Pop star Stromae wows crowd on Rwanda return
KIGALI, Rwanda – Belgian based, Rwandese pop star Stromae has wowed the crowd in Kigali in a landmark concert and homecoming for the singer, whose father was killed in the 1994 genocide.
The singer, who broke off an African tour in June after falling sick to the huge disappointment of fans, performed to a packed stadium during a first concert in Rwanda late Saturday, after performances in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
“It was so exciting!” enthused Rodie Nkusi, an 18-year-old fan. “Everyone is so proud because he’s half-Rwandan.”
“We’re so happy here, he’s a child of our country,” said another fan, 29-year-old Pacifique.
The genre-merging Belgian singer, who earlier this month sang in New York’s Madison Square Garden — only the third French-language artist to play the self-described “World’s Most Famous Arena” after Charles Aznavour and Celine Dion — performed in front of some 20,000 people for two hours.
Stromae, whose real name is Paul Van Haver, has won a huge following in Belgium and France for his tunes, including his 2009 hit ‘Alors on danse’, which are danceable but also introspective with themes including the absence of his Rwandan father.
On Saturday he said he was “delighted” but also emotional to be back in a country he last visited as a child.