One of the very best things about my role as Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is that I have the privilege to meet some extraordinary people from all across the Commonwealth, from Ministers and CEOs to street children, farmers and musicians. It is truly amazing to have the opportunity for my life to be touched by their energy, passion and enthusiasm. To be able to help bring incredible people together, and encourage them to work collaboratively to use ICTs to make the world a better place, is just fantastic.
I have always believed in working hard and playing hard! The CTO’s conferences are therefore very much about having great discussions, but also getting to know each other in ways that one simply cannot (yet) do over the Internet! A valuable lesson that I have learnt in my time at the CTO has most definitely been the importance of the politics of the dance floor – and there are far too many embarrassing photos around to show this!
Our recent Commonwealth e-Governance Forum in Rwanda was just such an occasion, and shows above all the importance of friendship in international relations. Back in 2013 I had the privilege of attending the Transform Africa conference held in Kigali. As with so many international events (but sadly all too often not in my own country!) the government hosted some spectacular networking events in the evenings, none more so than a festival of dance and music held one evening in the Milles Collines hotel that showcased the very best of musical talent in Rwanda. It was there that I first saw Teta Diana perform, and was captivated by her talent and personality. So, when we were discussing our own Commonwealth e-Governance Forum I mentioned to a very special Rwandan friend that it would be amazing if he could arrange for her to perform at our event.
Incredibly, he did, and the photos below try to capture something of the very special evening event that he ensured was laid on for delegates (and thanks very much too to Rwanda Online who sponsored the evening):
The star of the event, though, was absolutely Teta! She has risen already to be one of the real stars of the Rwandan music scene, combining magical performances of traditional Rwandan music with more mainstream jazz, RnB and reggae. She is an amazing ambassador for Rwanda, performing at various official events, and is now eager to take her passion for the way in which music can bring people together to a much wider audience internationally. She is definitely someone to look out for – and I really hope that fellow musicians and promoters in Europe will find ways through which she can bring her talent and personality to a much wider audience. The links below provide an introduction to her music and her life:
- Teta interviewed by Dean Karemera: “Traditional music is our identity as Rwandans and I’ve loved it since I was young and it’s my way of contributing toward preserving our roots.”
- Teta’s Facebook page
- Audio of remix of Fata Fata (one of her best known tracks)
- Canga ikarita video
- Kata official video
- Ndaje (audio)
- Undi Munsi (audio)
Teta Diana is a very special person, determined to do very special things for Rwandans and for the spirit of the music that lives within her.