The first day of the year 2017 turned out to be a historic moment on Kigali's music scene, as Rwandans were blessed to have on stage their evergreen singer, a Rwandan US-based R&B star, ‘The Ben”. It was on the occasion of the New Year celebration concert, 'The East African Party', which is annually organised by the ‘East African Promoters’.
The Ben left Rwanda to the USA in 2010 and since then he had never set his foot on the land of thousand hills again. For Rwandan music lovers, six years without The Ben has been like a century as he left the country the time his music was monopolizing local radios' airplay, and throughout this period of time his absence kept on making his fans' hearts grow fonder thanks to the tuneful tracks he would drop for them time after time.
Contrary to the previous seasons that brought foreign artists such as Fuze ODG, Flavour, Diamond Platnumz, Konshens and more, this year's ‘East African Party’ was special as for the first time the main performer of the day was a Rwandan artist. Another factor that made it an unmissable event is that it was being held at the Amahoro National Stadium, the place that holds memories of unmet longings for both The Ben and his fans.
“On the 1st August 2009, we were somewhere around here. I have been moving with shocking memories, but today I am honored to stand before you and say ‘thank you’ for your love and support.” The Ben said emotionally.
Some months before he went to the USA, The Ben organised a concert on the occasion of his debut album launch at the Amahoro Stadium's 'Petit Stade' and it was cut short just minutes after it kicked off for security reasons. His songs on the album having already won hearts of a countless number of music lovers, the concert's turn up was too high for the venue to accommodate and security agents at the place couldn't manage the crowd outside that was trying to get in forcibly.
A memorable performance
In a two hours thrilling performance, The Ben performed popular songs from his debut album, singles he released after he went abroad, and his recent songs which are giving him an international exposure. His fellow artists like Bull Dogg, Green P, and Tom Close also joined him on stage to perform some of the collabos they recorded together in years past. Teardrops and flexible interactions were among others means to emotionally express satisfaction and excitement on the side of audience and the performer himself.
Overwhelmed with happiness, emotional The Ben burst into tears in front of his fans.
Besides The Ben, music lovers were also thrilled by other admired artists like Bruce Melody who is among the icons of the live music scene in the country, the female duo hit maker Charly&Nina, and the new fast-rising singer Yvan Buravan.
Though the ticket prices were slightly higher compared to the recent EAP seasons, the concert recorded the exceptional turn up that the East African Party had probably never experienced before. For the first time, the concert was also broadcasted live on three television channels including the national television, RTV.
The Ben performed with the band of fresh graduates of the Nyundo School of Music which is nowadays fueling the local music industry.
The Ben with his band saying farewell to the audience.
The Ben wrapped up the concert with his recent song “Habibi” which hit million YouTube views in a short period of time comparing with other songs he previously released. He dedicated it to H.E Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, though he was not at the concert.
“We, Rwandans are lucky to have a good leader like President Paul Kagame. Let us dedicate this song to him even though it is a love song.” The Ben said jokingly before he starts singing ‘Habibi’ along with the audience that memorize all of his songs.
Trending on social media; music lovers, promoters, media personalities, music entrepreneurs, and artists are congratulating the EAP’s Joseph Mushyoma Boubou for the historical moment they never experienced before.
The Ben alongside his brother Green P performing 'Kwicuma'
The 'Indoro' hitmakers, Charly & Nina never disappoint their fans who always expect the energetic performance from them.
Bruce Melody, an exceptionally gifted live music performer.
Yvan Buravan is securing himself a stable place in Rwanda's fast-growing music industry.
The Ben and Tom Close performing their hit collabo 'Sinarinkuzi'.Bull Dogg, One of the leading rappers in Rwanda, performing his hit song 'Imfubyi' featuring The Ben.
The Ben thrilled his fans with a lively performance.
Singing along with The Ben, revelers were really excited.
Photos by Kigalitoday.