Before 1994 Rwanda’s music was largely traditional and only folk’s singer dominated the industry despite the lack of the instruments including excellent recording studios and other musical instruments. In 2011, the biggest annual music competition Primus Guma Guma Super Star (PGGSS) was incepted to help and grow music entertainment that more modern in style compared to the past.

The singing competition that is Sponsored by Bralirwa’s Primus and a lager brand and created by East African Promoters (EAP), has over the years, been one of the most highly anticipated shows, with road shows being staged across the country.

However, through its premium brand Primus, has received both praise and controversy in equal measure and the only super music competition is losing its popularity and hype.

Gilbert Rwabigwi, blogger, for him despite the weakness but there is room for improvement and there are many ways to invest in music and advertise at the same time,

“But one thing is for sure there are many things PGGSS can’t do for the music sector to move to the next level, such as establishing infrastructure that improve quality and growth, but it is serving its purpose quite well. The minute you understand the purpose of PGGSS, you know things are so far so good,” he says.

He said Guma-Guma is the greatest events that will go down in the history of Rwandan music.

Thus, However, that between its 5th & 6th Season, it lost the competition, the buzz, and its popularity decreased slowly.

“It also became too predictable for music fans. How do you call it a competition when you know the winner? I think the idea lost its touch in the long run and some changes should have been applied earlier,” he says.

Now in its seventh season, the music competition pits Rwanda’s top music stars against each other for a grand prize of about Rwf24 million and other benefits. The event seems to have evolved but some music enthusiasts feel the size and impact of the show has been downsized, which has seen its popularity reduce.

However, Bralirwa Ltd believes the show has evolved in terms of attendance, organisation and impact as a competition aimed at promoting Rwandan music.

Julius Kayoboke, the marketing director of Bralirwa says progress has been made in terms of the staging of the shows, their level of class and professionalism.

The annual competition is by far the biggest activity in the country’s music calendar. It starts in March with media representatives and music producers nominating contestants.

Previous PGGSS winners are Tom Close (2011), King James (2012), Riderman (2013), Jay Polly (2014), Butera Knowless (2015),Urban Boys (2016) and Dream Boys 2017

Since its inception in 2011, Primus Guma Guma Super Star (PGGSS) — an annual music competition funded by Bralirwa — through its premium brand Primus, has received both praise and controversy in equal measure.


Critics of the show say PGGSS is behind the faltering showbiz business in the country because of offering free concerts. This affects event organisers who are trying to put together concerts that have entry charges.

Alex Muyoboke, an event organiser says it gets harder each year to organise a music event in the country and charge an entrance fee even of as low as Rwf2,000. People will not show up since they are used to the free shows.

Mr Muyoboke said Bralirwa is the biggest beneficiary since it sells its products at the road shows, while the artistes get very little money.

However, Bralirwa refutes the claims and say PGGSS has turned musicians into bigger stars who can negotiate for better pay.

The Express News

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