At 21, she is an artist, actress, singer and poetess. Paola Ingabire is also an author and recently released her first book “More Powerful than we think,’ a book that talks about gender issues concerning women and young girls.
“Being an artist is something I was born to be because as a child I was a storyteller, a dancer and actress,” she says.
As a student, during holidays, Ingabire performed at Spoken Word Rwanda, and tried out painting and singing at different Mashirika festivals.
Writing her maiden book
In 2014, she spent her entire senior six vacation writing a book.
“I didn’t know how to write a book. It started off as a poem and then a story draft, but I always felt like I needed to write something that tackles women issues,” the bubbly poetess and law student at University of Kigali says.
She put what she considered to be her best stories together, in one document but towards the beginning of her undergraduate studies, she lost most of her work, after her computer crushed.
Working with the little time she had as a student, she slowly started over again and rewrote the book, which was eventually published by Xilbris, an American publishing house. The book is currently available online.
“Storytelling is what I do and if you read the book, it has many characters yet the story is mine. I gave testimonies that women and the readers can relate to. From testimonies of the issues that women go through, I had to include solutions,” she says.
Ingabire notes that her book is like a movie script yet it is not pointing at or about anyone in particular because “I wanted to share what women gthrough. All the charactersin the book depict different situations and challenges faced by women every day.”
Citing traditional gender stereo types which degrade women, she says her book clearly articulates these gender issues and proposes solutions.
About her new movie
Ngabire is also a good movie producer and will soon release her first short movie ‘Sano.’
The ten minute movie is acted in a rural setting and depicts family struggles.
When I wrote the script, it was supposed to be a song. I am not a singer and I didn’t know who to give it to, and so I thought of using it differently. I showed the song to my friend and work partner and together we wrote the script. When I got the budget, I got three more characters and we acted it out, she reveals.
Ingabire’s dream is to become a public figure in women rights advocacy through film and storytelling.