Rwanda: The return of singer Kitoko


IT HAS BEEN ALMOST A DECADE since he moved to the United Kingdom to pursue his studies and as such, his presence on the music scene declined tremendously.

At the time he left, it had been thought that Kitoko, like some of the Rwandan artistes that were moved abroad at the time for ‘greener pastures’, would not return.

The ‘Gahoro’ singer, unlike the others, said that he had gone to pursue his studies. Pursue his studies he did. The frequency of new songs declined. Once in a while (at least once a year), he would drop a song or at least, a collaboration with another artiste.

While away, Kitoko ensured that his name was not erased off the music scene. His popularity declined a few notches but his presence was not lost.

A long journey it has been -from 2013 to January 28, 2022 to be precise, when the singer graduated from London South Bank University with a bachelors in political science, a journey he himself said wasn’t easy.  

“Indeed, a journey of 1000 miles begins with ONE step. YEAH! It happened eventually. Thanks be to GOD, my family, University colleagues, FRIENDS, LECTURERS and ALL who participated in this journey,” the singer posted.

Kitoko revealed how his educational journey has suffered a number of hiccups, including having to suspend his studies to attend to some family issues and also the time he was supposed to finish his course, the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

But it hasn’t all been in vain. Eventually, the singer managed to get the issues out of the way to graduate.

A determined Kitoko also told the media that he is not stopping in his tracks and has already enrolled for a Master’s degree in Peace conflict management and diplomacy, at the London Metropolitan University.

Good things on the way

Upon graduation, Kitoko recognised his fans for their support and promised them more music.

“We made it together. It was also a long wait for my FANS because I had to get it over with my studies but I can assure you that good things are on the way,”

“Your patience and prayers will never count for nothing. THANK YOU ALL, FAM,” the singer posted, sharing photos of his graduation.

While in the UK, Kitoko, unlike the likes of Meddy and The Ben, did not invest heavily in keeping his musical name alive but nevertheless did not sit back and let it vanish into oblivion.

Since his relocation to the UK, he outed a number of songs, some of which went on to become hits and club bangers.

His most recent song ‘Gahoro’, was released in December 2020 and it was not so much of a hit as the previous ones, ‘Wenema’, released in March 2019 or ‘Rurabo’, released in September 2018, which enjoyed massive listenership.

Nevertheless, it kept him on the charts and radio station playlists. 2021 however turned out to be the year the 36-year-old would seemingly take a hiatus from music.

Fellow musicians such as Alpha Rwirangira, K8 Kavuyo, Deejay Pius and many others congratulated Kitoko upon the career milestone.

With the singer revealing that he will continue with his masters, it is not yet clear how he plans to juggle music and studies this time, to ensure that he remains a popular figure on the Rwandan music scene.

Granted, the load work for a master’s programme could be less strenuous than the bachelors, hence the promise. For many of his fans such as Lucky Niyibizi, they hope the singer will allocate more time to music.

Before relocating to Europe, Kitoko was among the leading local artistes, sharing the same stature with the likes of Meddy and The Ben.

His unique voice and traditional touch endeared him to many, with songs such as ‘Agakecuru’, ‘Turacyakundana’ and ‘You’ making him a household name.

With new artistes taking over while he was away, it will take quite an effort for him to get back on top of the perch. One thing for sure he is not short of the abilities to do so.