will earn a reputation too by how he is to package it all.
While the blacks and whites in the western world are rambling and torn apart with ‘Racism’ and ‘Religion’, in Africa we are majorly torn apart by ‘tribalism’, which all cautions our humanity.

Good luck Chris Rock!!!

The Writer;
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!!!

The City’s Changing Faces (II)


By Andrew I Kazibwe
It is, of course so unpredictable…As am strolling through this neat street, right in the urban, two pretty looking ladies, stand aside whispering to each other (which I hear quite clearly), “Its unbelievable, what  such an insane man is doing here in the city, how did he get here?!,” one wonders.

It was a mad man (I feel its rude calling them that way…), but there he was, this poor ragged, dirty man, moving,holding dirty plastic bottles, smiling ear-to-ear while walking through- just like us…Uhmmmm, its the city, and he is part of it. True is that when walking into the city, one will least keep it in mind; that the mad, beggars, blind, thugs… will be part of the crowd to find!!!.

We all always associate the city to smart, neat place filled with wits, geniuses,yet interesting we will find how surprised we get when the least is sighted. As it grows, it nurtures various kinds with it, since its people who make it, from those in suits to those in rugs, those who serve and who they serve, landlords and tenants, patients and medical personnels, teachers and learners…

So, walking past a beggar, that person sleeping close to the trench, the crippled, the mad, the ‘trick stars’doing business their own way, those youths who seem so idle (They so seem), all tells one of the diverse picture of the city, descriptions so complicating yet depicting reality.

Imagine a street with out all these-what we call confusion, disorder…Well I enjoy this diversity of life because it speaks to the world, lights it up, make it complete.
Am not imagining it, it exists-look around you!!!

The Writer;
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!!!