Rwanda Day: A Platform For Who?

Rwanda’s music industry shook when two of its prominent afro-pop singers Meddy and The Ben left for the “land of the brave” in 2010. In fact, for some fans it was hard to imagine; they only wished it were rumours—that the singers would come back in a few weeks, months.

For anyone who happened to follow the local music and entertainment industry, memories of what hit-songs such as Igipimo and Amahirwe Ya Nyuma brought to our lives remain unforgettable. A new generation of music icons was getting on its feet. And, simultaneously, a vibrant media—that promotes local music and artists—was on the rise. The movement was growing like never before.

In essence, there is no doubt Meddy and The Ben have grown musically. Their works in recent years have proven to be of better quality, especially on the production side. After all, it’s been five years. We could not have expected otherwise.

It is public knowledge that these two youngsters disappeared through the Urugwiro conference, before seeking a “refugee status” and deciding to stay longer than loyal fans expected. Sadly, five years later, the only close they could get to Rwanda was through the ever longed for concert in Burundi.

But, despite the struggles, America’s promise has overshadowed the very trait of the ongoing success, which has even led to an intimate re-connection through Rwanda Day.

Popular artists are role models. Many young people look up to them, as they seek to enjoy the pleasure of prosperity. Unfortunately, the choices Meddy and The Ben have made throughout the process are not consistent with Rwanda’s new spirit of Agaciro. And by sharing the stage with this section of Rwandans, the Government undeniably approves their actions.

As much as Rwanda Day is an open space to Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, it is wrong to pretend. When individuals make choices that fail to uphold our collective dignity, they must be held to account. However small, and whatever the cost.

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