New Video Reminds Us that Knowless Is Here to Stay

Singer Butera Knowless returns on the screen with a new lively and well-thought tone, thanks to the work of music video guru Meddy Saleh and her manager-slash-husband’s obvious rigour.

I listened to “Ujya Unkumbura” the day it was released, as she toured radio stations to promote it. (Yes, radio tours still work!) The song, which blends afro-beat and soft dance rhythms, did not move my instinct right away to the point I almost wrote a poor review. But I didn’t. Because, first, I said to myself it would be good if I tried to listen to it again, carefully. Second, I only listened to it a few more times — just not enough — and then lost interest.

When Knowless dropped the song’s official music video this week, it got my A-grade. I love it not just because it’s from one of the female Rwandan artists whose courage and work I admire, but also because it beats — in every aspect — all other music videos released by major artists in the last six months.

The video offers a fine glimpse into one of Kigali’s chic neighbourhoods and, for those who can see, the singer’s direction after a splendid wedding and giving birth to her first child. It also offers, certainly, the best drone-visuals by a leading artist in Rwanda. Even with the lazy dances and little sophistication, this new video reminds us that the twenty-six-year-old is here to stay.

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