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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;–/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…