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Isoko imar' inyota
Shima Imana Urarunyambitse Afande Nakoze iki Rwagihuta Cyari cijoshe Manyobwa Ndarota Kitoko Kitoko Dr Claude Mani Martin Miss Shannel Miss Shannel Rafiki
2030 2066 2070 2321 1088 1790 1091 1084 1845 1843 1090 1736
4214 4262 4263 4336 3017 4130 3020 3010 4093 4173
4069 3009 3010
TIGO 2312 2343 2058 2193 1227 2077 2344 2318 2319 2045 1734
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BLINK MULTIMEDIA Remera, Rukili. Zone 10 No. 63 Tel: 0788 527 369, 0728 462 900 P. O. Box 647, Kigali- Rwanda. E: email@example.com www.theblinkonline.com
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SONG Peace Timamu Jb Jean Paul Samputu King James Kitoko Urban Boys Meddy Braza Natty Dread Gaby Mani Martin Theogene Uwiringiyimana Tonzi Jean Paul Samputu K8 Peace Masamba Rafiki Kitoko Miss Shannel Usa na bikiramariya You Igikara Mazi Magari Nakutaka Ndarota Igikosi
PUBLISHER Rukwirwa Andrea EDITOR Charles N. Rwabagina ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jack Romanelli PHOTOGRAPHY John Kimenyi ART DIRECTOR Tony Tet MARKETING Rukwirwa Andrea, Banza Frank
Dear Reader, Welcome to another edition of Blink Xtra, the Mag that guides you to the A-Z of Rwanda’s entertainment life. In our continuous effort to liberate you from expensive time-consuming window shopping, this issue we introduce a feature that will help you decide where to take your loved ones for that most deserved treat or find places to make for an enjoyable weekend. Our new extensive list of bars and restaurants will ensure memorable outings and help you choose among the many options available. We also introduce a new column that we are sure you will enjoy. “Facts about Rwanda” brings you the most recent historical discovery about our country. Of course, these are additions to the entertainment content concentrating on our stars you have come to expect from Blink Xtra and Blink Magazine. For our cover model and Tusker Project Fame winner Alpha Rwirangira, the sky is the limit. Soon after he releases his new album this month he plans to visit all major cities on an East African tour. If successful, Alpha will be the only artist from the region to ever do that. What happens when a trusted shepherd decides to abandon his flock? Did Meddy and The Ben do the right thing? Find out how various entertainment icons feel about that. The Blink Xtra asks the abandoned flock to take heart. There are many stars in Rwanda and as the young folks say, ibyiza bir’imbere! Over to you, dear reader. Be inspired! Keep your eyes open and… Enjoy your outings!
Charles N. Rwabagina Editor
COVER: Alpha Rwirangira PHOTO: D-Tech Studio CLOTHES: His own
OUT & ABOUT
U.S EMBASSY CRAFT FAIR Date: Oct-23rd-2010 Time: 1pm - 4pm Venue: US Embassy Donation at the door 2,000 RwF For more info call : 0788921583 INSHINGANO Z’UWABABARIWE Kizito Mihigo’s Cospel Concert Date: 30th October, 2010 Venue: Gikondo Parish, Kigali
Hotel Mille Collines
Hotel Mille Collines
AFRO FUSION LIVE BAND
Hotel Mille Collines Enjoy Bbq brochettes SALSA NIGHT
Kigali Serena Hotel,
@ 1800-2100h PINCHO & PITCHER NIGHT
Contact: +250 783 780 037 KARAOKE
BBQ & Grill
Kacyiru, down the road after PSI @ 2100h
Kigali Serena Hotel,
@1930 – 2200h Contact: +250 252 597 100 LOCAL LIVE BAND
Hotel Laico Umubano
@ 18:00 – 2100h Contact: +250 252 593 500
Hotel Laico Umubano, Hotel Mille Collines,
@ 1730-2230h RWANDA FOLK MUSIC & DANCE SHOW
Crystal View, Top Tower @20:30-23:30h
AFRO FUSION LIVE BAND
Hotel Mille Collines Enjoy Bbq brochettes LOCAL LIVE BAND
Hotel Laico Umubano, @ 1800 – 2100h
