Rwanda: Has the Gospel Music Industry Come of Age?

It has produced hits that rule the airwaves. In secular night clubs, it is common to dance to a gospel hit. Gospel music concerts are some of the most attended events. To cap it, gospel artistes are celebrities that command a huge following. This is the current status of gospel music industry. However, it was not the case back in the day.

So, what is making gospel music more popular today?

While secular music still has a larger following, gospel music is slowly attracting a cult following including those from the secular world.

Why gospel music is becoming popular

“Gospel shows in Rwanda have improved. Ten years ago, no one ever thought that a gospel concert could be held in a hotel or anywhere outside the church,” says Eric Mashukano, the managing director of the Moriah Entertainment.

He recalls the first gospel concert organised in 2007 outside the church.

Mashukano recall that the first gospel concert was organised by Aline Gahongayire at Kigali Serena Hotel. It was then that the industry saw that everything is possible and the shows moved from a standard setup to a creative one and from small halls to big ones, as the artistes gained confidence in their work.

He notes that today, the gospel shows are taken to any available venue and attract more and more people.

Patient Bizimana, a popular gospel artiste, held a successful Easter concert that attracted a mammoth crowd. Despite his career not being a walk in the park, he attributes his success to his passion for gospel music.

“I had the zeal and a target that always pushed me to go higher. I always pray, and even though I am not yet where I want to be, the support that Rwandans have shown is what keeps me going,” he says.

Florent Ndutiye, a journalist at TV 10, says the impact of gospel music is seen in the number of revellers at music concerts and the awards given to gospel music artistes.

However, for Peter Ntigurirwa, the managing director of Isange Cooperation, an online shopping…

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