These artistes, popular amongst young adult listeners on Spotify, were the perfect fit to close off the weeklong festival, which inspired young Africans through sports, music, and dance.
By Helena Olori
The inaugural Giants of Africa Festival climaxed with a spectacular closing concert as African superstars, David, Tiwa Savage, Tyla, and Bruce Melodie left the Pan-African audience agog with their thrilling performances.
The week-long festival, held at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda from August 13th through 19th, is a partnership between music streaming service, Spotify and Giants of Africa to mark the 20th anniversary of the non-profit organisation. The event featured a “parade of athletes representing the 16 African countries in the youth basketball festival,” as a way of inspiring and empowering young Africans to dream big.
Presented by Spotify, the closing concert kicked off with a fusion of Amapiano, Afrobeats, Pop, and R&B. Tyla, Spotify Africa RADAR artiste, opened her performance with the chart-topping collaboration with South African producer, Kooldrink, “Getting Late.” Tyla set the stage for an energetic experience, topped with other widely streamed tracks such as “Girl Next Door,” ft Nigeria’s Ayra Starr, “Been Thinking,” “To Last,” and her most recent release, “Water.”
East African favourite, Bruce Melodie, took the stage next, starting with his popular track, “Sawa Sawa,” ft Kenyan rapper, Khaligraph Jones. The Rwandan artiste, in his over 20-minute long performance, took the audience through his discography, performing hits like “Ikinyafu,” “Saa Moya 7:00,” and the heartwarming gospel track, “Urabinyegeza.” Bruce’s performance was fired up by an electrifying collaboration with Rwandan producer, Element Eleéeh, who joined him on stage to perform their song “Fou De Toi,” leaving the crowd in awe.
The Giants of Africa stage peaked with the highly anticipated performance by international superstar, Davido, lighting the atmosphere up with tracks from his Timeless, album. Davido’s setlist included fans’ favourites such as “Dami Duro,” “Fia,” “Jowo,” “Fall,” “Risky,” and “If” among others, capping his performance with the sensational track, “Unavailable.” His magnetic stage presence, coupled with his showmanship, left the audience wanting more.
Tiwa Savage brought the Saturday evening performances to a grand finale as her hit tracks “49-99,” “Ma Lo,” “Key to the Kingdom,” “Koroba,” “Who Is Your Guy,” “Like,” “Pick Up,” and an acapella rendition of “Somebody’s Son,” lit up the auditorium.
The Pan-African icon, whose diverse audience is evident in her Spotify listenership, closed off with “Stamina,” one of her most globally streamed tracks among young adults, reaffirming her status as the “undisputed Queen of Afrobeats.”
“It was a pleasure to partner with Giants of Africa, particularly for the closing concert where the audience got to experience some of Africa’s top-tier talents,” says Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, a representative of Spotify. “Africa’s youth are the future, and we are excited to continue to support them, through partnerships such as this one,” she added.
The festival boasts more than 30,000 spectators, with over 3,000 youths impacted and more than 200 job opportunities created.