SUNDAY CURRY @ LA PISCINE POOL BAR
Hotel Mille Collines
AFRICAN BUFFET & LOCAL LIVE BAND
@1830-2300 LOCAL LIVE BAND
All you can eat! MONGOLIAN NIGHT
KIGALI PAPARAZZI PROM Date: 12th November Time: 8:00pm/20h00 Venue: Danico Villa, Kacyiru 3rd road from La Colombiere near Save the Children Fee: 5,000Rwf Single Couple: 7,000Rwf
@ 1730 – 2230h
Hotel Mille Collines
Alpha’s debut album “ONE AFRICA” expected this October with an album launch and EA tour
INTERNATIONAL LIVE BAND WITH DASHA, PAPY & FRIENDS
Contact: +250 252 576 530 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
@2000 – 2400h FREE GERMAN MOVIES
Date: Saturday, 30th October Venue: Hidden Palace (former Royale Villas) Nyarutarama Time: 9pm - 5am Tickets: 5,000 RWF Entry ONLY. 10,000 RWF Entry + Dinner
ALINK CHINESE CLUB Rugando St, Kimihurura +250 788625529/ email@example.com BEIJING TANGREN RESTAURANT Remera, Airport rd. +250 783011583/ firstname.lastname@example.org FLAMINGO CHINESE RESTAURANT Kimihurura +250 788 300 333 Finaflamingo1@yahoo.fr ROYAL GARDEN RESTAURANT Kiyovu, opp the National Bank of Rwanda
+ 250 788 500 073 M + 250 252 505 805 email@example.com GREAT WALL CHINESE RESTAURANT + 250 788 503 111 SHANGHAI RESTAURANT Kajangwe Ave, Kiyovu + 250 788 599 995/ 788 905 936 shanghairestaurantkigali@hotmail. com
LALIBELA RESTAURANT Remera + 250 785 191 155
ICE AND SPICE +250 788 513 496
KHANA KHAZANA Kajangwe Ave. Kiyovu +250 788 772 087 ZAAFFRAIN RUE DE L’AKEGERA, KIYOVU +250 750 344 900 firstname.lastname@example.org
ARADA Minister’s Rd +250 788 860 968 BANANA JAM CAFÉ Kigali Serena Hotel + 250 252 597 100 BAOBAB Nyamirambo + 250 252 575 633 LE BELVEDERE Across from BCR Bank + 250 252 570 499/ 788 856 226 (M) CHEZ LANDO ICTR St/Airport Rd + 250 252 582 050 CHEZ ROBERT Opp Milles Collines Hotel + 250 252 575 573 CHEZ VENANT Nyamirambo Rd + 250 252 572 260 DE’LICES AT TOP TOWER HOTEL + 250 252 585 555 www.toptowerhotel.com DIPLOMAT Kigali Serena Hotel + 250 252 597 100 DOWN TOWN RESTAURANT 1 Revolution Ave + 250 788 841 375 (M) + 250 788 722 087 downtown.Kigali@gmail.com GORILLA (LE DOS ARGENTE’) + 250 252 501 717 HAVANA CLUB Kacyiru Road Salsa music played +250 252 510 440 HEAVEN RESTAURANT & BAR + 250 252 500 234 + 250 788 674 366/ 788486 581 (M) HOT RACKS KIGALI Rue du lac Mpanga, Kiyovu Tél : 0785 071 648 IRIS HOTEL Near EU Delegation + 250 788 753 656 ISIMBI HOTEL + 250 252 572 578, 572 581/93
JAMBO JAMBO LAICO HOTEL + 250 252 593 500 reservations.umubano@laicohotels. com HOTEL KARISIMBI Near Hotel Mille Colline +250 252 571 528 email@example.com LA VALLE’E DOUCE Old Airport Rd, + 250 252 582 981 NEW CACTUS KAYUKIU STREET +250 252 572 572 NEW MANGAROCA S.A.R.L, + 250 788 387 144 OKAPI HOTEL Rue de Muhima + 250 252 574 169 + 250 252 574 413 PANORAMA Hotel Mille Collines + 250 252 576 530 PAPYRUS LOUNGE KIMIHURURA + 250 788 308 970 www.papyruslounge.com REPUBLIKA LOUNGE Kiyovu, Offf Avenue Des Grand Lacs + 250 252 504 SELECT BOUTIQUE HOTEL +250 755 300 331 www.selectboutiquehotel.com SKY HOTEL Main road to Nyamirambo +250 788 300 323
SOL E LUNA Main airport road +250 252 583 062
AFRIKABITE Kimihurura + 250 788 685 184 Katie@nizette.org THE MICKEY MOUSE Tel: +250 788357600 +250 722998991 EXECUTIVE CAR WASH Next to RRA building CHEZ JOHN +250 252 571 678 KARIBU RESTAURANT +250 252 501 793
NINZI HILL Main boulevard in Kacyiru +250 252 587 714
CASINO KIGALI Top Tower Hotel, Umuganda Blvd. +250 788 306 959
BLACK AND WHITE CLUB +250 785 259 60 CADILLAC RESTO & DISCO +250 252 511 622 CRYSTAL @ TOP TOWER HOTEL Cocktail lounge and restaurant +250 252 585 555 www.toptowerhotel.com PAPYRUS LOUNGE Kimihurura + 250 788 308 970 www.papyruslounge.com PLANET CLUB KBC Place +250 788 683 043
