Musician Brings Unity and Hope for Social Change to Rwandan Radio Show, Umurage
You can’t have a hit show without some catchy music. Last month Population Media Center (PMC) launched a new radio show Umurage (“Inheritance for a Better Future”) across eight radio stations in Rwanda and Igor Mabano, 22, also known in Rwanda as “Drummer,” made sure it opened with a theme song that people would respond to.
PMC is a US-based nonprofit that creates TV and radio shows to change deeply entrenched beliefs and social norms. Umurage is a radio serial drama in Rwanda with fictional story arcs spreading over many episodes. It will be broadcast three times per week for one year.
PMC knows that in order for the programming to be effective, the entertainment component must come first. PMC works to create high quality entertainment at every step of the process, hiring and training talented in-country teams for all production, scriptwriting, acting, and music. The music for Umurage, created by Igor, is a lilting and catchy tune that plays at the beginning of every episode.
Igor is a graduate from Rwanda’s first public school of music and specialized in music production. Igor created the theme song for Umurage keeping the mission of PMC in mind and wanting to create a piece of music which would grab people’s attention.
“The themes portrayed in the drama are relevant and touch the lives of many Rwandans,” Igor says. He also went on to describe that the power of music is similar to the entertainment PMC creates – that is has the power to bring people together and to educate people.
“As music entertains, with time people get educated by messages it carries all the time. More interesting, music promotes culture of every community. It creates unity as people share common feelings for their traditional music.”
PMC absolutely agrees with Igor, music and other forms of entertainment are able to do much more than just provide an engaging story – they can also help improve lives. While Umurage provides engaging storylines, it also addresses issues like gender equality, child labor and trafficking, as well as other human rights issues.
Igor is specifically passionate about the issue of gender-based violence, saying “It is not reasonable at all for a husband or any other person to oppress a woman or females in general.” Igor hopes that dramas such as Umurage will bring awareness and change to these and many other issues.
ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):
Population Media Center is a nonprofit leader in entertainment-education, dedicated to women’s rights and empowerment, population stabilization, and the environment. For the past two decades, PMC’s entertainment programming has promoted social and cultural change and has helped 500 million people in more than 50 countries.