Bernard Ndoricimpa and Alfred Nyandwi (cultural singers) were thrilled to bits to be part of an international festival, spreading a message of love and unity on behalf of Burundi. Since Monday 18th September, the duo travelled to Rio (Brazil) to play their traditional music "umuduri" in Rock in Rio Festival.
In t-shirts and jeans of the same colour and with smiling faces, one could easily read the happiness in the eyes of the two gentlemen, back to Bujumbura this September 27th. "I can't describe the feeling I had... It was more than just a festival, to me" says Alfred Nyandwi. As for Bernard Ndoricimpa, it was a great experience: "I had never participated in such a huge and fabulous festival. It's really a joy to behold," says Bernard Ndoricimpa enthusiastically.
The festival got together singers from all over the world and the two cultural singers were pleased to be part of the guests. "We were honoured to take part in the festival as artists. There was an audience of more than eighty thousand people. We were with other quite famous artists like Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake," says Alfred Nyandwi.
The duo appeals to Burundi government especially the ministry in charge of art and music to support them. "I was uplifted by the way they treated us. They know the true value of singers," says Bernard Ndoricimpa. He adds that Burundi should support artists in their works: "Sometimes we need their signature so that our project be financed but it is difficult to get it."
"We didn't go there as Alfred and Bernard but as Burundians. We represent Burundi. They should help us move forward," added Alfred Nyandwi.
The two Burundian singers say the "umuduri" traditional music also has something in common with the Brazilian culture. This has earned them a dual performance with Brazilian artists. "They play the same music but the distinction is that their instrument is made of one calabash, while ours is made of three calabashes". Alfred Nyandwi added that they have made some videos together and hope that they will be released soon.
Burundi takes part in this festival for the first time since its beginning in 1985.