HEALTH CLUBS/ GYMS/POOLS
CERCLE SPORTIF Gym, swimming Boulevard de la Revolution,Kiyovu +250 252 597 100 HOTEL MILLE COLLINES Gym, tennis, swimming +250 252 576 530 LALCO UMUBANO Gym, tennis swimming Blvd. de l’Umuganda +250 252 593 500 NYARUTARAMA TENNIS CLUB Gym, tennis +250 252 587 009 RAFIKI HEALTH CLUB Gym +250 252 510 388
Sophisticated, intimate luxury SELECT BOUTIQUE HOTEL Less than 30 minutes from Kigali international airport and a similar distance from the City centre lies what is considered to be one of Kigali’s premier establishments - a true outlier within the hotel industry. Select Boutique in the suburb of Nyarutarama is regarded as Rwanda’s “most exclusive, intimate and distinct luxury hotel.” I tend to concur. Driving up the road that leads to the hotel; one pictures perhaps an isolated resort given the dusty stretch of road coupled with the somewhat haphazard signs. On arrival however, it becomes obvious that it will live up to it’s boutique hotel rating. It is an architectural delight, evoking a country villa or manor. The cobblestone driveway leads to a large, beautiful terrace that gives off a traditional flavour with a colonial twist. Inside, the theme moves graciously into a contemporary interior style and design. The inside doubles up as an a la carte restaurant with an impressive wine lounge and seven guest rooms. The menu, from its wide variety of gourmet starters to sumptuous entrees, is certainly not for light pockets. Prizewinning chefs prepare the exquisite menu featuring European/French cuisine. Clearly, with that kind of sophistication, this restaurant caters to those who can 6
afford it. The menu, unlike the servers, was bilingual, offering broccoli soup, salmon with lemon pieces, chicken sweetened and soured with pineapple and ginger just to name but a few. The dessert was a tasteful array of cake and ice cream. Accommodation at Select is what you would expect given the upscale restaurant and the boutique nature of the hotel. The rooms are modern yet give off an ancient ambience. They are spacious with a relaxing décor that betrays a quirky environment. Select Boutique Hotel is a good option amongst many in Kigali. It is for those who know exactly what they want in style, privacy and class. Most importantly, however it is for those who can afford . It has a website that answers any questions a potential guest may have and lists all of the hotel’s amenities. Kigali- Rwanda B.P. 6909 +250 0252580809 +250 0577300331(M) email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.selectboutiquehotel.com
ONE on ONE COVER STORY
e’re sitting at The Blink offices trying to think of who really deserves to grace the cover of this magazine after our intended cover model, Meddy, decided to go after the American dream. Alpha, Diplomat, Urban Boys, Kitoko and other names pop up but after thoroughly going through our criteria of talent, determination, hardwork and professionalism, 24-year-old Alpha Rwirangira, who seems to have a way of winning, emerges as the top choice; two great songs and videos which are collabos with two prolific East African artists plus a soon-to-be released album titled “One Africa” and a complementing East African tour ... the Tusker Project fame winner seems to be unstoppable!
• DTec h
Alpha was recently denied a visa to the U.S. He says it was intended for his own personal travel reason but it seems a certain daily publications’ reporter decided to create her own version of the story, saying he was going to perform in the U.S.
