Moral Courage



Tour Diary


Named after one of the eight sacred traditional Burundi drums, Ruciteme has been performing since 1989.

Until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1966, drumming was restricted to just a few clans, who passed down their knowldege from father to son. They would perform only during royal occasions such as the umuganuro, the annual harvest festival.

Today, anyone can join a drumming group. Ruciteme has thirty-five adult members from all ethnic backgrounds who performed together throughout the crisis. When playing in Tutsi-controlled areas, the Tutsi members of the group protected their Hutu comrades. Similarly, Hutu members defended their Tutsi colleagues in Hutu neighbourhoods.

In early 2004, Richard Ntawe and Lena Slachmuijlder, started Junior Ruciteme. It now has twenty-three members, aged between 5 and 15. (Click on Lena's page to see them performing.)

1996: Performed on a 25-city tour, France.

1998: Performed on a 30-city tour, France.

2002: Performed at the Pan African Dance Festival, Kigali, Rwanda.

2003: The Monster of Tanganyka, television documentary by Gedeon Programmes.

2004: Performed at the Heroes Summit, Bujumbura.

2005: Represented Burundi at the 5th Francophonie Games, Niamey, Niger.

2006: Performed at the ACCORD Africa Peace Award Cerimony, Durban, South Africa.

Performed at the Pan African Dance Festival, Kigali, Rwanda.

Richard Ntawe, Ruciteme, P O Box 5226, Bujumbura, Burundi.
+257 250096/+257 831 709/+257 221327

© Burundi Voices Project, 2006.