We remember you Herbert “Kabwondera” Bakesigaki. We celebrate your talent, your sound, your poetry, your contribution to the preservation of musical tradition of the Bakiga.
Though you died young, you left a great legacy. We thank you for making the ICOB conventions you attended memorable. Now we seek and hope to find and listen to your successors on enanga (African zither).
The power of music is exemplified by what I remember from the 2005 International Community of Banyakigezi (ICOB) Convention in London, England. We had great discussions and resolutions. We had a great time. However, what I remember best is the music of Bakesigaki. He had an effortless style. His infectious smile added to the joy of the music. His rapid-fire fingers extracted beautiful sound from the strings of his zither.
I loved his instrument so much that I bought it off him in 2005, to be a physical, touchable link to the music of our ancestors that he so lovingly preserved. I am glad I did. I dream of learning to play it by the fireside in my retirement in Kigezi.
Enanga (zither) ya Kabwondera (back)