The Institut Français is set to come alive with laughter on October 17 and 18, courtesy of Wallonie-Bruxelles International, with one event being an invite-only and the other, the more anticipated of the two and free of charge, being open to the public. Ahead of the comedic extravaganza, a three-day masterclass was organized from October 13 to 16 to groom local talent in the comedy industry. Taking the lead in these masterclasses is Hervé Kimenyi, a renowned figure on the local comedy scene whose experience and expertise in the field makes him an invaluable resource for aspiring comedians in the training sessions. Kimenyi, along with fellow comedians Michael Sengazi and Inno JP, a Belgian-Rwandan comedian who travelled all the way from Belgium to Kigali, are set to grace the stage during the comedy nights. Comedy is a universal language that transcends borders and connects people. But more specifically it's an art, not just to be funny, but to inspire and make an impact as any other form of public speaking. And I'm happy to be part of those shedding more light on it, he commented. The objective of the masterclass is to nurture and develop local talent, equipping aspiring comedians with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the world of comedy. The sessions cover various aspects of comedic performance, from writing and delivering jokes to stage presence and audience engagement. It is open to both seasoned comedy enthusiasts and newcomers to the world of stand-up, as well as any other artist open to learning more about the art of comedy. I'm thrilled to be part of this masterclass, learning from the big comedians. It's an incredible opportunity to gain insights into conquering the fear that sometimes creeps in on stage. Laughter is my passion, and I'm eager to take my comedy to the next level, said Julienne Muzinga, an actress and comedian. I'm already a standup comedian, but I'm here to perfect my skills and craft. This may be the perfect platform to fine-tune my art and connect with experienced comedians who have walked the path before me, said Joseph Tuyishime, who is more known as Joseph The Comedian. Renowned actress and poet, Nina Salim, said: Being an actress and poetess, I've always believed in the power of performance. I'm here to learn how to control the audience, master performance techniques, and enhance my abilities as a performer. By organising the project, Wallonie-Bruxelles International's goal is to strengthen the bonds between Belgium and Rwanda in various artistic fields, including comedy. The comedy nights will be held at the French Institute, and WBI plans to welcome around 100 participants. The guest list includes officials from Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy, MyCulture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, diplomatic institutions, members of the Francophonie, and various artists. WBI acts as an international policy instrument for the region, connecting Francophones from Belgium with counterparts around the world, with a mission to enhance the international impact, influence, and recognition of Wallonia-Brussels' dynamic cultural sector, which includes creators, artists, entrepreneurs, students, researchers, and more. In Rwanda, WBI primarily operates in the cultural sector and indirect bilateral cooperation. Their office in Rwanda has been operational since 2019. They have been actively supporting Belgian NGOs working in collaboration with Rwandan partners. The support provided by WBI ranges from funding cultural events, such as comic strip exhibitions, film festivals, and literary workshops, to promoting educational initiatives like scholarships and internships.