How have you been? It’s not been easy though many of my fans don’t know that. As you know, I didn’t take up the contract with South African label Gallo Records like fellow TPF winners so it means I’ve been doing most of my music projects all by myself. Some haters have been making a lot of noise too, claiming that I was not worth winning but that doesn’t distract my progress at all. Why did you reject the recording deal with South Africa’s Gallo Records unlike your TPF predecessors? I didn’t want to jump into things due to excitement because it’s South Africa or something. I looked far ahead and asked myself, in five years where do I want to be? Is this contract going to take me where I really want? I knew by taking my own way it’d be kind of risky because I’d spend a lot of money in the studio and stuff like that but I guess it’s better this way because I can predict the outcome of my actions. The decisions I take are not mine alone. I usually consult with my dad, manager and those whose thoughts I respect.
I’ve noticed you’ve been busy lately. Two outstanding singles with complementary videos already out... Yeah, I’ve been very busy working on my debut album “One Africa” which consists of 10 very enthusiastic tracks. The two songs “songa mbele” and “come to me” will both be featured in the album. I’m also planning an East African tour to promote the album this October starting with Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania then South Africa. I’m honoured to be working with a new local company that will help me realize some of my goals. Speaking of songs, there’s one with Tanzanian AY and another with Ugandan Bebe Cool. Is this an effort to attract an East African crowd? Well, you could say that. I don’t want to sound too ambitious but on the other hand I don’t limit myself. I will spread my music as far as I can. Tell us more about the album? It is a mixture of gospel, love songs and reggae. It has a little bit of everything so everyone can pick something out of it. I have also tried to harmonize our three main languages; Kinyarwanda, English, and Kiswahili. I have done collabos with Christian (TPF 3 contestant), Spaxx (Family Squad), Princess Priscilla and other artists. Producers include Pastor P, David (future records) and Junior. What is the inspiration behind this album? My main inspiration for this album is God and that‘s why I have three gospel songs. Life of course has an influence in the album. With your current track record, you seem to be a very hardworking artist. What drives you? First and foremost, it’s God that drives me because I don’t believe I can do it alone. Secondly, my work, for that’s what I am, that’s what feeds me so that automatically drives me. I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while now. Would you still have pursued your dream as an artist if you didn’t contest or win TPF 3? I used to be a member of the church choir and I could see people’s reaction when I did sang. The same used to happen during my high school days and students, according to me, are the hardest crowd to impress .if they don’t like you they’ll let you know. This confirmed that I had something. So I think I would still have pursued my dream even though it wouldn’t have been that easy but 12
This year is not turning out as one of the best for the local music industry. Two of the most promising R&B artists, Meddy and The Ben, decided to ditch their budding musical career and chase the American dream. Meddy (Medard Ngabo) and The Ben (Ben Mugisha) left the country for the USA on July 2, after being invited by the Rwandan International Network Association. They were expected to return on July 28 but never did. Meddy has denied these claims saying his visa is for six months while no comments have yet been heard from The Ben. There have been no reports as to where the two artists are but rumours have them in hiding near Ottawa, Canada, or somewhere in the US. Meddy updated his new location to Brooklyn, New York, on his facebook account while his counterpart The Ben changed his to Los Angeles, California. The incident was likely linked with Tusker Project Fame Winner, Alpha Rwirangira’s recently denial of a visa to the U.S.
Miss Jojo - Artist You can’t judge the situation while you don’t know the real reason behind their actions but speaking as an artist, I think they’ve really damaged our image and people won’t trust us as they have before.
Alpha Rwirangira Artist I guess they were tempted and gave in. This will definitely have a negative effect on us (artists) and may be one of the reasons I was denied a visa. Nasty Lee – Music promoter I cannot throw the first stone at them, however, their actions, at a time when they were at their peak in the music industry was not setting a good example for future generations ... many young people look or looked up to them but now ... I remain puzzled to what that “American dream” really means? I wish them well though!
Hip hop artist K8, aka Kavuyo, also recently left the country for further studies abroad. That is three main artists in a span of just three months. The Blink hit-squad gathered views specifically about the Meddy and The Ben issue from different artists. Miss Shanel - Artist Everyone can be a victim of a similar situation. I think it might be better for them to improve musically out there but what they did wrong is abusing the agreement they had with the responsible parties.
Rafiki – Artist I’m not well informed about the whole story to be able to place a fair judgement but it’s obvious that some trust between us and the government has been lost due to that incident. Christian Rwirangira TPF 3 contestant/ artist As a fan and artist, I don’t think it was a good way to leave. Now I think it won’t be easy for other artists to get visas to perform abroad. They left a bad image for other Rwandan artists. On the other hand I think it’s good for their personal life.
