What does hosting renowned foreign musicians mean to Rwanda’s gospel music industry?

This week, gospel music lovers in Rwanda and Africa welcomed a collaboration song between Rwanda’s True Promises Worship Team and renowned South African gospel singer Rev. Benjamin Dube.

Titled “Mana Urera” (translated as God You Are Holy), the song is a remix of True Promises’ 2014 song under the same title. During the same year, the song was selected the song of the year during Groove Awards and Mana Urera became the first Rwandan gospel song to have 1 million views on YouTube.

Dube and True Promises worked on the song in 2019 when the South African came to Rwanda for the first time, at the invitation of True Promises Worship Team.

The remixed song was recorded live in the concert Dube held at the Intare Arena in Kigali, performing alongside True Promises.
Doing music with such international artistes of Dube’s calibre is a good step for Rwanda’s gospel music.

The Gospel Time talked to Mandela Ndahiriwe, the Executive Secretary of True Promises, and gave us some hints on how important it is to work together with international artistes.

“Doing music with international artistes assists local artistes in different ways like enhancing the visibility of their products at the international level and gaining experience,” he said.

“We all serve one kingdom but our products are different because our capacities are also different. It assists us to produce quality music and reach huge audience,” he added.

Ndahiriwe pointed out that inviting international artistes to Rwandan shows how the local music sector is evolving,

“Inviting an international artiste is one thing and accepting your invitation another. I think that it takes time for an invitee to do research about an artiste or a choir that invited him before he or she accepts the invitation. This shows that there is progress in our gospel music sector,” he said.

Zeroing-in on True Promises’ collaboration with Dube, Ndahiriwe said it “is a blessing” for the choir and the gospel music sector in the country,

“Such a collabo creates a good network and friendship between the worshippers from South Africa and Rwanda and even in the region. It also reminds everyone in the industry that there are no boundaries for us as we serve one Kingdom,” he said.

He noted that it is time to go beyond boundaries and create networks with the brethren.

“Spreading the good news to all nations requires cooperation among pastors, evangelists and musicians. When we go out there to collaborate with servants of God, we shall exchange experience and reach huge community worldwide,” he said.