Jeanne de Chantal Mugabushaka, commonly known as Eminente, gained fame working at Contact FM in 2005 on a late night show called Mbigenze Nte, literally meaning, ‘What should I do’? The programme was a huge success because of the advice she gave to people on how to make their relationships a success, especially those about to walk down the aisle.
Eminente, who also does relationship counseling, coyly refuses to divulge her age. She was widowed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and is the mother of four children. She is the third born in a family of seven to the late Dr Alexander Mugabushaka and Catherine Kankindi.
She did her primary schooling in Butare and later joined secondary school in Byumba. She later joined university, studied journalism and trained in and outside of Rwanda.
Before joining Contact FM, Eminente lent her voice to various talk shows on various stations. She talked to many people on a personal level, and inspired by women from Le Jeune Afrique magazine and Oprah Winfrey, she decided it was time she permanently ventured into the business of “healing broken hearts”, as she puts it.
Surprisingly, as a child, the radio star dreamed of becoming a physician like her father but this wasn’t to be. “I don’t have any regrets whatsoever with the path I’ve taken,” she said.
Currently, Eminante presents a morning show at Contact FM but she is currently planning to bring back the show that gave her first taste of national fame at the beginning of November. Mbigenze Nte fans are in for a treat.
She attributes her achievements to the first small connections she made in the media.
She raised her children without any assistance; as a result, she decided to take her philosophy of self-reliance to other vulnerable people. “I participate in fundraising drives that aim to help less advantaged people, especially orphans and widows like me,” she says.
Despite all her success in the media, she still feels there is need for the Media High Council to advocate for improved payment for journalists.
“The biggest challenge I face is counseling married people. Some of them refuse to come to terms with the fact that all is not paradise especially when it comes to intimate matters. If you are afraid to open up, then how do you expect to get a solution to the problem?” she asks.
According to her, seeking counseling without telling the counselor what the problem is, is like getting the wrong drug prescription from your physician because you were not clear about what you were suffering.
“I am most happy when I hear stories of how my counseling has helped a couple successfully navigate the traps of married life”.
For Eminante, life is not all work and no play. During her free time, she loves to put her feet up and enjoy a good book or movie. “I cook and participate in charity events as well”.
She is frustrated by people who still think there are jobs exclusively meant for men or women. “This could not be farther from the truth. I advise women to go for their goals and celebrate their passions; ignore the voices that tell you that you can’t do what you dream;” she says.
“To have a passion for something does not make you a professional, it just gives you the thrill of doing something you actually love; make a career out of something you love”, she advises.