The Star (Nairobi)

Rwanda: The Spirit of Expression At Rwanda Festival

The Pan African Dance Festival ended on Sunday in Kigali, Rwanda. The festival which is held biannually is in its eighth edition and is an initiative of the Rwanda Development Board and the Ministry of Sports and Culture. Its objective is to promote peace and unity on the African continent.

The official opening of the festival on February 24 at the Amahoro Stadium in Kigali was marred by a freak storm that left a wave of destruction across the city. However the Fespad committee was able to organise another in-door opening ceremony the next day at the Petit Stade.

This year's theme 'Spirit of Expression' was brought out by the great performances from participating countries including Burundi, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Uganda. The Rwandese ballet known as the Ukukerereza totally blew the crowd away.

During the opening, the guests showed up in the thousands and some of them had to be turned away. The festival for the first time since its inception broadened its scope and took the show out of Kigali and into the other four provinces.

Fespad 2013 was divided into two main categories; the national dance competition that features Rwandese dances from all over the country and an international competition featuring all participating countries.

The Burundian troupe emerged the overall winners after captivating both judges and audience with their dexterity on the drums.

The festival officially came to a close last Saturday at a star-studded gala that saw winners of the dance competitions awarded. There were also performances by artistes Beenie Man and Ice Prince.

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