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Special programme: Rwanda’s cultural renaissance (1/3)


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In this special programme from Kigali, Eve Jackson meets the artists rewriting Rwanda’s future. Arts24 shows you just how much “the country of a thousand hills”, with its population of 14 million, has transformed in the past 30 years since the genocide against the Tutsis.

The singer and rising star Kaya Byinshii is playing a key part in the country’s surge of creative energy. She examines her Rwandan identity through the new song, “The colour of blood”, which she performs for us in the vibrant neighbourhood of Nyamirambo.

With more than three quarters of Rwandans under the age of 30, youth culture has created its very own musical genre for people to talk about their everyday lives. This new wave of popular rap music is called Kinyatrap. We meet one of its founders, the rap star Bushali, in his studio.

Music isn’t the only burgeoning creative industry in Rwanda, as we discover at the very first Kigali triennial, an arts festival showcasing African excellence from all over the continent with more than 200 artists on the bill, performing in 60 shows from 25 countries. This three-yearly festival aims to highlight the vitality of the Rwandan scene, professionalise the art market and establish Kigali as a cultural capital.

Watch arts24 all this week to discover more Rwandan stories.

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