Kitty - Upcoming artist Musically speaking, they have lost their purpose. It will be very difficult for them to pursue their musical career considering the hardships they’ll go through trying to fit in a different environment and even getting a studio to record their music.
Pacson - Radio presenter/ Artist The music industry especially on the R&B scene is grieving. The two artists leaving is a really big blow. Even for us hip hop artists we now don’t have The Ben for our chorus hook up.
Andrew Cole - Upcoming artist They had everything here. I’m sure many artists wished to be in their shoes. I don’t support their actions at all.
Diplomat - Artist Life can be a bit tricky sometimes and you never know what is right for you till you do a mistake. On an artist perspective, what they did might ruin the trust the government had on us thus hinder future collaboration.
Columbus - Upcoming Gospel artist What they did was selfish. They didn’t think of the impact their actions would have on other artists. Artists should be patriotic people.
Riderman - Artist I don’t want to judge them because anyone is entitled to his own personal decision but speaking as an artist, I think it will affect the relationship artists have established with the government. To get such opportunities of performing abroad will be a problem.
FACTS ABOUT RWANDA
COVER STORY 9 I’m sure I’d have gone far because I believe I had and still have what it takes. You insist on performing live which is not the trend with other local artists. Are you trying to send a message? I enjoy playing live music; it’s more real. I feel like lip syncing dictates your stage performance yet as an artist you’re supposed to be in total control. Like at times you may want to stop and talk or sing with the crowd but you can’t. I also want to grow professionally. My recent performance at the Pan African Dance Festival (FESPAD) was very nice (according to me), I really enjoyed myself. It wasn’t perfect but it made me feel that I can improve. I encourage fellow artists to practice playing live music it’s very necessary. We have just concluded our presidential elections. Did you vote? Yes of course. I’m a responsible citizen.
To understand this, you first need to take a trip from the southern end of Lake Tanganyika and follow the western shore, moving northwards up to its northern end. There, you will notice that the crocodile infested Rusizi River that meanders through a huge valley created an additional physical boundary to the lake. This means that any itinerant from the Western shores of Lake Tanganyika and Rusizi River who wished to venture into the present day Tanzania or Burundi had no option other than continuing further north, only to be obstructed by the deep Lake Kivu up to a place called Sake, near Goma. It is here that they must have passed, entering the present day Rwanda through Busasamana, a 15-km stretch between Lake Kivu and the impenetrable volcanoes. It is not possible for the Bantus to have access to East Africa through any other point because from Sake going northwards up to Lake Albert, there are a series of active volcanoes such as Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira, the Rutchuru River that flows to Lake Edward and then the Semliki River which flows from Edward to Lake Albert. This argument is confirmed by the current names of certain hills, lakes and rivers, e,g, Lake Muhazi or Nyabarongo River. Both names have no meanings in the Kinyarwanda language but are similar to ‘omukhatsi ’ or ‘omukazi’ which mean a woman in Kenya and Uganda respectively, while ‘abarongo’ or balongo which are only used outside Rwanda have the same meaning in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Isn’t this enough proof that all abakhatsis and balongos once lived in our beloved country? Source: Tim NJOROGE 12
Any special lady in your life? Ahhhh! I think that’s kind of personal. As an artist I don’t think it’s relevant but when I decide to buy someone a ring, I’ll definitely invite you for the engagement party.
PHOTO • D-Tech Studio
Did you know that all the Bantu speakers that are now scattered in East Africa roamed in Rwanda for centuries after having entered the country through a 15-km wide entry point?
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The fourth edition of Tusker Project Fame (TPF 4) is just around the corner. Do you think Rwandan contestants stand a chance this time round? I’ve been receiving calls for advice from people who want to follow in my footsteps and I always encourage them. They only need confidence, that’s all.
1. Faycal performs at his album launch in Butare at the National University of Rwanda. 2. Canadian based Rwandan artist Frankie Joe entertaining fans during a recent gig in Calgary, Canada. 3. K8 Kavuyo poses in front of one of America’s biggest music label - Island Def Jam recording offices in New York. 4. The Blink Crew rocking special edition designer Blink t-shirts 5. Up and coming R&B trio The Track posing backstage at Jack B’s album launch party in Ruhengeri. 6. Gospel songstress Aline Gahongayire sings her heart out during a performance at Faycal’s album launch in Butare
Additional photos by Kigali Paparazzi