KENDRICK LAMAR, ZUCHU, BRUCE MELODIE AND MORE CHANGE THE GAME FOR LIVE ENTERTAINMENT IN RWANDA
First ‘Move Afrika’ Event Employed More Than 1,000 Rwandans to Drive Economic Investment in Rwandan Production and Entertainment Houses, Women-Owned Businesses and Young Entrepreneurs
KIGALI, Rwanda, Dec. 6, 2023– The first ever Move Afrika event, held tonight in Kigali, was unlike any live show Rwanda has seen before. A light-filled, sold-out BK Arena hosted Move Afrika: Rwanda, a spectacular night of music, culture, and advocacy that took East African entertainment to new heights and will be remembered for years to come as the birth of the first pan-African touring circuit for international artists.
Created by international advocacy organisation Global Citizen and creative imprint, pgLang, alongside the Rwanda Development Board, the inaugural Move Afrika: Rwanda show was headlined by Grammy Award, Pulitzer Prize winning artist Kendrick Lamar, and showcased the best African artists, creators and entertainers to the world. With every facet of the event’s production driving local economic investment, skill training and youth entrepreneurship, the first Move Afrika concert signalled the launch of a five-year incremental tour schedule that will pioneer a world-class music touring circuit across the continent, changing the face of live entertainment in Africa.
Bruce Melodie opened the night with an energetic performance that included his smash hits ‘Katerina’, ‘When She’s Around’ and ‘Henzapu.’
Rwandan poet Fred Mfuranzima treated the audience to a spoken word performance of his moving poem, ‘The Unstoppable Sea’.
H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, took the stage, saying “There are many things we can address together. Working together, our continent stands strong and can address most of our challenges. We are looking forward to hosting global citizens every year, here in Kigali, through Move Afrika. I hope you feel at home, all of you, and I hope to see you again in the near future.”
Zuchu burst onto the stage with a high octane performance of her hits, including ‘Kwikwi’, ‘Honey’ and ‘Utaniua.’
Sherrie Silver brought the arena to life with more than 40 young singers, dancers and breakdancers from the Sherrie Silver Foundation, taking the audience on an unforgettable journey through Rwandan dance culture.
DJ TOXXYK and Ariel Wayz teamed up for a medley of hits, including ‘Tattoo’ and ‘You Should Know’, and Ariel Wayz surprised the crowd by bringing out Rwandan rappers Kivumbi King and Bruce The 1st to collaborate on ‘Demo.’
Kendrick Lamar brought the sold out crowd to their feet for an unforgettable headline performance, with a setlist that spanned his full catalogue, performing with local Rwandan dancers on ‘Blacker The Berry,’ ‘Count Me Out’ and ‘Savior.’
“Global Citizen and pgLang launched Move Afrika to pioneer a first-of-its-kind international music touring circuit throughout the continent of Africa. We are honored to be hosting the first event here in Kigali at the BK Arena,” said Hugh Evans, Co-Founder & CEO, Global Citizen. “This is just the beginning. The real work starts tomorrow. Thank you for being on this journey to Move Afrika.”
Move Afrika: Rwanda, in association with global production company Done and Dusted and the Rwanda Events Group, employed more than 1000 Rwandans, and engaged 75 percent local crew and production staff, with a specific focus on creating opportunities for skill development and international event training.
As part of its five-year commitment to Rwanda, Move Afrika is building upon these collaborations to generate long-term opportunities for local entrepreneurs, and foster long-term partnerships that pave the way for more international artists to perform in Rwanda.
“We see this event as just the start of a promising journey for our industry,” said Christian Gakwaya, CEO, Rwanda Events Group, a primary Move Afrika: Rwanda vendor. “With our talented crew and creative minds, coupled with increased international shows and further investments in equipment and skills, we can for sure take our rightful place as global leader in events.
With a dedicated focus on investing in young Rwandans who are strengthening their country, Move Afrika: Rwanda provided over 4000 free tickets to young people.
“We know what it’s like to not have access, so we wanted to ensure that young people from across Rwanda had the opportunity to experience the first Move Afrika event in Kigali,” said pgLang.
Partners of Move Afrika include pgLang, the Rwanda Development Board and TimesLive. The event is supported by BK Arena.
Move Afrika: A Global Citizen Experience forms part of a new long-term, large-scale effort to pioneer a first-of-its-kind international music touring circuit throughout the continent of Africa, with pgLang serving as the tour’s curator. In partnership with the Rwanda Development Board, Kigali, Rwanda will host Move Afrika every year for the next five years. Each year, additional countries will be added to the tour schedule, which aims to expand to five countries by 2025. Producing a world-class experience for fans and artists alike, Move Afrika will set a new gold-standard for entertainment touring events, increasing demand from international and regional artists to tour in the region and building local capacity within host cities across the continent.
Move Afrika builds on Global Citizen’s previous campaigns and events across the continent that include: Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, which brought Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, Usher, Eddie Vedder and Chris Martin of Coldplay to Johannesburg, South Africa in 2018; Global Citizen Live: Lagos that featured Davido, Femi Kuti, and Tiwa Savage at Fela Kuti’s New Afrika Shrine in 2021; and Global Citizen Festival: Accra, which brought Usher, SZA, Stormzy, and TEMS to the iconic Black Star Square in 2022.