Rwanda’s ‘Inanga’ now recorded in ‘World Traditional Music Encyclopedia’

Ferdinand Munezero is a cultural and traditional music artist. He is the only African traditional artist from among 41 countries worldwide who took part in late Korean training dubbed “Culture Partnership Initiative” held for its 12th edition since 2005 between August 7th to December 5th 2016 in Seoul, Korea.

The training was organized by Korea’s Ministry of Culture on different music departments with the main aim to help artists start to initiate in studying each of their country’s cultural heritage, traditional physical games and research on early traditional music.

While talking about his experience on Korea Traditional Music training, Munezero took Inanga to Korea, as a traditional music weapon ahead of the training, which immediately got recorded in ‘World Traditional Music Encyclopedia’ where people could soon search it and learn the way it works.

He shares his training experience in Korea and what he is planning to help young musicians to promote traditional music at the International scene.

He has lived in a world of traditional music for 15 years in my art career that he was well aware of what Rwandan culture was like. It was a total advantage to be good English and French speaker as well. They were all living in the same hotel despite carrying different cultures.

He simply adapted in the group thanks to easy communication, either in French or in English.

“I was also able to sing and dance some of our traditional songs and artists there liked the way i was doing it till they asked me to teach them how it is done in the process and I didn’t face any challenge on a single training programme because i took time to look into what we would be learning during the training and it happened as i expected,” he added

Experience from Korea Music training

The training was held to discuss the perfect ways of writing traditional music, to promote and market it at the international level either through social media, clubs’ websites and other channels of music promotion.

Munezero learned different techniques of traditional music event management which are used on the international level.

“I can say i am now able and ready to successfully organize an international cultural festival as i now know the A to Z requirements and tips to make a festival successful, but only if i have all needed package and team to make the festival happen,” he recalls.

Being in a multicultural place has been Munezero’s most impression but he was most impressed by Korea’s fantastic infrastructures like cultural centers, cultural festival venues, incubation schools are specialized in traditional arts,  where young artists get into deep research on their past traditional music and study how it can be developed depending on the current infrastructures available in the country.

“When you arrive in this country, you easily find different building reserved for traditional art incubations and venues hosting regular festivals to help exhibit and develop artists’ talents,” he says

Rwandan traditional music brought a unique image in world music when Munezero got a chance to take part in eleven traditional music festivals. During the process, each of the artists who attended the training had to showcase the culture from the country they belong.

“On my occasion, I got to play Inanga and sang some of my songs and other folk traditional songs to show them how it works. They really liked the way I played it and the way it sounds and i am privileged and proud of that. It made me stronger,

” he says.

Each of the participants had also to showcase traditional dance and Munezero was happy to see artists from Korea, Philippine, Uzbekistan.

“We needed mix our cultures so that each of us knows another’s culture through music, using both traditional music instruments and dances”

Concerning what Traditional music generation can expect from him, Munezero says there are a lot of thing that, not only the young generation, but all Rwandan traditional artist need to learn to put traditional music at its peak.

“Young artists should expect my support on how to promote their traditional music, not only in Rwanda but also at the international level,” he said.

“I would also provide support by teaching traditional music young practitioners different techniques used to develop their music talents.”

The general message Munezero has to traditional artists and lovers is having faith in traditional music level, and always improving to put it at a different but better position.

“We need to love and be proud of our own products Made in Rwanda and make deep research on the history of our music for further improvement and promotion. we need to change the impossible to possible to prove that Rwanda has talents in traditional music”

He calls on audience and the officials in charge, to keep a close eye on traditional artists’ music activities, especially while holding a traditional concert, the special time when they need people coming to support because it makes them feel stronger.

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@Fred Irakoze

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