ArtRwanda-Ubuhanzi contest which aims to expose youth talents and turn them into business reached the City of Kigali with impressive bankable ideas and performances that left judges and officials shading tears of joy.
ArtRwanda-Ubanzi is organized by Imbuto Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the South Korean Development Fund (KOICA).
The three-day competition ended this September 15, 2022, attracting 90 youth who showcased their talents in six categories- Art, Singing and Dancing, Fashion, Drama and Comedy, Film and Photography, Poetry and Literature.
At the Palace of Fine Arts in Kanombe, participants performed before judges, with experience in the creative arts industry.
They include Laurenne Rwema, Founder Uzi Collections, Rapper Riderman (Gatsinzi Emery) and songster Miss Shanel (Nirere Shanel), Afrobeat Musician- Mani Martin, and veterans like cinematographer and actor Kennedy Mazimpaka and Professional Paint artist Pascal Bushayija.
Sympathique Gatoto, aka ‘DJ Lion’, 29 years, a stage performer pulled up a solo theatre performance on the subject of genocide against the Tutsi and family life after in the post-genocide era.
The performance show difficulties children face in loving each other in today’s society and it attracted the attention of judges- and one asked him: “what would you do if you won this competition?”
Gatoto said: “This will be an opportunity to celebrate with my deceased mother. I would go to her grave and tell her to see where I have reached with this talent which she believed was a waste of time,” he said.
The response sent the judges, minister, and cultural officials to stand up in tears and paid respect to his mother, and wished him good luck.
Accompanied by her folk musician Dad, Rania Shaffy Iriza, 18, performed western vocals backed by guitar (played by her brother) and piano (by her cousin) which she learned from the family.
Judge Mazimpaka was impressed with her performance skills and encouraged her to pursue a career with more practice.
Judges were also impressed by two ladies- Lydie Lincka Nafsa and Aime Sandrine Usanase whose massive recycled art pieces (created out of waste bottles, paper, and metal picked from dumping site) were colorful and impressive.
“If we are successful, we will use the prize funds to scale up and create jobs from waste but keeping the environment clean and protected,” Usanase said.
Rosemary Mbabazi, Minister of Youth and Culture who attended the event said that this year’s edition was extraordinary with many talents which include bankable projects.
The Kigali competition marked the end of the countrywide search for the best of the best talent among 741 gifted youths who will continue to the national level event on dates to be announced.
At the first edition in 2018, winners got a total of Rwf36 million in cash prizes.