2 December 2012

Rwanda: Local Musician Hirwa Drowns in Lake Muhazi

Photo: New Times
The late Henry Hirwa, middle, with his bandmates.

THEY were eighteen and decided to go for a party. The day came and they chose Lake Muhazi in Eastern Province. The journey to the lake started yesterday but little did they know that one of their colleagues would not make the return journey alive.

Henry Hirwa, a brother to the current Miss Rwanda Aurore Mutesi and member of the musical trio KGB (Kigali Boys), drowned yesterday in Lake Muhazi. He drowned shortly after midday, according to an eyewitness.

"It was around noon when I and other seventeen friends, including my wife, travelled and reached Lake Muhazi at noon. I was busy and trying to bring food and drinks but then a friend realised Hirwa was missing," Telesphore Uwanyirigira, one of the late Hirwa's friends narrates.

When his friends noticed he was missing, they embarked on a search and found his body floating. They tried to resuscitate him but with little success. He was then rushed to Rwamagana Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A colleague who met the deceased in 2003 in Nairobi while recording his songs, which include the popular Arasharamye, described the deceased as someone who was hard working and had likable character.

"He supported me in many things. I also supported him whenever I had the capacity. He had become a brother and we shall miss him deeply," says Rurangwa Gaston a.k.a Skizzy of KGB.

"The Bible tells us to be patient, but in this case, it's really impossible. This is just sad, and very sad, indeed," says Mike Karangwa, a member of Ikirezi group, an initiative which awards the best local artists every year.

By press time, Hirwa's body had been transferred to King Faisal Hospital. The deceased was 27 years old and left no wife or children. Details of burial arrangements were still unclear by press time.

On November 26, Hirwa wrote on his Facebook wall: "Whatever different things we do, we should know that God exists and is almighty."

And last month, the deceased wrote again on his Facebook wall, "Oh! Year 2012, goodbye! But you have been a good year for me!" Several friends have posted condolence messages on his Facebook wall as well as that of his sister, Aurore Mutesi.

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