EVER SINCE NEW MUSIC GENRES such as R&B, pop and Afro Beat were introduced in Rwanda, Rwandan artistes have made a huge impact on music and have created a fortune for themselves.
Some of the richest musicians in Rwanda have been in the industry for a while, and others are recent entrants.
The New Times looks at some of active richest artistes in Rwanda, basing on their commercial deals, properties, prizes and performance fee.
King James, born James Ruhumuriza is a Rwandan singer and performer of R&B and Afro beats music. He is known for his energetic and entertaining live performances. He was the second winner of Primus Guma Guma Super Star (PGGSS) with a prize of 24 million Rwandan francs. Apart from music, King James is also a top player in the business sector. He owns a maize production industry and a big supermarket. He is also known to be the most expensive artiste to perform at weddings or other ceremonies in Rwanda. King James owns a mansion in the southern province.
Real name Bruce Itahiwacu, the singer has changed the game since his rise in the music industry. Trusted sources say that he is building a villa in the city of Kigali. Bruce Melodie has signed big deals with top companies in the world including the Rwf 150 million deal with Kigali Arena as its brand ambassador, following a commercial deal worth a staggering Rwf50 million to advertise Brok, a Poland beverage. He is the C.E.O and founder of Igitangaza Music Label and one of the owners of Isibo TV, a famous channel in the country.
Jeanne d’Arc Ingabire Butera is one of the few females who have managed to stay on top of the music scene in the country. Married to a famous producer with two kids, Knowless is known to be one of the classiest rich women, from driving the most expensive cars, to living in big mansions. She is the only woman who won the PGGSS competition with a prize of 24 million. Later she signed a deal with Itel as its brand ambassador. She owns a villa in Nyamata.
Benjamin Mugisha, popularly known by his stage name The Ben, is a U.S based Rwandan artiste who has worked with big producers like Krizbeatz. After his homecoming concert, he signed big deals in and outside the country including Rwf 42 million deal to become Tecno Mobile brand ambassador. He also advertises for Bellaire, one of the top champagne companies in the world. The Ben also owns a clothing brand dubbed ‘Tigger B’.
Thomas Muyombo best known as Tom Close is a Rwandan recording artiste and professional doctor who helped many musicians grow in this industry including The Ben. He is the first artiste to won PGGSS with a prize of Rwf14 million and collaborated with Jamaican superstar Sean Kingstone. Tom close is known to be one of the few artistes in Rwanda with successful marriages. His money can be traced from both the music and health industry. He was appointed as the Director of Regional Centre for Blood Transfusion RCBT last year.
Patrick Gakumba, best known as Super manager, is a new player in the game who has won the attention and admiration of many in a short time. Before starting his music career, he was a top football agent who orchestrated Meddie Kagere’s transfer from Kenyan giants Gor Mahia to Tanzania champions Simba SC. He is one of the few musicians to sign big contracts with local and international companies. Recently, he signed a Rwf200 million deal with Speranza Group Limited. Super manager is also known for driving the most expensive cars in the city.
Médard Jobert Ngaboknown professionally as Meddy, is a Rwandan RnB and Pop artist, singer based in the U.S. After his homecoming concert in, Meddy has signed deals with big companies like Airtel. He is a low-key artiste who doesn’t expose his moves. Meddy is the first Rwandan musician to a bunch of millions on YouTube. His single ‘Slowly’ is the first Rwandan song to hit 52 million views.
Emery Gatsinzi, better known by his stage name Riderman, is a Rwandan hip hop recording artiste who is known to be the head of rap in the country. Since 2006, Riderman has ranked in writing the best rhymes and bars for hip hop songs. He has made a lot of money in this sector from his studio ‘Ibisumizi’ which gave birth to a clothing brand. Riderman has worked with big companies like MTN and Infinix.
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Singer Platini Nemeye, best known as Platini P is a former Dream Boy’s member who is now pursuing a solo career. He is a member of Kina Music record label alongside Knowless and other upcoming artistes. He is one of the few musicians who owns a big house and expensive cars.
Sunny Dorcas Ingabire best known as Sunny is a fast-rising female artiste who won the attention of many music lovers after releasing her first song ‘Kungola’. She is one of the few successful women in the industry who owns different properties in the country. Sunny is known as a fashion icon who owns expensive brand collections, she has an $80,000 house in Thailand. Sunny spent over $30,000 on ‘Kungola’ which made it the most expensive video of 2019.