The second edition of Rwanda Gospel Stars Live kicks off in Rusizi District

By Joseline Gasengayire

The second edition of Rwanda Gospel Stars Live commenced in Rusizi district on March 2, 2024, with the goal of identifying three exceptional young talents set to compete with their counterparts from other districts.

Launched in 2021, the initiative initially aimed to provide financial support to artistes and promote their work. This second edition, themed “Manifest Your Talent for a Better Future,” is to feature pre-selection events in various locations, including Rusizi, Rubavu, Musanze, Huye, Kigali, and Rwamagana.

In the Rusizi auditions, 38 participants spanning diverse age groups met the prerequisites and showcased their talents before both judges and spectators. Each contestant brought unique aspirations and ambitions to the stage.

One such participant, Honorine Uwiragiye, expressed her passion for songwriting and singing, highlighting the absence of a dedicated platform or support system. Despite uncertainties about victory, her participation aimed at extending visibility beyond her church choir. She saw the competition as an opportunity to leverage a video of her performance for broader exposure.

The event began with a warm welcome and introductions to the three judges: media personality Mike Karangwa, founder of Salax awards; Nelson Mucyo, a gospel artiste and songwriter; and Ruth Kavutse, an RBA journalist at Rusizi Radio.

The auditions comprised two rounds, with all contestants performing initially, and ten advancing to the next stage. Among those, seven outstanding performers were chosen, deviating from the initial plan of selecting three talents. Judge Karangwa justified this decision, emphasizing the challenge in narrowing down the selection and the importance of prioritizing talent over a predetermined number.

Factors leading to the elimination of certain contestants included insufficient group rehearsal, stage fright, diminished self-confidence, and excessive self-assurance, which affected individual performances as highlighted by the judging panel.

Nevertheless, as with this edition, exceptional performers will be chosen at each location, advancing to the national level, where 10 winners will undergo a camp experience before reaching the final stage of the contest.

The prize money for the overall winner is Rwf 3 million, while the runners-up will receive Rwf 2 million and 1 million respectively and will have some of their songs produced. Also, the overall winner will serve as an ambassador for the initiative for a period of one year.

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